The holiday season is here and it’s time to get festive. Whether you are caroling Christmas songs, frying latkes, or opening gifts, a steaming cup of hot chocolate is the perfect way to celebrate your holiday spirit. From spiked hot chocolate to hot chocolate for marshmallow-lovers, we’ve rounded up a tasty bundle of seasonal hot chocolate recipes to please.
Photo: L.A. Burdick
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?
Photo: Romulo Yanes
Now that December is in full swing, we’re turning to a warming mug of some of our favorite hot chocolate recipes to combat the winter chill. Start off with a recipe for Creamy Hot Chocolate and then add your favorite mix-ins and toppings, like chocolate shavings, peppermint marshmallows, and even a pinch of chili powder for a fiery kick in your cup.
I’ll be wrapping up my next dinner party with mugs of Grasshopper Hot Chocolate. It’s a silky infusion of cocoa, crème de cacao, and crème de menthe are sure to make an addictive winter cocktail.
What’s in your mug?
With winter getting started and the holiday season in full swing, now is the perfect time to take a break and enjoy a hot beverage. My favorite warm drink is hot chocolate because it’s comforting, relaxing, and keeps you toasty in the cold. But I want to know:
What’s your favorite warm beverage?