The beverage as prepared in the 17th and 18th centuries was boiled with claret and mixed with eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and spices. Thick with cocoa butter, the mixture had to then be milled, whirled between the hands, to produce a liquid of uniform consistency and desired froth.
The technique is described in John Worlidge's, Vinetum Britannicum, published in 1676: '...be sure whilst it is boyling, keep it stirring, and when it is off the fire, whirr it with your hand mill...and the rough end in the liquor, causes an equal mixture of the liquor with your chocolatte and raises a head or froth over it...'
Michael Clayton refers to other examples in his book, The Collector's Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, Woodbridge, 1985, p. 248.
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