How To Enjoy National Hot Chocolate Day According To A Barista

Let’s face it: January is an awful month. Christmas is over, the weather is cold, you’re back to the day-to-day monotony of your day job, and payday seems like it’s an eternity away. But all is not lost because-January 31st is National Hot Chocolate Day! As a Starbucks barista, I know my way around a perfect cup of hot chocolate. So-grab your favourite mug, put on your comfiest pajamas, and read up on these tips for customizing your cup of cocoa to suit your taste.

1. Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

If you’re a peanut butter-lover, buckle up because I’m about to change your life. I never thought of combining peanut butter with hot chocolate…- until I came across Whittards peanut butter hot chocolate mix, which tastes like peanut butter melted in your hot chocolate. The mix is a must-have for your Hot Chocolate Day- if you can’t get hold of Whittards, though, head to Walmart, buy peanut butter powder, and mix it into your cup for a delightfully chocolatey drink. 

2. Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect way to keep the Christmas spirit alive throughout the less festive winter months. You can find peppermint hot chocolate mix at most grocery stores or you can buy it at Starbucks. Of course, adding a candy cane to a cup of “plain” hot chocolate is a good way to bring that peppermint flavor, too! 

3. White Hot Chocolate

White chocolate hot chocolate is to die for. It’s creamy, it’s sweeter than regular hot chocolate and it’s the perfect way to shake up your cocoa. You can find white chocolate cocoa mix at your local grocery or pick it up at Starbucks if you feel like treating yourself. Plus, adding white chocolate chips to your favorite mix is the perfect way to give your hot chocolate some flair! 

4. Caramel Hot Chocolate

I love caramel, especially in hot chocolate, and once you try it, you will too!- Caramel and chocolate together is definitely a winning combination! Buy caramel sauce or caramel candy chews at your local grocery store and melt them into your glass of hot chocolate. You’ll never look at hot chocolate the same way again!

5. Toffee-Nut Hot Cocoa

I fell in love with toffee-nut syrup when I worked at Starbucks over Christmas time. Caramel and nuts are the perfect sweet-salty food combination. There’s a catch, though: Hardly any store sells toffee-nut mix past Christmas time, so you need to get creative. Mixing your hot chocolate with a dash of caramel syrup and a dash of hazelnut syrup gives you a nutty flavor that’s extremely close to toffee-nut. The best part? You can buy the syrups separately and use them either together or on their own, so either way, you’re winning.

6. Vegan Hot Chocolate 

Whether you’re a lifelong vegan or are trying a vegan lifestyle this new year, this is the perfect hot chocolate for you. It’s frustrating to check every label and discover that no hot chocolate is vegan, but all is not lost! Hershey’s Original and Dark hot chocolate is vegan, so if you’re a vegan or dark chocolate-lover (or both), you’ll love this animal cruelty-free option. So, -go grab that mix and join in the fun with this dark chocolate drink!

7. Accessorized Hot Chocolate 

When it comes to hot chocolate toppings, whipped cream is just the tip of the iceberg! This amped-up hot chocolate is perfect for anyone who loves to load up their mug with goodies because why stop at whipped cream? Take as many liberties as you want to make your perfect drink. Dress up your hot chocolate with sprinkles, chocolate chips, chocolate or caramel sauce, or even fruity candy cane for a little extra kick. If you love it, throw it on there!- Your imagination is the limit!

8. Oreo Hot Chocolate

Who doesn’t love an Oreo? Use a dark chocolate mix in your hot chocolate to get a rich, chocolatey flavor. Then sprinkle with Oreos for a delicious finishing touch. It’s happiness in a cup!

9. Vanilla Hot Chocolate

Vanilla has the perfect subtle flavor to give your drink a little bit of pizazz without overdoing it, especially if you don’t have a huge sweet tooth. You can buy vanilla syrup in nearly any grocery store. Add it to any flavor of hot chocolate because you literally cannot go wrong with a bit of vanilla. 

10. Nutella Hot Cocoa

If you love Nutella, this thick, indulgent Nutella hot chocolate is perfect for you. Just combine milk, Nutella, sugar and cocoa powder overheat and whisk to combine. I’m drooling already!

National Hot Chocolate Day is the quintessential winter day, so be sure to celebrate! Whether you love a subtle hint of white chocolate or prefer cocoa with all the toppings, you’re sure to find a perfect way to customize your favorite drink!

Photo by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash


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