Thousands of years ago the process of making hot chocolate was long and tedious. Aztecs roasted the fruit of the cacao tree and ground it with water, chilies, and even corn. They didn’t understand the health benefits, but they knew it packed a punch, and soldiers drank several cups before the battle.

The recipe changed over the years but the tradition carried on and hot cocoa was even given to troops during the Revolutionary War as medicine and wages. Thanks to a Dutch chemist who separated out the cocoa butter, the powder could be mixed for a handy, packable drink.

On National Hot Cocoa Day, celebrate this instant cold weather fix with some whipped cream or marshmallows.

Today we also celebrate: National Violin Day, National Day of the Horse, Pick a Pathologist Pal Day, and National Guard Birthday