Check Out These Ideas to Warm Up This Winter With Hot Cocoa
Give Me Flavor
Much like coffee or espresso, you can treat hot cocoa as the base of a drink. The simplest way to do this is to add flavoring syrups to your hot cocoa. With the wide range of flavors available, you can add just about any flavor you wish to your hot cocoa. Based on your own tastes, add 1/2- to 1-ounce of flavoring, or a combination of flavorings, to your hot cocoa. Some popular choices are:
Peppermint - This one is perfect for the upcoming holidays. Have your favorite peppermint syrup on hand (Monin, DaVinci, Dolce) and add a splash to your hot cocoa. Top with whipped cream and garnish with either a peppermint candy or, better yet, a candy cane!
Salted Caramel - One of the newest flavor sensations is salted caramel. Add this syrup to your hot cocoa for an updated and trendy twist to your holiday hot cocoa. (Monin) Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Pumpkin Spice - Sure, there’s pumpkin spice everything, but that’s because it tastes so darn good! Add Pumpkin Spice Cocoa to your winter warmers and you’ll never go back to PSL. (Monin) Top with marshmallows and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice (you can find this in the spice section at your favorite grocery store).
Cinnamon - Perfect for any time of year (because you don’t HAVE to wait until it’s cold to drink hot chocolate) cinnamon syrup can give your hot cocoa that spicy bite you’re looking for. (Monin, DaVinci, Dolce) Add a simple cinnamon stick to garnish.
If you’re throwing a party for the under-21 crowd, consider setting up a hot chocolate bar. Include hot cocoa, hot white chocolate, four to eight different flavoring syrups, and toppings like marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, sprinkles, crushed candies, cinnamon sticks, and candy canes.
Not only can you add flavoring syrups to your hot chocolate, there are plenty of recipes for boozy cocoas, but remember, these recipes are not kid friendly.
Kahlua - One of the easiest ways to add a little spirit to your hot cocoa is with Kahlua. This coffee flavored liqueur is delicious and a simple way to add a little fun flavor. Simply stir an ounce of Kahlua into your hot chocolate and top with marshmallows. Drizzle some caramel and chocolate syrup on top and add a sprinkle of nutmeg for that extra special twist.
Whiskey - To really warm you up on a cold night, add a shot of whiskey to your hot cocoa. Long thought to be medicinal, whiskey is a great way to fight off the chill of winter. With the different types of whiskeys available, make sure to choose something you like to drink. An Irish whiskey might be best due to its mild flavor. Unless you particularly like the smoky flavors of peated whiskeys I would suggest saving those for drinking straight. Top with mini marshmallows and drizzle with chocolate syrup.
Bourbon - Sure bourbon is a type of whiskey but with a flavor all its own it deserves its own mention. Much like the whiskey hot cocoa, add a shot of your favorite bourbon to your hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and to really bring out the subtle flavors in the bourbon, sprinkle with cardamom.
Red Wine - Really? Red wine and hot cocoa? With the insane number of results when searching for red wine hot chocolate recipes, I’d have to say, yes, really! My favorite recipe for this? McCormick’s crockpot red wine hot cocoa. This is perfect for gift wrapping parties or white elephant exchanges. It’s super rich so be sure to serve something light with it.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy hot cocoa? Tell us in the comments below. For your hot cocoa mix, head over to CoffeeAM for delicious choices.