Merry Christmas! Here’s a Recipe for Peppery and Boozy Hot Cocoa


As the winter cold slowly seesaws its way into our weather routines and families gather for holiday celebrations, many a mug of hot cocoa will be made. But instead of just the same old hot chocolate recipe, why not spruce things up with a few spicy and boozy additions? It’s time for the winter time classic to get an adult update. Here, in honor of your midweek day off, we have three recipes for you to try with New York spirits, unique cocoa mixes, and delicious peppery improvements.

Spiced Hot Chocolate
by Micaela Piccolo, Distilled NY
1 ounce Frangelico
1 ounce tequila
4 cups whole milk
1 (3.1-ounce) disc Mexican chocolate*
1 cinnamon stick
Chipotle powder or chili powder
*Can be found in Hispanic and gourmet grocery stores

In a heavy sauce pot over medium-high heat, bring the milk, cinnamon stick, and chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture is frothy and the chocolate has dissolved completely. Meanwhile, in a coffee mug, add Frangelico, tequila, and a pinch of chipotle powder or chili powder to taste. When the chocolate is ready, remove it from heat and add it to the cocktail. Garnish with a little bit of sprinkled cinnamon and chipotle powder and serve.

The Dolce Vite Chocolatto® Spicy Toddy
by Warren Bobrow

1 ounce Dolce Vite Chocolatto® hot chocolate mix
1/2 ounce Brooklyn Roasting Company Columbian Coffee Liqueur
1/2 ounce Owney’s Vanilla Bean Small Batch Rum
1/2 ounce espresso coffee
3 ounces Steamed whole milk
Extremely tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
Bitter Truth Orange Bitters

Mix together Dolce Vite Chocolatto® mix with the milk and espresso and bring to a boil. Heat until thick. Add the rum and the coffee liqueur to the hot chocolate and stir to combine. Top with a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper over the top. Add a shake or two of the Bitter Truth Orange bitters over the top of the cayenne pepper. Spoon and enjoy.

by Mayur Subbarao, Louro Restaurant

10 drops Bittermens Xocolatl mole bitters
1/2 ounce Bittermens New Orleans Coffee Liqueur
3/4 ounce Fidencio Mezcal Clasico
3/4 ounce Lemon Hart 151 Demerara Rum
5 ounce Piri-piri-spiced hot chocolate* (Grind 1/4 dried piri piri pepper into 4 teaspoons of your favorite cocoa and add the mix to 5 ounces of milk. Warm it while whisking. Or, see note below.)
Cinnamon stick for garnish

Heat 8-ounce glass or mug by rinsing with boiling water. Add all ingredients in order they’re listed. Grate cinnamon and serve.

*Note: Louro’s makes their piri-piri cocoa in larger batches. If you wish to do the same, shave 4 ounces dark chocolate (60 percent), add 1 ounce raw sugar and 0.5 ounces dutch process cocoa and grind 1 dried piri piri pepper into the mix and blend. Use 4 teaspoons of the mix for 5 ounces milk per individual serving. Yields 8 servings.

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