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5 Ways to Liven Up Your Mug of Hot Chocolate

Updated on June 10, 2012

Liven Up a Tasty Beverage

Cheers to hot cocoa!
Cheers to hot cocoa! | Source

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a favourite beverage for many people year round.

The drink is made from cocoa powder or from a manufactured product containing cocoa powder, such as the instant powdered mix you get at the grocery store. Hot chocolate is a soothing beverage that can warm you up when you are feeling cold or help alleviate your stresses after a hard day. With chocolate at the centre of the mix, the drink is delicious too!

Your mug of hot chocolate can be enhanced with a few toppers, side options, and variations to the cocoa powder mix. Liven up your mug of hot chocolate as a fun and yummy way to add a kick to the beverage!

Add Spices

A great way to create new flavours for your mug of hot chocolate is by adding spices. The best ones to enhance your beverage are cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and chili powder.

  • Cinnamon

A great, easy recipe for cinnamon hot chocolate is provided by Linda Nilsen at All Recipes. Click here to get the recipe online. While Linda uses a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon, you can use a cinnamon stick instead. Stir the stick around the beverage and leave in while you drink from the mug for a taste that intensifies the longer the stick sits there.

Cinnamon Livens Up Your Mug

Ground cinnamon goes great with the hot beverage.
Ground cinnamon goes great with the hot beverage. | Source
  • Ground Nutmeg and Chili powder

Do you want to add a zesty quality to your hot chocolate? Try adding half a teaspoon of chili powder and a quarter teaspoon ground nutmeg to the mix. These two ingredients can be added to instant mix or into the mix you are making from scratch. A great spiced hot chocolate recipe from scratch is found here, care of the Yummly website.

Add Vanilla

Add vanilla extract to liven up your mug of hot chocolate. Vanilla compliments the chocolate flavour very well. A half teaspoon of vanilla extract per mug should suffice, though you can add more if you desire a stronger flavour.

Continue with the vanilla theme by adding vanilla ice cream to the tops of each beverage after the hot cocoa is poured. The ice cream can be scooped up from the top of the mug with a spoon before it melts, stirred into the mix, or sipped slowly with a straw instead. There are no wrong moves here! For an even more decadent flavour, try drizzling chocolate sauce over the ice cream!

A Drink to Remember: Add Coffee

Add instant coffee to the mug.
Add instant coffee to the mug. | Source

Hot Chocolate and Coffee

Put another twist on traditional hot chocolate by adding coffee to the beverage. This type of drink is often called a Mocha Hot Chocolate in restaurants.

Better Homes and Gardens, in the Recipes & Cooking section of the website, suggests adding instant coffee crystals along with the cocoa powder and other traditional ingredients for hot chocolate. This recipe is called the Mocha Hot Cocoa Mix. The kick of caffeine may be just what you need in the morning to start your day off right!

The Chilled Variety

If you prefer to drink cold beverages during the summer, transform traditional hot chocolate into a refreshing chilled beverage. The iced drink tastes best when made from scratch, having more flavour without artificial taste of some instant mixes. Bev at provides a great, straight-forward recipe for iced hot chocolate.

Following her recipe here, combine the required amounts of milk, water, and sugar together, simmer all in a saucepan, remove from heat, and then whisk in finely chopped chocolate. Here is the difference with hot chocolate: you refrigerate about four hours to chill the mixture. Then, add more milk to the mix and blend until frothy. Pour into glasses and add ice. Have a refreshing glass: delicious!

Fun with Marshmallows

Experiment with marshmallow flavours.
Experiment with marshmallow flavours. | Source

Beverage Extras

Liven up your mug of hot chocolate by adding edible goodies after the beverage has been poured into mugs. Try marshmallows, whipping cream, or even a candy cane!

  • Marshmallows

The classic combination: marshmallows with hot chocolate. There are ways to add variety too. Try using a combination of mini-marshmallows with the larger sized varieties. There are flavoured marshmallows as well to try aside from the standard vanilla. Strawberry and chocolate are popular flavours. Plush Puffs Marshmallows offer Caramel Swirl and Chocolate Chipetta too!

  • Whipping Cream

The delicious drink can be topped as well with a generous helping of whipping cream. Stir the cream into the drink or lick off the top of the mug before savouring the hot chocolate.

  • Candy Cane

Pair the steaming cup with a side of candy cane. Try dipping the candy cane into the mug and then sucking on the candy delight. You can also use the candy cane as a stir stick in the hot chocolate; it will melt away in the warmth of the mug and your hot chocolate will have a minty flavour to it!

