Elevated hot chocolate beverages that deserve a second sip

Christmas Cocoa, photo provided by Holland America
Christmas Cocoa, photo provided by Holland America /

From a whimsical wonder of sweetness to an adult cocktail with flavorful nuance, these elevated hot chocolate beverages should be front and center on the table. Raise a glass and enjoy another sip.

While Santa might soar from place to place during the holiday season, others might prefer to stay a little closer to home. Luckily, a few of those flavors from near and far can be enjoyed from the comfort of the couch.

For some people, embarking on a cruise for the holiday is the ultimate present. While the combination of food and travel is a flavorful adventure, sometimes a taste of that escape can be enjoyed a little closer to home.

Holland America has a robust beverage program on board. For the holidays, the bars have a specialty offering that brings the spirit of the season. The Christmas Cocoa Mint Coffee is a lovely blend of chocolate, coffee, and peppermint. It packs a punch, but it would be delightful with that piece of biscotti.

Elevated hot chocolate beverages Christmas Cocoa on Holland America
Christmas Cocoa, photo provided by Holland America /

Christmas Cocoa Mint Coffee


  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 6 oz Coffee
  • Garnish: Whipped Cream & Chocolate Sprinkles


  • Brew coffee and mix in Kahlua and Peppermint Schnapps. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

While the cruise ship might venture from place to place, Omni Hotels & Resorts has a specialty holiday offering that is available across all of its 50 properties. Available now through January 31, 2023, the Ginger Snapper Hot Chocolate was created in collaboration with chocolatier Kate Weiser.

This beverage is decadent yet has a few surprising flavor twists. For anyone who would like to try this beverage at home, the Omni beverage team has shared the recipe.

Omni’s Ginger Snapper Whipper Hot Chocolate


  • 3 T of Kate Weiser Dark Drinking Chocolate
  • 8 oz of whole milk or dairy alternative
  • 1 T of KYYW Gingersnap Syrup (Add up to ¾ t more based on taste preference)
  • 1 oz of whipped crème or more to taste
  • 1 pinch of Aleppo chili powder
  • 1 pinch of coarse finishing salt 1 orange peel or twist
  • (Note: Can be served with personal choice of rum. Suggest adding 1 3/4 oz of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum for adults of drinking age.)


Serves 1 (Serve Immediately while hot)

  • Rub the outside rim of the cup, with orange peel, as you would for an old-fashioned drink. Set orange peel to the side to garnish cocoa as you serve it.
  • Place Kate Weiser’s Dark Drinking Chocolate in the bottom of the cup. Add fresh hot steamed milk or dairy alternative and three pumps of the KYYA Gingersnap Syrup. Mix in until hot drinking cocoa is smooth.
  • Garnish with fresh made whipped heavy cream or pre-made whipped cream, a sprinkle of Aleppo chili powder or De Arbol chili powder, a pinch of coarse sea salt, and reserved orange peel.
  • Optional: Additional garnishes: sea salt cocoa marshmallows, cherry marshmallows, or Luxardo cherries

For drinkers who prefer a more potent potable, Stranahan’s has a suggestion to include in the elevated hot chocolate beverages list. This option gets a nuanced flavor from the black walnut bitters. Even if the crème de menthe is omitted, this cocoa is perfect for a cozy night at home.

Cozy Up Cocoa


  • 1.5 oz Stranahan’s Blue Peak
  • 4 oz dark chocolate cocoa mix
  • 1 oz créme de menthe
  • 2 dashes black walnut bitters
  • Garnish: Mint or Whipped cream


  • Place 4-6 dashes Black walnut bitters and whiskey into mason jar, add hot cocoa mix. Garnish with whipped cream or mint.

Ready to sip on some elevated hot chocolate beverages? Have another suggestion? Tag #Foodsided with your tempting tipple.