What’s Up With Dudes and Hot Chocolate?

posted in: Day In The Life 21
Delicious hot chocolate. Photo: Wikipedia.
Mmm. Chocolate-y and hot and vanilla-y. Photo: Wikipedia.


WARNING: This post is full of admittedly lame stereotypes (e.g., women love chocolate) and also conclusions drawn from non-scientific data. Enjoy!

You will often find me enjoying a hot beverage in the afternoon. Sometimes, I drink alone. Sometimes, I will have female company, such as a sister or girlfriend. Other times, it’s a fella I’ve got with me as we order drinks and then try not to burn our mouths on our drinks.

Maybe I’m at a rehearsal and a male colleague and I pop over to Starbucks for a quick break. Maybe a hot beverage occurs because a gentleman and I are on a date in the afternoon and we decide to do something cute, like walk, and a warm drink sounds like a good addition to the moment.

Yesterday, because I was with a dude and we got hot drinks, I realized something:

Dudes like hot chocolate. It’s a thing.

I’m making this claim because I have a ton of anecdotal evidence to support it. (Please add your own evidence in the comments and let’s see if we can really give this silly, useless-but-still-interesting-slash-endearing observation some legs.) Here are four examples of guys liking hot chocolate. I’d like to call them Choco Case Studies.

Choco Case Study No. 1
Technically, my first date with Claus was when he saw me performing onstage at the Green Mill and we stayed up talking until the wee hours. But our first official “Do you want to go with me to _____?” date was at a restaurant on Michigan Avenue the following afternoon. I, being hungover and a lady, ordered a kir royale — and Claus ordered a hot chocolate. This struck me as adorable, especially after my second kir royale. Over the course of the next 18 months, I would see Claus order many hot chocolates.

Choco Case Study No. 2
My friend John? Hot chocolate-holic! He’s always drinking them, even in warmer weather.

Choco Case Study No. 3
Juan Carlos, a new friend I’ve made at school, suggested the other day that I could come hang out at his photography studio and work on my big project for my Design For Writers class while he finished preparing his critique. “We could get a lot done,” he said, then: “We could have hot chocolate.”

Choco Case Study No. 4
Why, just yesterday I had a bite to eat with Brian, another new school friend who also works at the newspaper. When the waiter put down our mugs — it was the brunch hour — mine was full of coffee. “What did you order?” I asked, eyeing his cup’s foamy top. “Hot chocolate,” he replied, and took a swig. This is when I realized a pattern was emerging.

What is it with dudes and hot chocolate? I don’t know any woman who orders hot chocolate unless she’s ice skating or carolling.

Personally, I don’t order hot chocolate because I usually have some kind of chocolate in my purse, which means I’ve probably recently had some chocolate and I’m good. This always-at-hand chocolate leads me to order a black coffee, for example, when making my hot beverage selection. Do men order hot chocolate more than women because they have low blood-chocolate levels? If this is the case, we need to fully support these hot chocolate orders.

Perhaps men like drinking hot chocolate because it’s an historically manly thing to do. I did some research (e.g., googling “what’s the deal with guys and hot chocolate?”) and it turns out, history is full of stories of conquistadors and explorers drinking great quantities of hot chocolate on their travels and pillages. Robert Falcon Scott trekked through Antarctica in 1912 and survived (at least for awhile) on stew and hot chocolate. Before that, Aztec heavy Montezuma drank something like 50 goblets of it a day. Even if a goblet is not that big, that’s a lot of cocoa.

Maybe “guys” don’t drink a lot of hot chocolate at all; maybe I just happen to know a bunch of guys who do. Maybe I’m dealing with grave confirmation bias.

Or… Oh, dear. Maybe all the Choco Case Studies I cited are flipped around entirely and I’ve really got this whole thing wrong. Maybe Claus, John, Juan Carlos, and Brian have all thought at one time or another, “Why is it that when I’m around Mary Fons I want to drink hot chocolate?”

Science is hard.



21 Responses

  1. Debra White
    | Reply

    My hubby always orders hot choclate! It’s usuallg a skinny latte for me. I think you are on to something.

  2. Colleen
    | Reply

    My husband quit caffeine, smoking, fried foods all at once. He does drink hot chocolate with whipped cream and he says it is very filling to him…..So he does not order hot chocolate with breakfast because he would not be able to eat his meal and drink his drink.
    Me it’s caffeine all the way no alcohol no wine hot drinks in the AM cold drinks when it’s hot out sometimes iced tea oh and water that’s it simple caffeine or water
    I tried Starbucks hot chocolate it was not tasty to me
    I do like Mexican hot cocoa it’s made with the addition of cinnamon but it’s rare that we make it or somewhere where it’s offered same with Mexican coffee has cinnamon added to the coffee grounds so so yummy

  3. H Diane Lewis
    | Reply

    It is definitely YOU.

