‘Tis the season for hot chocolate. Very officially, that is: National Cocoa Day is Dec. 13. If hot chocolate is a little too PG for your holiday festivities, kick it up a notch with these alcoholic cocoa concoctions.
1. Baby, it’s cold outside, but Blue Ribbon Beer Garden (190 Allen St., 212-460-5300) isn’t letting that keep patrons from the outdoor terrace. Cozy up under heat lamps and blankets with their new bourbon hot chocolate ($11). A spiced rum cider is on the menu, too ($11).
Blue Ribbon Beer Garden's Bourbon Hot Chocolate. Credit: Steve Hill
2. The crew at the Lower East Side’s Mulberry Project(149 Mulberry St., 646-448-4536)has concocted the Alpine Sailor Hot Cocoa cocktail ($14) just in time for National Cocoa Day. They’ve shared the recipe so you can make the rich and creamy drink at home.
Ingredients 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder 1 oz maple syrup 1 1/2 cup of milk
Heat up these ingredients in a large mug with: 1 1/2 oz. of Sailor Jerry Rum 1/2 oz. Crème de Cacao 3 dashes of walnut bitters
Mulberry Project's Alpine Sailor Hot Cocoa Cocktail. Credit: Monica Muller
3. The W Verbier in Switzerland is the W Hotel chain’s first ski retreat, and here in New York we're using that as grounds for celebration. All W Hotels of New York (www.whotelsnewyork.com) are serving a Chocolat Chaud ($14-$16) in their Living Rooms. We didn’t want to hit the slopes, anyway.
Ingredients: 1 ozGrand Saint Bernard Jaune 6 oz honey 3.3 oz chocolate Top with whipped cream
The W Verbier's Chocolat Chaud is available in the W NYC hotels as well. Credit: W Verbier
4. Looking for something alcohol-free? Balducci’s Gourmet On The Go Café(301 W. 56th St., 646-350-4195) is the place to go for hot beverages, offering lattes, cappuccinos, coffees and teas. Now, they’re featuring some festive flavors with the new Peppermint Hot Chocolate and the Candy Cane Latte.
Balducci's Gourmet On The Go Cafe offers several seasonal beverages, like the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Credit: MSPhotography