Hot cocoa checks so many winter boxes: warm, cozy, delicious, sweet. And between learning everything you can do with hot cocoa powder and catching up with Chrissy Teigen’s marshmallow hacks (hint: go get a bag on Amazon), we’re likely set for the season on different ways we can make a hot cuppa. But, wait! Did you consider that bottle of red you received in your office gift swap? Oh, yeah -- we’re going there.
Step 1: Pick your red.
Don’t waste a beautiful vintage and mix it up with chocolate -- that’s just sad. Head to your local corner store (or Target, honestly), and pick out a cheaper bottle that you won’t mind missing out on. Or three. Yeah, buy three.
Note: A fruitier wine like merlot or shiraz will go well with the hot chocolate -- think sweet on sweet -- especially if there’s dark chocolate involved. It’ll create a nice balance with the bitterness.
Step 2: Consider accessories.
You can’t go wrong with a little spice, especially in the colder weather. Cinnamon or nutmeg (some even go so far as adding cayenne) really takes a warm drink to another level, boosting the drink’s “warming quality,” according to The Kitchn.
Step 3: Warm ‘er up.
Add whatever ingredients you want -- most recipes suggest bits of a chocolate bar and some sugar with the spices to go along with the hot chocolate powder -- in your cocoa with milk to a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat.
Note: You can also throw everything into a slow cooker for 20 minutes and let it do the work for you!
Step 4: In goes the wine.
Add the vino once you’ve removed the pan from heat, mixing well.
Step 5: Adorn and pour!
Find your most trusty mug, and after throwing in as many cereal marshmallows as you can fit, light a fire, start your favorite feel-good film under a snug blanket and enjoy.