Feature

10 Hot Cocoas With a Twist in NYC

By Patty Lee  |  January 16, 2015

Winter isn't letting up any time soon, and there's no better way to beat the cold-weather blues than with a decadent hot chocolate. But don't settle for plain ol' marshmallow toppers — indulge in one of these 10 next-level cups.

Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate at El Rey Luncheonette

Chef Gerardo Gonzalez ingeniously repurposes the cafe's brownie batter (minus the egg) to make a rich winter special.

Waffle Cone Hot Chocolate at Brazilia Cafe

When the inventor of cookies 'n' cream puts a spin on hot cocoa, things get whimsical. A chocolate-dipped waffle cone (another one of his creations) serves as the cup, which is filled with three oz. of melted housemade cocoa, frothed-up milk and a drizzle of fudge.


Brazilia Cafe (Photo by Patty Lee)

Amaro and Mint Hot Chocolate at Pearl & Ash

Think of it as a Thin Mint in boozy liquid form. Both the drink (made from Belgium chocolate) and the whipped cream are spiked with amaro, dusted with mint cookie crumbles and topped with striped mint marshmallows.

Lavender Hot Chocolate at Maman

To make this unique cup, the Centre Street bakery infuses milk with dried lavender and adds it to melted dark chocolate.


Voila Chocolat

Green Tea Hot Chocolate at Voila Chocolat

The new Upper West Side boutique — where customers can make their own bonbons and bars — mixes in a spoonful of matcha (the latest "it" ingredient) with 31% cacao.

​Choc-tails at PUBLIC

Pop in for weekend brunch, when you can enjoy one of four hot choc-tails, complete with punny names like the Tequila Chockingbird (Pueblo Viejo tequila, hot chocolate, peppermint whipped cream) and Java the Hot (Vanilla-infused vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, frozen hot chocolate).  


Betony (Photo by Evan Barbour)

Honey and Molasses Hot Chocolate at Betony

General manager Eamon Rockey combines Valrhona Guanaja 70% chocolate, whole milk, honey and molasses — plus optional tequila — to form this post-dinner drink.

Hot Hot Chocolate at Rocking Horse Cafe

A dose of cayenne, cinnamon and orange extract spice up this indulgent mug (pictured at top).


Champion Coffee

Peppermint Hot Chocolate at Champion Coffee

Christmas isn't quite over at this java joint — with a shop in Greenpoint and a counter inside Ganservoort Market — where sweet tooths can find a simple but satisfying minty sipper.

Salted Ganache Cocoa at L'Apicio

Cap your meal with pastry chef/owner Katherine Thompson's over-the-top concoction. Cream, salt and three forms of chocolate (dark, milk and powdered) go into the thick ganachelike drink, finished with a torched marshmallow. It also comes with a brown-butter chocolate chip cookie for dipping.

L'Apicio