These elegant hot drinks can be enjoyed on their own — think of a boozy coffee or hot cocoa topped with whipped cream after a long, cold day of holiday shopping — or in the place of dessert.

Scorched marshmallow hot chocolate
When he created this decadent cocktail, Jonathan Humphrey, bar manager of the Drake Hotel in Toronto, Ont., was inspired by a childhood memory of enjoying a steaming mug of hot chocolate with a marshmallow on top after tobogganing.

Makes 1 drink

• 1 cup steamed 10 per cent cream
• 2 Tbsp chocolate syrup, or to taste
• 1 oz Frangelico
• 3 large marshmallows, skewered on a soaked wooden skewer
• Whipped cream


In large mug, combine cream and chocolate syrup. Stir in Frangelico.

Using crème brûlée torch or barbecue lighter, carefully toast marshmallows, letting them very briefly catch fire. With marshmallows ablaze, gently dunk them in hot chocolate mixture, extinguishing flame. Top with whipped cream.

Hot buttered rum
Bill Sweete, co-owner of Sidecar and Negroni in Toronto, Ont., was inspired by Swedish Glögg for his hot tipple, but swapped out the wine for the richer tastes of two kinds of rum and uses a flavourful compound butter to add spice and sweetness.

Makes 1 drink

Glögg Compound Butter:
• 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
• 1 to 2 tbsp rum or water, depending on your taste
• 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 tsp each: ground allspice, ground cardamom
• 1/2 tsp each: ground nutmeg, ground cloves

• 1 oz each: dark rum, light rum
• 1 oz honey syrup (mix and heat equal parts honey and water)
• 2 to 4 oz hot water, or to taste
• 1 or 2 whole star anise, for garnish

For Glögg Compound Butter, add cherries and rum or water to food processor. Blend until cherries are finely chopped. Add butter, sugar, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. Process just until mixed.

Transfer to counter or cutting board. Form into log, about 2 inches in diameter. Roll in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm. (Leftover butter can be refrigerated and used as a topping for warm cake, pie or pastries.)

For drink, add two rums, honey syrup and water to taste to heatproof mug. Cut 1/2-inch disc from chilled Glögg Compound Butter; add to hot drink. Stir until well mixed. Garnish with star anise.

Algoma winter warmer
Grace Restaurant (Toronto, Ont.) co-owner Chris Hoffman makes good use of cider produced at his wife, Lesle Gibson-Hoffman’s, family orchard in Newcastle to make this warm, spiced cocktail that smells like apple pie just out of the oven. Hoffman uses Algoma’s apple cider.

Makes 1 drink

• 2 tbsp hazelnuts
• 1 Tbsp brown sugar
• 1-1/2 oz spiced rum
• 1/2 oz Frangelico
• 2 oz apple cider, warmed
• Ground cinnamon

In small baking pan, bake nuts in preheated 350F oven 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and blistered. Wrap in clean dish towel; let steam 1 minute. Rub in towel to remove loose skins. Let cool.

In food processor, finely crush sugar and hazelnuts.

Moisten rim of a glass and press into crushed mixture to form a rim. Add rum, Frangelico and cider. Stir gently. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Latest From ...