15 Ways To Up Your Ho Ho Hot Chocolate Game This Season
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15 Ways To Up Your Ho Ho Hot Chocolate Game This Season

If you're tired of drinking plain-old hot chocolate, try these delicious add-ins and alternatives!

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15 Ways To Up Your Ho Ho Hot Chocolate Game This Season

Are you tired of doing the same monotonous thing every single day? Eating similar foods. Completing the same routine of sleep, work and/or school. Talking to the same people. Well, there is one thing that can be easily changed, and that is the way you make your hot chocolate.

Marshmallows and candy canes are great, but there are so many other flavorings and ingredients that can be added to the mix. So, here are 15 ways to improve your hot chocolate beverages and make them both "picture perfect" and a generally delicious treat.

1. Try some flavored hot chocolate to add a new layer to the traditional milk chocolate flavoring!

Do you want to try something new, but don't want to overstep your comfort zone? Purchasing some flavored hot chocolate packets is just one way to spice up your seasonal beverage without being too adventurous. Stores sell a variety of flavored hot chocolate packages, including mint, raspberry, mocha, hazelnut and French vanilla. Plus, if you are on the pumpkin spice train right now, Swiss sells this flavor as well!

Photo by Julia Mertes

2. Another way to elevate your hot chocolate experience is to add in flavored candy canes.

Every year, new candy canes are being introduced to the public. The flavors keep becoming increasingly absurd. Companies started making a variety of candy canes that range from being sour to excessively sweet. Many candy canes also mimic popular candy and beverage flavors.

Therefore, the options are limitless! Some of the best candy cane flavors that complement hot chocolate's natural taste include:

  • Regular Mint Candy Canes
  • Oreo Flavored
  • Raspberry Flavored
  • Cherry Flavored
  • Cinnamon Flavored
  • Coffee Flavored
  • Chocolate Mint Flavored
  • Hot Chocolate Flavored (Ironically)

3. Continuing on the 'flavored-items train,' marshmallows provide a whole new dimension to your beverage.

Did you know that specialty marshmallows are a thing and that they are absolutely delicious? Adding marshmallows to the top of your beverage allows for a balanced drinking experience.

The lightness of the marshmallows starkly contrasts the rich chocolatey flavor allowing for drink to not be overwhelmingly sugary and monotone.

Why not try some new marshmallows in your drinks? Some marshmallow flavors to put on your bucket list include sugar cookie, strawberry, s'mores, and chocolate brownie — just to name a few. Tell me that those combinations don't sound amazing!

Photo by Julia Mertes

4. Have you ever heard of hot chocolate stir spoons and sticks?

Many stores stock up on these products during the winter months. Coming in a variety of forms, stir sticks can contain ingredients like candy canes bits, marshmallows, chocolate bites, and more. These items complement the chocolatey drink adding an extra layer of flavor and texture to your beverage.

For the social media lovers in us all, they provide an aesthetically pleasing image to capture and share. Plus, they are interactive so kids (and those who are kids at heart) have something they can use and eat.

If you want to be especially creative, make your own stir stick at home! There are many recipes online that are quick, easy and painless.

Photo by Julia Mertes

5. Making your own homemade hot chocolate is another way to change it up!

To make a classic hot chocolate mixture, follow this recipe.

To make crockpot pumpkin spice hot chocolate, follow this recipe.

To make spiced Mexican hot chocolate, follow this recipe.

Making your own hot chocolate allows you to experiment and tweak the recipe in any way you want. If you would want it extra chocolatey, adding extra chocolate is a viable and simple option. The same could be said for any extra flavorings or textures.

Photo by Julia Mertes

6. One of the best ways to spice up your hot chocolate is through spices.

Some go-to spices to try in your drink include cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili powder. Just sprinkle some on top once the drink is brewed. You will definitely taste a difference!

7. There are many ingredients that complement hot chocolate that can be incorporated in at either the beginning or end of the process.

One of the best items to include in your next beverage is crushed cookie powder, especially crumbled Oreos. Why would they make 'Hot Chocolate Cookies' if cookies did not taste good with hot chocolate? Just saying!

Photo by Julia Mertes

8. In general, adding candies to your drink can greatly change and improve the flavor.

The hotness of the drink allows the sugary treats to melt into the drink easily. Some of the potential additions include caramels, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, peppermint bark, Andy's mints, and other similar products.

I would definitely recommend salted caramels as the saltiness contrasts the sweetness in normal hot chocolate.

9. On top of your drink, there are some specific ingredients that simply work well.

Sprinkles, toasted coconut, crushed nuts, and chocolate chunks are only a simplified list! Of course, marshmallows and whipped cream are the hot chocolate classics that should also remain in your hot chocolate toolbox!

Photo by Julia Mertes

10. Although I have never tried it myself, adding coffee to hot chocolate makes the drink pop in more ways than one.

Many people swear by these combinations. Why not get your morning energy buzz or your happy hour rush with one of the best drinks around?

To make coffee-infused hot chocolate, simply take heated milk and mix in cocoa powder. From there, you can combine your favor type of coffee to the mix. You could pour in that espresso you drink on the daily or a house brew of the coffee roast you purchased from a local diner.

The specifics don't matter. The drink can be specialized to you, your preferences, and your taste buds.

11. Peanut butter, without a doubt, goes with everything.

By adding smooth peanut butter to your next drink, your mouth will be filled with a delicious mix of chocolate peanut butter in liquid form. Similar to peanut butter, you may want to also try Nutella in your drink.

If you are wondering how to effectively add these items to your drink, there are numerous options, but adding it to the side of your mug may be most efficient in spreading the flavor.

Photo by Julia Mertes

12. Are you tired of sticking to the traditional drinks? I encourage you to try some maple syrup in your next round of hot cocoa!

After heating your drink's base, whip in the maple syrup and cinnamon. This drink will take you back to the breakfast table when you were eating stacks of pancakes.

13. Extracts and additional liquids could improve the flavor of the drinks as well.

For instance, coconut milk would convert your normal drink into a Girl Scout Samoa Cookie trend. This is a tropical twist to the classic cold weather drink.

Photo by Julia Mertes

14. If you miss the summer nights spent around the bonfire, make a s'more inspired drink.

Simply pour in some crumpled graham crackers and marshmallows to the top of your cup! Altogether, this drink is a clear route to summer nostalgia.

15. Now, here is my all-time favorite hot chocolate combination.

Get your typical milk chocolate base and add in caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, whip cream, marshmallows and a candy cane. Then, top the steaming cup with a layer of sprinkles. It is a delicious sugar overload treat to have at the end of a long week. Besides being aesthetically pleasing to look at, this drink is a great cup of sugary goodness.

While its cold outside and your sitting in front of the television watching your favorite flicks, there is nothing better than holding this delicious treat!

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