Growing up, the quickly cooling weather and short days meant only one thing: hot chocolate season was upon us. As soon as winter struck with all its windy, chilly and dreary days, the only thing I ever wanted to drink was a scalding mug of watery hot cocoa straight from the packet. Topped with whipped cream from a can, mini marshmallows, sprinkles, and chocolate syrup, this concoction of sugar, sugar, and more sugar was the stuff that fond childhood memories (and dentists’ nightmares) are made of. Years later, I now prefer my hot chocolate to be a little more sophisticated and a lot more chocolatey. Enter drinking chocolate. Thick, rich, and ultimately satisfying, drinking chocolate has become my go-to when that age-old craving strikes. Try Harper Macaw's Tropical Winter Drinking Chocolate, which boasts notes of toasted coconut, cherries, and caramel. Here are ten suggestions for spicing up your own mug of drinking chocolate this winter season.
Steep milk with peppermint tea bag, proceed as directed.
Top with whipped cream and either a candy cane whole, crushed or both.
Use either light or full fat coconut milk (from the can).
Top with whipped coconut cream (also from a can) and toasted shredded coconut.
Cinnamon Chocolate Orange
Steep milk with orange zest and broken up cinnamon stick (or use powdered cinnamon).
Strain the spiced milk before proceeding as directed.
Top with shaved chocolate and powdered cinnamon.
Steep milk with dried chipotle powder, powdered cinnamon, and cayenne before proceeding as directed.
Top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a cinnamon stick.
Steep milk with a pinch of nutmeg and sea salt, then proceed as directed.
Once the drinking chocolate has been removed from heat, stir in the Kahlua.
Top with whipped cream, or mini marshmallows, and drizzle liberally with caramel sauce.
Steep milk with espresso powder, then proceed as directed.
Once the drinking chocolate has been removed from heat, stir in the rum of your choice.
Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and a lady finger for dunking.
Make drinking chocolate as directed.
Top with as many mini marshmallows as possible.
Then, toast the marshmallows with a kitchen torch or by carefully placing mugs under a broiler.
Top that with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate sauce.
Steep milk with your favorite chai tea mix. Strain and proceed as directed.
Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and freshly grated nutmeg.
Double Chocolate, Sea Salt, and Vanilla
Steep milk with the seeds and pods of a vanilla bean, or use pure vanilla extract, strain.
Add a few pinches of high quality cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt to your chocolate before proceeding as directed.
Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate (or cacao nibs!).
Peanut Butter Cup
Blend milk with super smooth, all natural peanut butter (the only ingredient should be peanuts), then proceed as directed.
Top with marshmallows, chocolate sauce, and crumbled peanut butter cups.