Hot Chocolate is the star in winter

One of tour favorite things in winter is hot chocolate — rich and creamy with lots of whipped cream. Several places have taken hot chocolate to a new level of decadence. Here are some of our favorite places to drink hot chocolate.
   At Otesago Resort in Cooperstown, NY, the marshmallows are the stars. Executive Pastry Chef Peter Calhoun makes his own from scratch and then dips them in chocolate and coca nibs. But don’t underestimate the hot chocolate, which is made with Dutch process cocoa, whole milk powder and vanilla powder (the secret ingredient). The resort, located on the banks of Otsego Lake, has a “Curl Up and Unwind Special” with rates starting at $149, and includes the chef’s signature hot chocolate mix as part of the special.
   It’s an adults-only hot chocolate at the Corner Tavern and Café in Cumberland, MD, where it is transformed into hot rum mocha. This grown-up drink is made of hot coca, homemade chocolate syrup and Charis Coffee Rum and then topped off with nitro-whipped rum cream.
   The hot chocolate at Little River Roasting’s Pharmacy Coffee in Spartanburg, SC, features only the best ingredients in order to obtain its rich, sweet taste. Drew Sigmon, the manager, and Chandler Crawford, the kitchen manager and head baker, use high-quality coca power (such as Dutch process powder). They suggest using between 60 to 80 percent coca when making it at home. Next steps — adding bits of milk chocolate, torched marshmallows and dark chocolate flavorings. They also use different flavors and liquors, such as bourbon, for some variety. They also use espresso machines to make the cocas milk aerated and frothy.
   At BOOMBOX Frozen Pops & Ice Cream in Lake Charles, LA., its hot chocolate may remind you of your childhood. They boil whole milk, Hershey’s coca powder and sea salt together and then froth it to give it a little bit of fluff. They also make homemade marshmallows and torch it to give it a golden exterior.

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