Some people’s January pasttimes include taking a barre class, or knitting, or creating some kickass ceramics. Mine, on the other hand, primarily consist of binge watching Netflix shows, reading a few book club picks, and sipping (read: chugging) hot chocolate. Admittedly, I may not be making the healthiest of lifestyle choices, but they certainly are good for the soul. With that in mind, I’ve decided to share my expert cocoa knowledge and favorite recipes with you—because chocolate, warm or not, has the power to make the world a better place.
1. Use Coconut Milk
It’s thicker than non-fat/low-fat milk and has a little kick. And we all know that the heavier the base, the better the hot chocolate will be in terms of consistency and overall enjoyment. Also acceptable: Almond and soy milk.
TRY: Hellobee’s Homemade Coconut Hot Chocolate Recipe
PHOTO CREDIT: Hellobee
2. Spike It
When a former NYLON intern told me to add some red wine into my hot cocoa, I may have gagged a little. But, on a particularly odd evening, I decided to try it out. It has since become one of my favorite pairings ever. You could also go the traditional route and add a heavy hand of Baileys, but that really doesn’t sound as fun, does it?
TRY: Saveur’s Bittersweet Hot Chocolate With Red Wine Recipe
PHOTO CREDIT: Maxime Iattoni, via Saveur
3. Use Nutella
TRY: The Hungry Housewife’s Nutella Hot Chocolate Recipe
PHOTO CREDIT: The Hungry Housewife
4. Make Homemade Marshmallows
Yes, this method does take more time and energy than stuffing your hand in a bag of Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows, but it pays off. Plus, it really doesn’t take that much time to prepare and you can add in whatever flavor your heart desires.
TRY: The Kitchn’s Fluffy Marshmallow Recipe
PHOTO CREDIT: The Kitchn
5. Broil The Marshmallows
All you have to do to get campfire-esque mallows is to pop your mug into the oven and hit “broil.”
TRY: Amanda K. By The Bay’s Broiled Bailey’s Hot Chocolate (or, as I like to call it, the best of everything)
PHOTO CREDIT: Amanda K. By The Bay
6. Experiment With Flavors
Sure, a traditional hot cocoa is great, as is one with Nutella in it, but it’s always great to add a bit of diversity to your day. Throw in some Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter, vanilla, or even lavendar.
TRY: One Ordinary Day’s Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Recipe
IMAGE CREDIT: One Ordinary Day