Mmmm...hot chocolate. Is there any other drink that is so tied-in and associated with a season than hot chocolate's association with winter? It truly is the comfort drink of the season.
For this happy hour, I figured I'd find something that was hot chocolate, but kicked up a notch* for the adults who read Slashfood. This Grown-Up Hot Chocolate has Ghirardelli chocolate chips and cocoa as the main ingredient, along with amaretto. You can substitute a hazelnut, orange, or coffee liqueur or peppermint schnapps or extract. The link above has a bunch of other winter cocktail recipes too, including Baroque, Glogg, and Silk Stocking.
* Seriously, I don't mean this in an "Emeril Lagasse" sort of way.
Grown-Up Hot Chocolate
4 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon amaretto
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup whipped cream
Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and half-and-half over low heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1 minute or until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat; whisk in the liqueur and vanilla. Pour into four 1⁄2-cup demitasse or coffee cups. Top each serving with whipped cream and dust with cocoa. Serve immediately.
(Instead of flavoring your hot chocolate with amaretto as this recipe calls for, use 1 tablespoon hazelnut, coffee, or orange liqueur, or peppermint schnapps, or 1⁄2 teaspoon almond or peppermint extract.)