5 Holiday Hot Chocolates & Drinks You MUST Try
2022 Dec 13th
It’s the holidays, and that means it’s time to enjoy some warm drinks by the fireplace! There’s nothing wrong with a quick cup of hot chocolate powder with milk, but with a little time and a few extra ingredients, there are endless ways to make your drinks a little more magical.
We’ve put together our favourite hot chocolate and coffee drinks just for you, so you can add a little extra holiday spirit to your coziest winter delights. Whether you’re wrapping up under a cozy blanket waiting late for Santa, or just nestling into a pile of cushions while you wake up, a special toasty drink will give the perfect finish to your holiday traditions.
So grab some chocolate, prepare your prettiest mug, and get ready to curl up with a dreamy warm drink!
Mochas are an underrated Christmas classic for coffee lovers, combining the nutty notes of coffee with the sweet chocolate tastes of holiday sweets! Not only is it incredibly flexible, but it’s sure to bring several additional flavours to your favourite roasts. Plus, it’s a surprisingly simple drink that even non-coffee drinkers can easily enjoy!
- 1 milk Chocolate Bar
- 1 shot of espresso
- ¾ cup of milk
- 1 candy cane
This recipe can take all sorts of substitutions. For starters, the chocolate bar can be swapped out with any rich chocolate, such as chocolate syrup or even a few teaspoons of hot chocolate mix. We also suggest milk chocolate, but there’s no rule saying you can’t go for a more bitter dark chocolate if you prefer a little bite.
Lastly, while mochas are traditionally made with a shot of espresso, this recipe fits naturally with any dark coffee. Simply lessen the amount of milk to be about a half to a quarter of your mug, just so you don’t overpower your coffee with too much sweetness!
Pour your milk into a saucepan over medium heat, bringing it to a nice simmer.
Once it starts heating up, add a few squares of your chocolate bar in and continue to stir, ensuring that any solid chocolate fully melts.
Take your milk off the heat, prepare your coffee or espresso and add it to your mug. Pour your milk mixture over it and stir until all the flavours are mixed.
Add your candy cane and any other garnishes you’d like, and let sit for just 2-3 minutes! This will allow your candy cane to dissolve slightly into your drink, filling it with a minty finish that’s ready to enjoy.
Toasty S'mores Latte
Camping season might be a few months away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a signature fireplace treat in the wintertime. Chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers are too delicious of a combination to save for the summer, and this treat only gets better with a warm mug to hold it in!
- 2 graham crackers
- 3-4 marshmallows
- 1 shot espresso
- ¾ cup of steamed Milk
- 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
This is a highly flexible recipe, but it strongly benefits from a nice shot of espresso to balance out the sweetness. If you’re not the biggest coffee fan though, you can certainly substitute the espresso and steamed milk for a dark hot chocolate with whipped cream instead, since milkier hot chocolates might make the s’more parts a little less distinctive!
Start by crushing a few graham crackers in a small ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Make sure your crumbs are as small as can be, but there’s no need to fret if they’re a little uneven or you have some bigger boys in the mix! Then, simply pour over a separate flat plate.
Pour an even layer of chocolate syrup over another flat plate and press the rim of your mug into it, moving it in small circles to get a nice even rim of chocolate. Lift it off gently, and press again into the plate with your graham cracker crumbs to cover it as much as possible.
Pour in your espresso first, being careful not to get any on the rim or soak the graham crackers. Next, slowly pour your steamed milk overtop, and gently stir so it’s evenly mixed with the espresso.
Safely toast your marshmallows in an oven or toaster oven until they’re lightly golden, or put them in the microwave until they start expanding. Once they’re softer or toastier over their surface, drop them right into your drink like a classic hot chocolate. Let them sit for 60 seconds so they can begin melting into your drink, and enjoy!
Sweet & Spicy Szechuan Hot Chocolate
This drink is a little more complex than your average hot chocolate, but is sure to pleasantly surprise anyone who tries it! The fusion of Asian spices with your classic hot cocoa is sure to make your taste buds dance ー plus, the extra spices will warm you up even more than your usual warm drink! If you like a little spice with your sweetness, this drink is absolutely for you.
- 2½ cups dairy or non-dairy milk of choice
- 3 star anise (plus some extra for garnish)
- ½ tsp fennel seed
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp Korean chili flakes
- ½ tsp whole Szechuan peppercorns, finely ground
- 1 oz bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%), finely chopped
- 2 tsp cocoa powder (plus more for serving)
- 1-2 tbsp sugar (to taste)
This drink features a beautiful mix of unique flavours, but it requires a bit more precision than our other drinks to get the ideal mix of sweet and spicy. If you’re unable to find this specific mix, you can replace most of the spices with a Chinese 5 spice powder mix. However, we would still recommend adding Szechuan peppercorns separately to ensure its iconic taste.
