These elegant hot drinks can be enjoyed on their own — think of a boozy coffee or hot cocoa topped with whipped cream — or in the place of dessert.

Scorched marshmallow hot chocolate
When he created this decadent cocktail, Jonathan Humphrey, bar manager of the Drake Hotel, 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
• 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.

Algoma winter warmer
Grace Restaurant 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.

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