As the winter months approach and staying warm becomes a priority, there’s no tastier way to beat the cold than with a rich, creamy cup of hot chocolate. Chocolatiers across the country are putting their own spin on the delicious beverage, from adding salted caramel marshmallows to spiking their hot chocolate with spices.
Whether you’re taking a break from the slopes at The Little Nell in Aspen, or cozying up with cocoa at New York’s Serendipity, these shops and restaurants provide the perfect antidote to the cold weather. Here’s where we’ll be indulging in a cup of hot chocolate this winter. Let find out Where to get the best hot chocolates in the United States
Where to get the best hot chocolates in the United States
Katherine Anne Confections, Chicago
Chicago winters aren’t for the faint of heart, so fortify yourself with the perfect remedy at Katherine Anne Confections: steaming mugs of delicious hot chocolate. The chocolate shop features eight different varieties of the sinfully sweet beverage and serves its chocolate with fluffy house made marshmallows. Popular marshmallow flavors include salted caramel, cinnamon, and vanilla black pepper.
For a drink that’ll warm your tongue and your stomach, visit Cacao. Owner Kristen Hard infuses her Aztec Aphrodisiac sipping chocolate with six chilies and spices. Mugs of the spicy brew come topped with house made marshmallows. Cacao also sells bags of sipping chocolate and hot cocoa mix, so customers can enjoy the elixir at home.
L.A. Burdick – Various U.S. locations
The drinking chocolate at L.A. Burdick’s quaint cafes in Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, New York and Walpole, New Hampshire is whisked to order. Prepared from melted chocolate shavings, it’s available in dark, spicy dark, milk and white chocolate variations. This winter, there will be a limited edition peppermint hot chocolate too, made with peppermint leaves rather than extract or syrup for a fresh mint note that’s not overpowering.
Rotating monthly single source drinking chocolate features cacao from Bolivia, Brazil, Grenada and Madagascar, and all are available for purchase to prepare at home. Chocolatier Michael Klug recommends grating a little lemon or orange zest on top of your hot chocolate at home, or sprinkling dried rose petals for a floral note. The best drinking experience is reached by frothing the hot chocolate with a small blender or Bermixer, he says.
Vesta Chocolate – Upper Montclair, New Jersey
This charming new artisan chocolate shop in Upper Montclair, New Jersey serves three delectable flavors of hot chocolate: classic single origin hot chocolate with a touch of vanilla, spiced hot chocolate with Vietnamese cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and cloves, and a limited edition peppermint flavor.
Roger Rodriguez is a triple threat chocolate maker, chocolatier and pastry chef and returns home to New Jersey after honing his craft at Brooklyn’s Cacao Prieto. At Vesta Chocolate, he partners with his pastry chef wife, Julia Choi Rodriguez Gramercy Tavern, Jean-Georges, and Bouchon Bakery to open a cafe and chocolate shop with a bird’s-eye view into the kitchen to watch bean to bar chocolate and confections being made.
Josephine – Nashville, Tennessee
Executive pastry chef Kayla May serves hot chocolate at Josephine in Nashville accompanied by housemade graham crackers, marshmallows and peppermint bark all nostalgic accoutrements inspired by her childhood. She uses 64% bittersweet Guayaquil chocolate from Cacao Barry for its strong cocoa flavor.
We use brown sugar, which is the secret to good hot chocolate, and vanilla with just a pinch of salt to elevate the flavors, May explains. Our hot chocolate is made with whole milk and lots of really good chocolate, so it’s thicker than a traditional American hot chocolate but smoother than a European drinking chocolate.
Fresh – Los Angeles, California
The superfood hot chocolate at Fresh in Los Angeles aims to fuel endurance and stamina with maca, mesquite and raw virgin coconut oil. We use a high flavanol dark cocoa powder the less processed the better to maximize the health benefits, says founder Ruth Tal. Instead of cane sugar, this creamy hot cocoa is sweetened with maple syrup and steamed for a frothy finish.
The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado
A day on the slopes is best finished with a piping hot mug of chocolate and Aspen’s The Little Nell serves some of the best in the country. Pastry Chef Danielle Riesz’s recipe includes 58 percent Trudelia chocolate, extra strong cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. The drinks are served with house made marshmallows, and adults can add a shot of their favorite liqueur.