Dyrham Park 17th-century hot chocolate recipe

The Countess of Wessex signs a slate at Dyrham Park

As part of Mr Blathwayt's apartment, you get to sample some 17th-century-style hot chocolate and here is the recipe.

17th-century hot chocolate recipe

Visitors to Mr Blathwayt’s apartment in the house end their journey of discovery with a complimentary sample of hot chocolate made according to a traditional 17th-century recipe.

The drink, which is best consumed in small quantities, is a spicy and milkless take on today’s hot chocolate and is something which would’ve been enjoyed by wealthy men back in the 1600s and 1700s.

Our recipe has been adapted from the first hot chocolate recipe published in English from ‘Chocolate, Or, An Indian drinke’ by Captain James Wadsworth, 1652.

Most people love it, but some really don’t. The Countess of Wessex dubbed it ‘delicious’ on her visit to Dyrham Park.

We make up fresh batches in the tea-room every day and have information about the ingredients, recipe and history. We’ve handed out lots of recipe cards and had people musing over adding a drop of brandy to the mix or how best to serve it at home.

For those who’ve not made it in or who didn’t pick up a recipe leaflet, here it is:


For one cup:

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon star anise
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients and heat slowly.