In the 1990s, cocktail menus were filled with chocolate cocktails: choco-tinis, Godiva confections, and so on. And two "Chocolate Cocktail"s appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book. But in the 1890s, another "chocolate cocktail" was sliding across the bar.
Except, it didn't have any chocolate in it.
Drinking chocolate was still a luxury, and we assume that cocoa powder was too expensive to use in mixed drinks. So bartenders came up with a creamy, frothy mix that looked a whole lot like drinking chocolate, and even tasted a bit like it. In George J. Kappeler's 1895 book Modern American Drinks, the following recipe for the "Chocolate Cocktail" appears on page 34:
The mouth-feel of the drink is a great deal like cool drinking chocolate. The closest point of reference is chocolate milk (or--and we mean this as a good thing--spiked Yoo-Hoo). The sweet of the chocolate comes from the sugar; the bite comes from the bitters; and the fruit and wood flavors of chocolate in the port. It's not going to fool anyone, but for a 19th-century drinking public clamoring for the smooth feel of liquid chocolate, this would be just the thing.
I'm sure the choco-tini crowd will be clamoring for this drink: after all, there are fewer calories in a whole egg than in an ounce of Godiva chocolate liqueur.