10 Creative Ways To Kick Up Your Cocoa Game This Winter
Photo: Heather Winters (Getty Images)
There’s nothing better than a steaming cup of cocoa during the cold winter months. Creamy chocolate with tiny marshmallows make you feel like a kid again, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to a packet of powder dumped in boiling water. You’re an adult. Drink cocoa like an adult. Turns out, there’s a bonanza of bonbon beverages awaiting you that will make you just as exuberant as tearing open a box of Swiss Miss.
Cocoa’s perfect pairing: Krispy Kreme Has Gingerbread Doughnuts Now
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Spike your silky swirls of chocolate with a sprinkle of chili powder for a subtle smack of heat, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, add in a touch of cayenne to kick your tastebuds into high gear. This fiesta in drink form is so tantalizing, you may never go back to plain hot cocoa again. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/5PH
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Peppermint and chocolate go hand-in-hand, but you can up the wow factor by mixing chocolate liqueur with peppermint schnapps to get toasted while you’re getting toasty. Like we said, you’re an adult. Go on and indulge in a 21+ cup of cheer with a refreshing minty aftertaste. That special someone in your life will appreciate it. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/bhofack2
Raspberry Hot Chocolate
If you’ve ever had a flourless chocolate cake drizzled in raspberry sauce with bright bursts of fresh berries on top, you know that this combination is a can’t miss. A few spoonfuls of raspberry liqueur turn that decadent dessert into a lush liquid you can indulge in all night long without the guilt – or the calories. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/Veselova Elena
Just because it’s freezing outside doesn’t mean you have to forgo tropical flavors. Transform this wintertime drink into an island delight with a splash of coconut rum, coconut milk, and bits of toasted coconut that will make you forget all about the temperature outside. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/byheaven
Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate
Snickerdoodle is fun to say, but it's even more fun to drink, especially as a buttery beverage frothed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla over velvety white chocolate. Cookies in a cup? Sign us up! Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/Arx0nt
Red Velvet Cocoa
The cupcake no longer has the market cornered on red velvet. Now, you can convert your cocoa into a rich red respite with a little food coloring and a whole lot of creativity.
Just add vanilla, half and half, and powdered sugar to simulate that luscious cream cheese frosting, languishing over layers of melted semi-sweet chocolate, and skip the trip to the bakery. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/invizbk
S'mores Hot Chocolate
S’mores combines the best of both worlds by upgrading your standard marshmallow garnish with graham cracker crumbles and gooey fudge atop a pool of piping hot chocolate that will make you feel like you’re sipping cocoa by a campfire even if your house is fireplace-free. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/Lauri Patterson
Cheesecake Hot Chocolate
There’s nothing that can’t be solved over a slice of cheesecake. The Golden Girls knew it, and we know it. Yes, we just made a Golden Girls reference. But those sassy ladies were onto something, and it’s even better melted down into a lush cup of cream cheese, combined with smooth white chocolate, hints of vanilla, and crushed graham crackers to mimic a crust.
So, sit back, relax, and take comfort that whatever ails you will be solved in under 22 minutes sipping on this luxurious liquid. No baking or laugh track required. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/Rimma Bondarenko
White Russian Hot Chocolate
Grab a bottle of Kahlua for this dude-approved beverage, and pour it liberally over hot chocolate, warm milk, and a splash of vodka. There may be fancier cocoas out there, but that’s just, like, your opinion, man. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/bbq
Mint Chocolate Cocoa Float
If you think floats are just for summertime, you’re missing out on a blustery breeze of cool mint, courtesy of a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream perched atop a pool of luxurious dark chocolate. The ice cream cools the molten liquid as you enjoy festive flavors by the spoonful. Go on, add another dollop before you reach the bottom. We won’t tell. Get the recipe here.
Photo: Getty Images/Roxiller