Forecast call for snow? Temperatures barely above freezing? An arctic wind blowing in? That’s great news! We can’t wait!
No, we haven’t lost our minds or moved to Honolulu. Cold conditions are the perfect excuse to fix a steaming cup of hot chocolate that’s been spiked with some of your favorite spirits. While you could just add a jigger of rum or bourbon to your standard recipe, we asked a few top bartenders from frigid locales to share with us the secrets to their special boozy cocoas.
Canadian Lauren Mote is no stranger to chilly weather. And the Uva Wine Bar manager and co-founder of the Bittered Sling line of bitters has invented a sophisticated hot-and-chocolaty drink, the Whistler. Named for the ski area near Mote’s home of Vancouver (which hosted several events of the 2010 Winter Olympics), this mix of cognac, crème de cacao and Green Chartreuse with steamed milk will warm the heart of any cocktail lover.
When snow starts to fall in Denver, all-star barman Sean Kenyon looks south of the border for inspiration. His Café Quetzalcoatl combines mezcal, a fiery homemade chile tincture and spiced Mexican hot chocolate with coffee—it’s just the thing to chase away a chill.
But on the other hand, not every adult hot chocolate recipe has to be, well, hot. The Chocomole (pictured above) is a cocoa-and-tequila shot that’s served chilled—but it gets its heat from spices including cumin, cinnamon, guajillo peppers and a chile-powder rim. Talented cocktail-consultant duo the Tipping Bros. created this intriguing concoction for the Mercadito restaurant group, which has locations in New York, Chicago and Miami.