This is a hot chocolate for grown-ups, and not just because of the rum. It's dark and rich and bittersweet, and it's flecked with orange zest and cinnamon — definitely not the hot chocolate of your youth (though 9-year-old you will be quite pleased with that iceberg of whipped cream).
Our Lake House Spiced Rum has spicy notes that play off chocolate like a charm, and working a few fresh, fragrant scrapes of orange zest and a dusting of warming cinnamon for garnish echoes the actual orange zest and cinnamon that we infuse in our rum. This spiked chocolate is a little unexpected, and that's what makes it special.
RUMMY HOT CHOCOLATE
By Samantha Weiss-Hills
1.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Lake House Spiced Rum
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 ounce dark chocolate (like 60% cacao Ghirardelli), broken into pieces
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk, divided
Whipped cream, for garnish
Cinnamon, for garnish
Grated orange zest, for garnish
- In a large mug, add the rum and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, mix the dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup of the milk over low heat. Stir or whisk continuously until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add the rest of the milk. Stir, then allow to heat the rest of the way through.
- Pour into the rum-filled mug, then top with whipped cream, a dusting of ground cinnamon, and orange zest.
To batch this drink for a crowd: You can easily scale up this recipe for a large group of merrymakers. Use a large saucepan, and heat the chocolate and cocoa with half of the total milk first, as you would if you were making a single serving. If you're making it ahead, keep the hot chocolate warming in the saucepan over your stove's lowest setting, stirring occasionally, or transfer the hot chocolate to a thermos. Pour the hot chocolate into the rum-filled mugs when it's go-time.
One last thing: There's no added sugar in this recipe, so if you happen to like your hot chocolate on the classically sweeter side, add a teaspoon or two of sugar per serving along with the cocoa powder.