  4. Jackie O
    | Reply

    I want to know how RFS transported his hot chocolate in Antarctica in 1912! Did he have packets?…Or maybe the rectangular container with the metal circle lid in the middle of the top of the container? Did he have an industrial size chunk of chocolate that he shaved thin? And did he melt ice to make his drink?….or have a milking goat along? Lots of questions!!

  5. Becky M
    | Reply

    I have an alternative theory. I think hot chocolate is just about the best drink out there. But women have been “trained/socialized” not to drink their calories. If that hadn’t happened, we’d all be drinking that afternoon hot chocolate.

  6. AJ
    | Reply

    I make hot chocolate mix every December for friends and colleagues and the men in my life are usually the most excited to receive it. Many have commented that their mothers made hot chocolate for them when they were kids so perhaps there is a connection there. However, I am sure those same mothers also made it for their daughters. To quote Alice, “Curiouser and curiouser!”

  7. nadine donovan
    | Reply

    hahahaha- I think you are on to something.. My husband and my sons love hot chocolate. They are always the ones that tell me to buy more at the store and they are the ones that make it and drink it. And yes–I usually carry chocolate in my purse for when the need pounds on my door.

  8. Christine Houghton
    | Reply

    My husband loves hot chocolate and drinks it year round. I only drink it in the winter when it’s cold. Hmmmm!

  9. Jane
    | Reply

    My husband and all 4 sons (adults) LOVE hot chocolate. My husband often drinks it in the evening when he is relaxing and we always take it camping. It is like he can’t survive without his cup of hot chocolate in the morning when we camp, no matter how hot it is that morning. It is definitely a “man thing.”

  10. Baa Goldfarb
    | Reply

    I have the answer! Mom’s who Love chocolate tend to put it up (ie: hide) telling the kids it’s off limits to them, but they do “allow” hot chocolate as a treat & may make a big deal out of it ( although “research” suggests the moms may hide the really good stuff) serving yummy home baked cookies that they just made with their adorable sons, or to warm up cold Tootsie’s after building snowmen & making snow angels outside because they just LOVE them so much & when they grow up they subconsciously equate hot chocolate with all that is good.
    Or….they just like it.

  11. Barbara
    | Reply

    Maybe you bring out the hot chocolate in these guys. My husband likes hot chocolate (sans marshmallows) also. He also loves, loves, loves, did I say loves, mallomars.

  12. Leah Day
    | Reply

    LOL! I’m a hot chocolate girl because I can’t handle caffeine. It makes me really jittery and anxious so I always go for hot chocolate instead. And guess who I mostly buy hot chocolates with? My son! So maybe that’s why all these dudes are getting hot chocolate – they have wonderful memories of drinking it with their awesome moms. Or maybe that’s just my confirmation bias and lots of wishful thinking!

  13. Laura
    | Reply

    Hot chocolate is the ONLY drink my husband will order at Starbucks. We also have two kinds of hot chocolate in our Keurig rack at home.

  14. Rhonda Mossner
    | Reply

    My hubby? It’s salty caramel cocoa or nothing at all. It’s a thing, Mary. Don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it either.

  15. Donna F
    | Reply

    My dad enjoyed cocoa in the afternoon or evening. Real Cocoa made from scratch by by mom. No over sweet instant hot chocolate for him.
    With sadness, I read your disclaimer about the stereotypes. It is too bad we have come to this. That we can not read without the unwritten understanding of something like that.

  16. Christine
    | Reply

    My dad loved hot cocoa. (And hot tea with lots of sugar.) But I think maybe your experience may have to do with the romantic notion of hot chocolate. Like maybe hot chocolate represents a special treat for a special time. Or maybe it’s that you live in a cold city or that you surround yourself with other creative people. Maybe creative people love hot chocolate.
    Truly, though, I wonder if there is a physiological thing – male taste buds preferring a sweet drink.
    I know one thing; I’m going to have some hot chocolate tonight. And I’ll probably have some Thursday when the temperature is to drop to the single digits and the heat has gone out in my office. The technician just told me he had to order a part – adding that I needed to get a space heater going for the next few days……
    Hot chocolate, please!

  17. […] What’s up with dudes and hot chocolate? write Mary Fons. “Dudes like hot chocolate. It’s a thing.” She gives four examples of guys liking hot chocolate in her Choco Case Studies. Well, make me the 5th!–actually the first–since 2008 I have been declaring on Twitter my love for the hot chocolate beverage. If other dudes want to get in on the hot chocolate trend, that’s cool with me! […]

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Matt!! Email me! mary @ maryfons!

  18. […] What’s up with dudes and hot chocolate? write Mary Fons. “Dudes like hot chocolate. It’s a thing.” She gives four examples of guys liking hot chocolate in her Choco Case Studies. Well, make me the 5th!–actually the first–since 2008 I have been declaring on Twitter my love for the hot chocolate beverage. If other dudes want to get in on the hot chocolate trend, that’s cool with me! […]

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