How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate


Katherine Blanco

Hot chocolate can be made deliciously many different ways, customizable to everybody’s tastes.

Mia Cabrera, Staff Writer

As November comes to an end, the preparations for the holiday season begin, putting countless amounts of people in the festive spirit. With Dec. 1 rolling around, holiday-lovers are already beginning their seasonal festivities; watching Christmas movies, decorating gingerbread houses and making hot chocolates. What could be better than that? Though an instant hot cocoa pouch may work just fine, making homemade hot chocolate custom to one’s liking only makes the holiday season even that much more enjoyable.

With any good hot chocolate comes the need for a strong base. Contrary to what some might think, the base of a hot chocolate is actually just as variable as the toppings are. So what is the best way to make the perfect hot chocolate? First, figure out the desired base.

French Hot

This particular recipe is very rich for those who are looking to really indulge in the chocolate flavor.

-serves 4-
-1 ½ cups of whole milk
-½ cup of heavy cream
-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
-½ teaspoon of espresso powder
-8 ounces of (at least 70%) bittersweet chocolate chopped (good, real chocolate)

Over medium heat, combine all ingredients in a saucepan until little bubbles form around the edges. Do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate, allowing it to melt completely.

Basic Hot

Your typical hot chocolate, this recipe will make for a great drink to enjoy on a cold night.

-serves 4-
-¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
-½ cup of granulated sugar
-⅓ cup of hot water
-⅛ teaspoon of salt
-4 cups of milk
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Over medium heat, stir together all ingredients except the milk and vanilla. Once smooth and all incorporated, add in the milk and reduce the heat. Then, stir in the vanilla extract off of the heat and serve.

White Hot

For those who are not a fan of a typical chocolatey hot chocolate, this recipe is perfect for those who love white chocolate.

-serves 4-
-4 cups of milk
-1 cup of high-quality white chocolate
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-a pinch of salt

Combine all of the ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring until the hot chocolate is smooth and homogeneous.

Hot chocolate with marshmallows is my absolute favorite drink during the holiday season.

— sophomore Alejandra Torres

Once the base of the hot chocolate is complete, the toppings can begin to be added. The variations for a delicious hot chocolate are endless and completely customizable. Craving peppermint? Add a few drops of peppermint extract to your hot cocoa and top it with whipped cream along with pieces of chopped candy canes.

Missing fall? Add some canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, bringing back all the autumn flavors. On a plain hot chocolate, once the whipped cream is added, anything can be added on top; white chocolate sauce, rainbow sprinkles, Oreo crumbles, hot fudge, caramel syrup!

Adding spoonfuls of hazelnut spread or peanut butter can add a nutty flavor to the seasonal beverage. For any flavor desired, adding extracts and syrups like raspberry or almond will create a delicious hot chocolate. And if a super gluttonous, rich hot chocolate is the ultimate goal, heavier duty toppings like brownies and s’mores are sure to make the hot cocoa delightful.

“My favorite way to have hot chocolate is frozen with warm marshmallows. Sometimes, I’ll add whipped cream on top as well,” sophomore Sofia Rodriguez said.

With an endless amount of customizations and delicious flavor combos, nothing compares to the delectable tastes of a homemade hot chocolate.