Food

Cuckoo for cocoa: Check out these crazy new ways to drink (and eat!) chocolate milk

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Got chocolate milk? For reasons not entirely clear, today has been set aside as a holiday (ok, a minor holiday) to celebrate everyone's favorite childhood drink. Yup, September 27 is National Chocolate Milk Day. Smithsonian.com credits Jamaica with the invention of chocolate milk, but Americans have adopted it as our very own. And luckily, there are all kinds of delicious new grown-up ways to enjoy chocolate milk and save face. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it more grown-up, more nouveau and even more scrumptious. 

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Fried chocolate milk? Believe it-- and try it in the signature dessert at Austin's Uchiko.

First tip for making something great taste even better? Fry it, of course. But how do you you fry chocolate milk? Leave it to the pros at Uchiko, where Top Chef winner Paul Qui's signature dessert is fried milk with chocolate milk, toasted milk, and iced milk sorbet. There are small, crunchy nuggets of warm milk. There is a bar of creamy, fudgy chocolate milk goodness. There are cornflakes and crunchy chocolate wafers. It's cold, hot and utterly unexpected. Move over, Nesquik.

Chocolate milk is often described as sweet and creamy. Salty? Not so much. Unless, of course, you're Manny from “Modern Family.” This beloved oddball TV tween salts his chocolate milk, and Ben Mandelker from B-Side Pop just had to see what the fuss was about. His version of salted chocolate milk is as simple as you might assume—get some chocolate milk, add salt—but the taste is more complex. Not since Vitameatavegamin has a TV character been so helpful in the kitchen.

Leanne Vogel / Today
Vegans can join in the fun, too: This chocolate milk is made with sweet potato instead of the dairy stuff.

Maybe you don't want anything fancier than a greasy burger and a cheapo milkshake from a fast food place. That's where this homemade Wendy's Frosty comes into play: Trains and Tutus and One Good Thing by Jillee show how to make a recipe so simple, it only has three ingredients: whipped topping, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate milk. Combine the three, put them into your ice cream maker, and in a short time, voila. An instant Frosty, without even having to get in the car.

What if you're lactose-intolerant or vegan? Leann Vogel's sweet potato chocolate milk might just do the trick. She combines cooked sweet potatoes, cacao powder and sesame seeds with water to produce a thick, creamy drink that's sweet, nutty and designed to satisfy a chocolate milk craving without any milk at all.

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Naturally, there's a boozy version of chocolate milk: Behold the chocolate margarita.

No matter which version you try, come 5pm, you might be craving something a little boozier. Turn to The Texan New Yorker for happy hour-approved chocolate margaritas. Instead of straight-up chocolate milk, these are made with cream and chocolate liqueur, tequila and cinnamon (but who's quibbling?).

And then there's old faithful. The O.G.: plain old homemade chocolate milk. I am Baker gives step-by-step instructions for the creamiest, dreamiest chocolate milk in the world. The recipe uses cocoa powder instead of syrup, and lists substitutions for different diets. But if you want the original version, just follow the extremely simple instructions, and don't be surprised if you find yourself craving another glass. It's okay, you're a grown-up now: Who's to stop you? 

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