How to Step Up Your Hot Chocolate Game

Photo by jill111


The time has come. December; one of the coldest months and most stressful (thank you finals), yet also one of the coziest and happiest. Amidst all of that cramming and studying, however, it’s important to take a moment to sit back and appreciate the season and how far you’ve come from the beginning of the semester! One of my favorite ways to do that is with a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate. But instant hot chocolate is the amateur way to do it; here are a few tips to up your hot chocolate game and add a little flavor to finals season!

  1. 1. Chocolate Flakes!

    This is the easiest yet super rewarding trick to taking your hot chocolate to the next level (and makes your hot cocoa super Instagram-able). To do this at home, just take a chocolate bar and a cheese grater and sprinkle some delicious chocolate flakes over whipped cream on top of your drink. This makes for an added chocolate-y kick that makes hot chocolate a lot less boring. And don’t forget the marshmallows! If you’d rather not add more chocolate, try sprinkling some cinnamon on top instead.

  2. 2. Don’t Use Hot Water. Just Don’t.

    This is another easy and maybe obvious one, but if you want real flavor out of hot chocolate do not use hot water with instant hot cocoa. It just waters down the chocolate-y goodness and is simply not the best way to do it. Instead, use milk. It instantly adds creaminess for a much more comforting experience.

  3. 3. Go Rogue!

    Hot chocolate doesn’t have to stop at instant powder mixes- why not make it from scratch? If you have more time, the internet is a gold-mine of recipes from actual chefs (which I am not) that might be fun to try out. Here is a link to a video that inspired this article that includes different recipes such as an “Italian hot chocolate” or even a “Mexican hot chocolate.”

  4. 4. Pair with a snack!

    Hot chocolate is a treat all on its own, but sometimes when studying at 2 AM we get a little hungry too. The best way to spice up your hot chocolate experience is to add a cookie or a cupcake. The sweeter the better, in my opinion! If you’re feeling wild, you could even dip the cookie in the hot chocolate. The world is your oyster!


Best wishes and happy holidays!