After a demanding afternoon of searching for thoughtful Christmas presents for every member of my extended family (and ending up with scarves), I was in dire need of a hot chocolate break. Serendipitously, an L.A. Burdick outpost was on route, so I stopped in for a rich dark cup, which was beautifully blended with Macallan 12 (a household favorite). I had department stores to tackle, after all.
Typically, when I’m concocting my own boozy hot cocoa, I tend to use lower quality liquor, but this was a special occasion (I was stressed). At L.A. Burdick, they mix 6 to 8 tablespoons of their shaved chocolate with 3 quarters to 1 cup of scalding hot milk and a half ounce of Scotch. If you’re making yours at home, you can sub in whatever bittersweet (60 percent cacao) or semisweet chocolate you prefer and add a good deal more alcohol. Depending on your mood, Cointreau, vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, Baileys, and of course any flavor of Kahlua will transform your hot chocolate to the next level of bliss. Gourmet’s Grasshopper Hot Chocolate, which uses crème de menthe, is a nice cooling option. Personally, I prefer the warming elements of a brandy or whiskey to top off my drink (they play better with chocolate than vodka or liqueurs) but no matter the spirit, this winter staple will ward off any shopping-induced temper tantrums.
What do you spike your hot chocolate with?