Chocolate Syrup/Refreshing Drinks for Summer (c.1909) ★★★

I was browsing historical cook books online and I came across this recipe for "Refreshing Drinks for Summer." Even though the first day of summer isn't officially for another month or so, it certainly feels like it's here already in Canada! This seemed like a simple yet tasty recipe for a nice warm-weather beverage.
The cookbook today's recipe comes from was written by Miss Parloa and Mrs. Hill as an advertisement for the Walter Baker Chocolate Company, which many of you might recognize as simply "Baker's chocolate", still widely used in baking today. The company has had remarkable longevity, having been established in Massachusetts 1764. Perhaps their advertising tactics worked!

Original Recipe:

Into a granite-ware saucepan put one ounce—three tablespoonfuls—of Walter Baker & Co.'s Soluble Chocolate, and gradually pour on it half a pint of boiling water, stirring all the time. Place on the fire, and stir until all the chocolate is dissolved. Now add one pint of granulated sugar, and stir until it begins to boil. Cook for three minutes longer, then strain and cool. When cool, add one tablespoonful of vanilla extract. Bottle, and keep in a cold place.
Put into a tumbler about two tablespoonfuls of broken ice, two tablespoonfuls of chocolate syrup, three tablespoonfuls of whipped cream, one gill of milk, and half a gill of soda-water from a syphon bottle, or Apollinaris water. Stir well before drinking. A tablespoonful of vanilla ice-cream is a desirable addition. It is a delicious drink, even if the soda or Apollinaris water and ice-cream be omitted. A plainer drink is made by combining the syrup, a gill and a half of milk, and the ice, shaking well.

The Verdict:
Although this tasted fine, I was kind of disappointed. All this really is is homemade chocolate milk. I thought it would be more like a float, but with only 1/4 cup of soda water, the fizz is pretty much nonexistant. The chocolate syrup is good, but it's a fairly basic recipe to begin with. The amount of vanilla was a tiny bit too much, and I think if possible a vanilla bean boiled in there would have been much tastier than extract. If I were to make this again I would go fancier - forget the ice altogether, mix the milk and chocolate syrup with more soda water, and add the whipped cream and ice cream on top, perhaps with a drizzle of syrup. I give this recipe 3 stars, not because it tasted bad, but because was pretty average and tasted just like chocolate milk which could have been made without the ice, whipped cream, and soda water. Anyway, the rest of the syrup will make a yummy ice cream topping!

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes By Miss Parloa and Home Made Candy Recipes By Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill)

Chocolate Syrup
2 cups SUGAR
1 tablespoon VANILLA EXTRACT

Refreshing Drinks for Summer
2 tablespoons BROKEN ICE
2 tablespoons CHOCOLATE SYRUP
3 tablespoons WHIPPED CREAM
1/2 cup MILK
1/4 cup SODA WATER
1 tablespoon VANILLA ICE CREAM (optional)

1. To make the chocolate syrup: boil 1 cup of water, dissolve the cocoa in it when boiling, add the sugar, simmer about 3 more minutes, remove from heat, and add vanilla extract. Let cool before using.
2. To make a refreshing drink: Essentially mix all ingredients together. See "The Verdict" for serving suggestions.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.