Nothing beats being bundled up watching Christmas movies with a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream or coming in from a cold afternoon sledding and ice skating and having hot cocoa waiting for you.  

But ordinary hot chocolate can get old quickly. Why settle for the basic powdered hot chocolate mix and milk when you can step up your cocoa game wiith minimal effort? This winter, trade your standard mug of cocoa for some of these delicious twists on hot chocolate. You might never go back to the mix.

1. Vegan Hot Chocolate

Replace your usual cow’s milk with almond milk and flavor it with cocoa power, vanilla, cane sugar, and a pinch of salt for the perfect plant-based hot chocolate.

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2. Salted Caramel

You can’t go wrong with the sweet-and-salty combo, so why not incorporate it into in your hot cocoa? Simply add caramel and sea salt to your regular hot chocolate base to make this salted caramel goodness.

3. Pumpkin Spice

A pumpkin spice latte may be “basic”, but this pumpkin spice hot chocolate is anything but. Simply stir some pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice into your cocoa instead of your coffee and you’ll be sipping on the perfect fall-meets-winter drink in less time than a trip to Starbucks takes.

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4. Gingerbread

What is Christmas without gingerbread cookies? Add that classic cookie flavor to your hot chocolate by mixing a little molasses, ground ginger, cinnamon, and gingerbread syrup into your evening cup of cocoa. 

5. White Chocolate Peppermint

Peppermint bark is a winter staple. How about adding that minty flavor to your winter drink? Instead of making cocoa with milk or dark chocolate chips, use white chocolate chips and add in peppermint Hershey kisses for some extra creamy sweetness.

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