Whether you go for the artisanal, small-batch cocoa mixes with locally sourced, hand-hewn marshmallows, or the mass-produced grocery store packets with pellet-style ‘mallows, there’s no denying the power of curling up with a cup of steamy hot chocolate (peppermint schnapps optional). But this season, we’re particularly smitten by these twists on the classic, from Spicy Aztec cocoa to a curry-infused hot chocolate mix.
This Fair Trade-certified hot chocolate mix gets its fiery zing and Mexican flavor profile from spicy cayenne pepper, rounded out with vanilla and fragrant cinnamon. The Aztec is Lake Champlain Chocolate’s best seller, and equally delicious with or without their homemade vanilla marshmallows.
Known throughout the East Coast for its decadent and dreamy chocolate creations, New Hampshire-based L.A. Burdick’s offers three varieties of its “drinking chocolates”, reminiscent of thick, intense European hot chocolate. The white chocolate blend has notes of nutty cocoa butter and aromatic vanilla, and is best served with piping-hot milk or cream, if you’re feeling extra indulgent.
Gingerbread is traditionally a winter thing, and you'd typically serve it alongside hot cocoa—but in it? Williams-Sonoma’s Gingerbread hot chocolate mix combines high-end Guittard chocolate with gingerbread spices for the ultimate seasonal beverage.
For a hot cocoa that packs a real chocolate punch, Burnham and Mills offers the Silly Cow Chocolate Truffle mix, with Dutch processed cocoa and chocolate chips. For a super-tasty adult version, finish with a drizzle of Baileys.
As it turns out, the complex flavors of chocolate and Indian curry go extremely well together, in moderation of course. Cocoa Cravings’ Curried Drinking Chocolate combines the flavors of cardamom, chili powder and nutmeg with organic cocoa, for an unconventionally delicious hot drink.
Laced with island flavors, Stephen’s Toasted Coconut Cocoa gives off a rich nuttiness. Although the weather is hardly tropical, it doesn’t hurt to feel some beach vibes when you’re curling up by the fireplace.
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