So Many Fun Ways to Liven Up Hot Cocoa!

Enjoy the variety!
Enjoy the variety! | Source

The Right Mix

Enjoy playing around with the drink recipes. You may find that you like slightly more cinnamon than a particular recipe calls for or that you enjoy the candy cane variety as a treat at night. Personalize the hot chocolate mixes to your own taste and have fun in the process! Then, sit back and relax as you slowly savour the sweet hot chocolate you have made!

What Is Your Favourite...

What Is Your Favourite Addition To Hot Chocolate?

See results


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      James, you leave such wonderful comments for me. I appreciate it. I have a somewhat large container of powdered hot chocolate in my kitchen :) I'm glad we both share a year-long love of the drink!

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      I love hot chocolate and have it at least a few times per week, no matter the season. Thank you Christy for crafting an excellent hub on this drink. Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @randomcreative, thanks for the nod of confidence! Yes the cinnamon is a yummy and sweet addition to the drink :)

      @Sunshine, Yes when the candy canes roll in I do suggest you try it. A nice treat! Thanks for the comment my friend.

      @Vinaya, Ooh spiced up coffee would be a good treat too. I do not drink coffee myself. Thanks for the comment you are so nice.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great suggestions Christy! I love cinnamon and will have to give that a try sometime.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I like the candy cane idea! I never tried that and it sounds yummy. I guess i'll need to wait a few more months for that idea!:) In the meanwhile I'll go for the vanilla. UP! Awesome!!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I love drinking organic coffee. But once in a while I also love drinking spiced up coffee.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Oooh that's a sweet twist! I love hot chocolate too, we both have a sweet tooth and good taste :) Thanks for the comment.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 5 years ago

      Informative hub. I love hot chocolate, sometimes I add a little raspberry liquer into mine :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Judi, hehe your comment is great! Sounds like a colourful mixture she has in her mug! Try the iced one and it could be refreshing on a sunny day :)

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

      I'd like to try adding chili I think - sounds interesting. My daughter's hot chocolate usually has so much added that it ends up looking like a fairground ride, all she would need to add is lights!

      Voted up etc.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Mark, hmm perhaps the milk should be at a lower temperature next time... a rolling boil.. I bet you were disapointed that you couldn't eat that Hershey bar! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      My last attempt at hot chocolate was a disaster. I tried to melt a Hersey bar into 8 ounces (crazy American measurement)of half and half. My problem was that milk goes from not boiling to burnt in seconds!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Casandra, Aha another chocolate lover! How nice of you to comment here :) Another great quality of cinnamon, thanks for adding the detail here.

    • profile image

      Casandra Miska 5 years ago

      Great topic Christy B. Chocolate is one of our favorite subjects, hot, cold, bar candy, or however!

      PS I love cinnamon; and heard it helps regulate blood sugar, so that would be a healthful addition, as you relate in your great article above!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @teaches, I do love chocolate. I had a cup last night to toast to the hub :) You enjoy your mug as well!

      @lord, I love the excited quality of your comment! Your positivity is infectious... oh wait... I'm off to pour myself another cup of hot chocolate :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Marc, mmm Easter bunnies! Those are always so delicious :) Thanks for the comment buddy.

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 5 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      Dang! I wanted to vote for both marshmallows and whipping cream! My favorite!! But, i do like making my hot chocolate with melted Easter bunnies!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      You have me at the mention of chocolate! I love your ideas and the wonderful add ons of marshmallows, vanilla, etc. I am already heading to the kitchen to enjoy a cup. Voted up!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Oh christy!! You are getting better at this..! Who really gives you so much inspiration? Gee!! Seems that you have more to share. Was so funny to read from Billybuc! Lol! The pics are perfect! I need a hot cocoa now...(loggin!)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @billybuc, hehe oh my! Yes keep on the straight and narrow my friend, it is a much better path to follow! Thank-you for stopping by, you are a great supporter!

      @Rolly, Hello my friend. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and got some ideas from it too.

      @Eiddwen, Did I make you thirsty?! Thanks for the great comment :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and thanks for sharing.

      Mmmm I can taste them already.


    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Christy... great ideas here and ones to add to the recipes... enjoyed this very much, Thanks for all the ward work.

      Hugs from Alberta

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Never ask an alcoholic such as myself how to liven up a drink...we have ways you can't imagine. It's probably best I follow your advice, though, so I can still function tomorrow. :) Great hub as usual!