Last year the weather reports for California promised the El Niño was coming which was supposed to mean many many opportunities to stay in, warm and dry, and sip on hot drinks. The weather reports couldn’t have been more wrong! Instead of rain filling up our reservoirs, lakes, and packing our mountains with snow, it was one of the hottest years on record! I barely had to wear more than a sweatshirt and my Uggs stayed clean and dry, unworn, in my closet. Hardly the kind of weather for enjoying hot drinks.
This year the weather reports predicted a La Niña, an unusually dry winter. Thankfully, once again, the forecasters have been completely wrong. We are just 3 weeks past the official start of winter and already we’ve had more cold days & nights, more rain than we’ve seen in years, and there’s more to come. Instead of bone dry reservoirs, we are seeing them refilling to levels of 75-80% of capacity. Thank you #PineappleExpress!
That also means that I can finally whip out the recipes I have been sitting on for boozy hot cocoa. Yes!
Mint Cocoa Hot Toddy
- 1 oz Kahlua
- 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
- 1 envelope hot cocoa mix
- 6 oz hot water (or milk, if that’s what pkg calls for)
- Miniature Marshmallows
- Chocolate Shavings
- Cinnamon Stick
- Make 6 oz. of hot cocoa in a 10 oz mug.
- Add the Kahlua and the Schnapps.
- Place 8 or so miniature marshmallows on top.
- Grate some chocolate over the marshmallows, and stir with a cinnamon stick.
Toasted Bailey’s Hot Cocoa
- 3 cups Milk
- 1/3 cup Half and Half
- 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
- In a small saucepan, add milk and half and half. Turn on medium heat and let mixture warm up. Add chocolate chips.
- Let chocolate chips melt in milk mixture, whisking frequently. Once the chocolate has fully combined, add Bailey’s. Stir to combine and transfer to mugs.
- Place marshmallows on top of hot chocolate and toast the tops of your marshmallows with your mini-torch. Once your marshmallows are browned and melty it’s time to enjoy!
Chocolate-Orange Hot Chocolate
- 2/3 cups Milk
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- Zest of 1/2 and Orange
- 2 oz Dark Chocolate chopped
- 1 oz +/- Warmed Grand Marnier
- Heat the milk, cream and orange zest together in a saucepan until simmering then remove from the heat and pour through a sieve into a jug to remove the orange zest. Pour the infused milk mixture back into the pan and add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and is really smooth.
- Put the pan back on the heat to warm through then add the orange liqueur. Pour into a mug and serve.
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