Gosh, is it winter already?
Well, not quite -- the solstice doesn't happen for approximately two more months, so we still have plenty of fall left. But you'd never know it from the way that retail spots have totally neglected brown and orange motifs and moved straight into the red and green, as if Thanksgiving and pumpkin spice mean NOTHING to these people.
As we plunge headfirst into the uncertainty of November, that blank space in the middle of fall -- or as the shops would have it, the void between Halloween and Christmas -- keep your gourds and turkey decorations up and make sure you stay warm and stave off the holiday stress for as long as possible.
Since the weather is getting chillier and chillier, why not grab your favorite cozy mug and whip up a nice boozy hot chocolate for yourself? It's super easy to make, since most recipes really only require a couple minutes of your time to chop, stir and melt, but you'll end up with a gourmet-tasting treat that's just as great for a blanket and Netflix as it is for a wild party.
If you want a super easy, thick hot chocolate, that magical tub of hazelnut spread is the way to go. Simply combine a glob of it with milk and a cinnamon stick and you've got yourself an impossibly easy and impossibly tasty indulgence. But it doesn't stop there! Hit it out of the park with a glug of liquor or liqueur and top the whole thing with toasted marshmallows. Wow!
If this sounds weird to you, consider how good red wine and dark chocolate taste together, and then (gently, so as not to boil out the booze) heat the whole thing up. If for some reason it doesn't taste alcoholic enough for you, you're welcome to add a few drops of brandy for that slightly fruity kick.
"Archer" fans might recognize this drink from their hero's thermos in Season 6, though this thick, minty, boozy treat has been around a bit longer than that. Either way, you'll lose it over the soft mintiness, which conveniently comes in the form of three different kinds of schnapps and liqueur. Yup.
The sheer richness of buttery white chocolate and spiced pumpkin puree will rock your socks off. Spike it with your choice of booze (the recipe recommends bourbon or Kahlua, although a whipped or caramel-flavored vodka would also be delightful here). Then top with some whipped cream (here's how to make your own pumpkin whipped cream, if you desire) and caramel (homemade Salted Caramel-Bourbon Sauce? Don't mind if I do!) and you'll be cooking.
Forget about that boxed stuff. This real version of your favorite cocoa mix comes together in just five minutes when you stir it over the stove with cocoa powder, milk, sugar and a little bit of spice. The best part is that you can customize it to your liking and of course, you get to add as much Kahlua as you want. Got a creme brulee torch lying around? Run it over the marshmallow topping to toast them for bonus points.
This rich, sweet spiced delight just so happens to be dairy free, vegan and gluten free. Although you can of course sub in regular milk or another non-dairy variety like almond or soy milk, the gentle spice of cardamom creates perfect harmony with the deep, rich coconut milk, vanilla-y bourbon, dark chocolate and coconut whipped cream, so you might want to keep it as is.
Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, you're going to love this magical cinnamon, pumpkin, chocolate and butterscotch twist on your favorite hot drink. If you like things a bit sweeter, you can swap out the bourbon for a complementary flavored booze like Fireball (in which case you'll want to cut out the added cinnamon) or any dessert flavored vodka like whipped cream, caramel or vanilla (in which case, cut down on the vanilla extract).