For another quick shift, you can also sub the chopped chocolate & cocoa powder for any classic hot chocolate mix!
Put all the spices and milk in a small pot or saucepan. Let your mixture simmer for 10-20 minutes over medium-low heat to allow the flavours meld together. Be extra careful not to bring it to a boil, or you might lose the strength of some of your ingredients over time.
Remove your saucepan from the heat. Run the spiced milk through a sieve to get the chunks of spice out, then pour the liquid back into the same saucepan.
Reheat your milk on medium-low heat. Once it’s heated back up, add in the chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar to taste. Whisk your mix until it’s fully melted and smooth.
Pour into your mugs, and top with a few star anise for some extra flavour, aroma, and style! Serve immediately and enjoy your sweet and spicy concoction.
Sleepytime Cocoa with Healthy Marshmallows
The detailed ingredients in this recipe have been tailored towards nighttime enjoyment, with the goal of dodging any sugar-induced sleeplessness ー all with the help of some heavenly homemade marshmallows! Alongside its dreamy powers, this drink also features incredibly smooth natural flavours, which are sure to delight your palate without being overpowering.
- 1 ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¼ cup gelatin powder (we used grass-fed)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup honey or maple syrup (we used half/half)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
This drink’s strengths are greatest when you follow the recipe precisely, but feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your preferences. Almond butter can be substituted with peanut or any other nut butter; similarly, you may swap the coconut milk for your favourite milk of choice. For a sweeter sip, you can double the maple syrup for an extra tasty treat that’ll leave you smiling all night long.
Mix ½ cup water with the gelatin powder until just combined. In a small saucepan, whisk the remaining water, honey and salt over medium-high heat until mixture starts to boil, and continue whisking for 5 minutes.
With your standing or hand mixer turned on low, slowly pour the honey mixture into the gelatin mixture, turning the mixer on high for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture turns white, thick and peaks begin to form.
Quickly pour your marshmallow batter into a tray lined with parchment paper. Smooth it out and leave it to set for a few hours, ideally overnight. Do not refrigerate. Once set, cut into squares. They will last for 2-3 weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temp.
Add all cocoa ingredients to a blender and blend until the mixture is combined.
Add to a small saucepan and heat over the stove. Once warmed, pour into your mug of choice and add your marshmallows, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top, and serve!
White Unicorn Hot Chocolate
For both kids and adults that love a little magic, this mythically-inspired drink features a specialty tres leches milk mix that makes every sweet a little extra special. Topped with all the sugary treats you could imagine, this dessert is sure to give you the excitement of Christmas morning the entire time it’s in your hands.
- ⅓ cup evaporated milk
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- ⅓ cup condensed milk
- 1 white chocolate bar
- ¼ cup whipped Cream
- 1 tbsp confetti sprinkles
- 2 tbsp miniature rainbow marshmallows
- 1 vanilla wafer cookie
Unlike the last two drinks, the measurements in this drink can be pretty flexible! If you don’t happen to have the three milk types on-hand, you can certainly make this with your traditional milk instead. However, we strongly suggest bringing these together for the tres leches mix, as it’ll give your unique drink a much richer taste!
For the tres leches milk, mix equal parts evaporated milk, coconut milk, and condensed milk and gently stir.
Place your tres leches milk into a saucepan over medium heat, or place in the microwave. Break off ¼ to ½ of your white chocolate bar depending on how sweet you’d like it, and place in the milk while it’s heating up. Stir your liquid regularly throughout, and continue until the chocolate bar is completely melted.
Pour your drink into your mug, then cover with a huge dollop of whipped cream. This will give your decorations more room to stick to, so feel free to make it as high as you can without spilling!
To decorate cleanly, start by adding your rainbow marshmallows and press them into the whipped cream to get them secure. Next, start covering with your most colourful sprinkles to give your unicorn some extra sparkle, and feel free to shave some of your leftover chocolate for some extra flair.
Carefully cut your vanilla wafer diagonally to make a horn, and gently place it half-way into the whipped cream to give your unicorn its horn.
We hope you’ve enjoyed a look into our favourite drinks, and we hope you have fun making them yourself! For more of our favourite recipes and DIY ideas, subscribe to our mailing list so we can keep you posted on all our best seasonal crafts! Plus, be sure to also check out any of our 75+ stores so you can replace anything you’ve just used for your crafts.