Whether your hot drink of choice is coffee or tea, you can't deny that as soon as the weather turns cold, you start thinking about that first real cup of Hot Chocolate for the season.

I realize there are people who drink hot chocolate all year round but for most of us, it is a cold-weather drink. Hot chocolate is one of those drinks you automatically tie to so chilly outdoor activity. When I was a kid, there was always hot chocolate waiting when we came in from sledding. As you get older it is a go-to after skiing or snowmobiling.

Some folks I know have turned hot chocolate making into an art. They even serve it as a dessert. If you are used to hot chocolate in a mug with a few mini marshmallows, let me enlighten you on what you might be missing.

Hot Fluffy Chocolate

This version of hot chocolate was introduced to me by my first college roommate. It is quite simple and always hits the spot after walking back from class in the cold weather. It was simply a cup of hot chocolate made from a powdered packet and then topped with a giant spoonful of Fluff.

Double Down Hot Chocolate

I once went to someone's house where they had made a hot chocolate bar. You took a plain cup of hot chocolate and added whatever you wanted. There were toppings including crushed walnuts and sprinkles, they even had peppermint sticks and orange peels. The recipe for the double down was simply to add a Hersey bar to your mug and stir with it until it melted.

Oleksandr Yuchynskyi
Oleksandr Yuchynskyi

The Mellow Jack

This recipe was for the adults when I was growing up. Again, you start with a regular cup of hot chocolate, the marshmallow was an option, and then you added a shot of Jack Daniels. Back then, there weren't as many flavors of Jack Daniels as there are today. I am thinking that some of the new Jack blends would make a great Mellow Jack.

If you are not sure where to get a great cup of hot chocolate in the Hudson Valley, check out your local coffee shop. Eat Local.

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