Best Hot Chocolate Additions

Include an extract A dab of your favorite extract adds flavor to hot chocolate quickly. Coconut and almond extracts give hot chocolate an Almond Joy-like flavor, while vanilla provides depth. Peppermint extract quickly festiveizes the drink.

Sprinkle heated spices. Add cinnamon, cayenne, and chile powder to your hot chocolate to make it spicy like Mexican hot chocolate. Pumpkin Pie Spice adds cloves, ginger, and nutmeg to chocolate, making it another wonderful mix.

Stir in Nutella Melt Nutella in hot milk for delicious hazelnut-infused hot chocolate. For the perfect warm drink, add shaved chocolate and mildly sweetened whipped cream. Cookie butter is another store-bought spread that melts well with hot chocolate.

Toss in caramel Chocolate and caramel go well together in brownies and hot chocolate, so we don't need to explain why. Melt caramel in hot milk for a pleasant drink.

Spike it. This is for people who want to participate, not kids: Adding bourbon, whiskey, coffee liqueur, or Bailey's makes hot chocolate a luxurious after-dinner cocktail.

Add orange. If you like getting chocolate oranges in your Christmas stocking, try this. Add orange juice and zest to your chocolate mixture for a subtle citrus brightness and depth of flavor that ordinary hot chocolate lacks

Replace sugar with maple syrup: Granulated sugar can replace maple syrup's caramel overtones in homemade hot chocolate. Though slight, maple offers more depth than sugar. If possible, use the real thing, which tastes better than corn syrup.

A shot of coffee: Strong coffee or espresso in hot chocolate makes it taste like mocha, great for a warm midafternoon or post-dinner pick-me-up. You may get the same coffee flavor without brewing a pot or cleaning the espresso machine by mixing instant coffee with hot milk.