From gingerbread to eggnog, the winter is never short on sweet treats. But this year, chefs across the country are pushing the envelope by creating some incredibly creative and high quality hot chocolates. Try one of these delicious creations for a whole new take on a childhood favorite.
At Trentina, beverage director Nate Hoffa mixes heavy cream and milk with Valrhona’s gianduja (dark chocolate with hazelnuts), Okinawa black sugar and a Rare Tea cellar chocolate pu-erh (a dark fermented tea with cocoa nibs) to create a winter treat folks adore at the Northern Italian-style eatery.
Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
At this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star gem in New Mexico, the food and beverage team elected to put a regional twist on things with its green chile hot chocolate. This spicy take on the classic not only features green chile powder, but piloncillo sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and whipped cream as well.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort
The St. Regis Aspen Resort stepped up its hot cocoa game this year by adding a boozy collection of marshmallow cocktails to the menu, each served in a miniature martini glass. Marshmallow flavors include dipped strawberry with Godiva chocolate liqueur and crème de cacao; candy apple with German apple liqueur; and candy cane with peppermint schnapps. Guests can order the entire tray of four and have a blast mixing and matching marshmallows in their cocoa.
The London West Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles
At this sharp L.A. property, chef Gordon Ramsay has created two elevated hot cocoa cocktails for you to try. One features Patrón XO Cafe tequila, chocolate liqueur, coffee and spice, while the other is sweetened with dark chocolate and caramel and given a shot of craft bourbon before it’s served with a salted caramel rim.
At The Hub’s Bondir, diners combat the frigid cold with chef/owner Jason Bond’s own blend of calabrese chili hot cocoa. He serves it with a ras el hanout-spiced marshmallow in a one-of-a-kind antique teacup.
B Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Though January lows in these parts hit a “frigid” 65 degrees, the new B Resort & Spa’s American Q bar and lounge serves a decadent bourbon and bacon hot cocoa made with bacon fat, bourbon, cocoa powder, sugar, heavy cream and topped with caramelized “swine candy” (glazed bacon). Oh, and it comes in a mason jar.
Mott Street, Chicago
Mott Street partner and beverage director Nate Chung invented an innovative hot chocolate showcasing the restaurant’s East Asian roots. The concoction is made using Callebaut 65 percent dark chocolate, Szechuan peppercorns, Mexican chiles and sea salt, and is paired with a playful Pocky stick.