There’s nothing that beats a soothing hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Unless you make it a boozy one.
Celebrating National Hot Chocolate Day on January 31st is the most perfect timing.
At least when you live in Europe. Because the weather in late January will be typically fairly miserable with cold, windy, and wet days. In fact, while typing these lines, I can hear the wind blowing outside, and dark greyish clouds threatening icy rain and even some snow.
In other words, it’s time to turn to a comforting steaming cup of hot chocolate.
By the way, did you know chocolate was first consumed exclusively in liquid form?
Yes indeed. More than 3,000 years ago, Aztec, Maya and Toltec people cultivated cocoa trees and prepared a drink from the cocoa beans growing on them.
Only around the end of the 16th century, chocolate was brought to Europe, and sweetened with cinnamon and vanilla, became a favourite drink at the court of the Spanish kings.
Today, there must be thousands and more recipes incorporating chocolate. From drinks to sweets (desserts, cookies, cakes) and even hearty food flavoured with chocolate like steak or game with chocolate sauce.
Honestly, only your own imagination will limit you in the usage of chocolate in whatever form.
All that said, there are few things that top a cup of steaming hot chocolate. Unless you make it a cup of steaming hot chocolate with a nice splash of alcohol.
Eggnog Hot Chocolate
Differently to other parts of the world, where eggnog is predominantly a drink for the festive season, over here in Europe, it’s perhaps less popular (albeit this is currently changing rapidly) yet it’s a drink enjoyed all year.
Paired with the slightly sweetened hot chocolate, it’s the perfect drink for a cold winter evening.
500 ml milk
200 ml heavy cream
80 ml eggnog
80 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
pinch of salt
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, chocolate, cocoa powder, cardamom, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Meanwhile, beet the heavy cream stiff. Slowly add the eggnog and continue to beet shortly.
Pour the hot chocolate in a cup or glass, then top up with the eggnog whipped cream.
Drizzle with a few drops of eggnog.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
A spicy hot chocolate? That’s a definite yes for me. It’s the perfect drink to warm you up, especially adding a splash of Mezcal.
500 ml milk
100 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
100 ml mezcal
In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Add chili, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
Whisk the hot milk into the chocolate mix. Stir in sugar until completely dissolved then add the mezcal.
Using a handheld blender, mix the hot chocolate shortly then pour into two cups or glasses.
You are familiar with Irish Coffee but have never tried an Irish Hot Chocolate? Believe me, it’s time you do.
Differently to Irish Coffee, Irish Hot Chocolate is made with both whiskey and Guinness.
500 ml milk
200 ml Guinness
1 large tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maple sirup (alternatively honey)
50 ml Irish whiskey
In a small saucepan, bring Guinness to boil over medium heat. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Skim off the foam with a ladle.
In a bowl, mix cocoa powder and syrup until smooth. Stir in the Guinness.
In a saucepan, teat milk over medium heat. Stir in the Guinness-cocoa mix then take from the heat.
Add whiskey and using a handheld blender, mix the hot chocolate shortly, then pour into two cups or glasses.