When winter comes, all you want to do is hunker down and warm up. And what better way to do so than with a cup of hot cocoa? Rich, sweet, and fragrant, hot chocolate never fails to make you nostalgic with every sip.
Luckily, you need not look far for your hot cocoa fix. If you live anywhere near the cities below (or even if you don't), why not try their unique takes on this classic beverage?
Aztec aphrodisiac, anyone? At Cacao, you can grab this sexy brew infused with 6 chilies and topped with homemade marshmallows. You can also try other fun flavors like Ginger Pink Peppercorn, Chulucanas Cranberry, and Almond with Hawaiian Sea Salt. If you'd rather sip your Cacao cup at home, they also sell bags of cocoa mix for your convenience.
Did you know that the best time to visit City Bakery is in February? That's when they hold their annual Hot Chocolate Festival – you can try out a different hot cocoa flavor every day of the month. Even if you can't drop by in February, no worries: City Bakery's melted chocolate bars topped with homemade marshmallows are a must-try every time!
Since its inception over 60 years ago, Compartes Chocolatier has catered to the cocoa cravings of big names like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. One of their signature drinks is made of 100% organic cinnamon and Tahitian vanilla beans, so you can have a taste of Hollywood glamour in a cup.
In this North Carolina shop, liquid truffles rule. Their Nibble + Sip collection is also to die for, with delectable flavors like Cacao Nibs, Chocolate Drops, and Toffee. All their products are made from local, organic ingredients, guaranteeing freshness in every cup.
True to its name (which means "cacao" in Olmec), Kakawa's signature drinks are inspired by pre-Columbian cultures. Their "elixirs" have a distinctly rich and bold character to them, like the 1692 French Lavender, Chocolate Chai, and Havana Rum. If you take a sip of their Tzul ("dog") drink, Kakawa will donate the proceeds to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter in New Mexico.
Owned by chef Mindy Segal, Mindy's serves an eclectic menu of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot chocolate. Savor a rich cup of milk chocolate, caramel, and cocoa ganache or experiment with drinks like the "Mexican" (mixed with cinnamon and cayenne) or hot buttered rum. No matter your preference, it'll be topped with a large, fluffy, homemade marshmallow.
Although XOCO isn't a chocolate shop per se, their authentic Mexican hot cocoa is a must-try. Using freshly ground chocolate and a traditional Mexican recipe, XOCO's baristas whip up a creamy, foamy concoction you can use as a dip for traditional specialties like churros.
As a winter drink, hot cocoa is hard to beat. Even if you can make this drink at home, there's nothing like going out and indulging yourself on a chilly day. Drop by the shops above and you might just find your new favorite winter hangout!
Want more winter goodies? Subscribe to get your pack!