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How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate Ever

Wrapping your hands around a mug of creamy hot chocolate is the perfect conclusion to pretty much any winter activity. Whether you’re recovering from a day of making snow angels, falling on your butt on the skating rink one too many times, or wrapping gifts shaped like they were run over by Santa’s sleigh, a hot cup of cocoa takes all the pain away.

Everyone knows the basic recipe for this classic beverage, but if you really want to turbo charge your hot chocolate game, I’ve got a few delicious suggestions:

How to make a classic hot chocolate

The Classic: Hot Cocoa Recipe


4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)

Pinch of salt

2 cups milk or half + half (or your favorite milk substitute)

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Boozy Addition: Whipped cream vodka or Irish cream liqueur (such as Bailey’s)


Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons of milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Turn up the heat to medium and whisk in the rest of the milk. Keep whisking occasionally until heated through. Stir in the vanilla and serve.

Recipe to make Mexican Hot Chocolate

The Fancy Pants: Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe


4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 small chunk of your favorite dark chocolate

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 pinch of chili powder

3/4 cup of milk or half + half (or your favorite milk substitute)

Boozy Addition: Spiced rum or tequila (if you dare)


Whisk together the cocoa, cinnamon, and chili powder. Add the dark chocolate and pour in the milk. Add the milk and stir until everything is melted together and heated through. Stir in the vanilla, add a touch of your favorite sweetener (optional) and serve.

Recipe to make Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

The Hack: Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Recipe


1 to 2 tablespoons of leftover chocolate hazelnut spread (in the bottom of the jar)

1 cup of hot milk or half + half (or your favorite milk substitute)

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Boozy Addition: Bourbon or Kahlua


Grab the jar of almost-empty-scrape-the-bottom chocolate hazelnut spread (or your favorite nut butter), add the warm milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Shake well to combine.  Pour in a mug or (better yet) drink directly from the jar.

If you like your hot chocolate frothy, blend any of these recipes in a blender and garnish with cinnamon sticks or chocolate shavings if you’re feeling super fancy.



5 thoughts on “How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate Ever”

  1. Barbara Jarding says:

    The Mexican hot chocolate recipe is probably the worst cocoa i have ever tasted. Something has to be wrong with that recipe.

    1. Oli Maughan says:

      Barbara you were so right…we forgot the milk! We’d love to send you a selection of our food to try for your trouble, send us an e-mail at with your mailing information and we’ll have it send out next week!

    2. Erica kaste says:

      I am from Mèxico, and we never prepare the hot chocolate with chili powder or tequila! and the cinnamon has to be a cinamon stick not ground.

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