Warm and inviting, enjoy a steaming mug of spiked gingerbread hot chocolate this winter. This recipe is very simple and features a homemade gingerbread syrup, which is also a breeze to mix up.
Beyond the spiced syrup that makes this cocoa taste like gingerbread, you can customize it with your choice of liquor. Spiced rum is a favorite because it amplifies the spiciness and offsets the sweet chocolate, and ginger vodka is fun for the same reason. If you prefer a sweeter background, search for a bottle of maple-flavored whiskey, such as Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky.
If you prefer to buy syrup, many companies offer gingerbread as a flavor option. Amoretti, Davinci, and Torani are among the most common and may even be available at your local store.
- For the Gingerbread Syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar (white)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 (1-inch) slice ginger root (chopped or 1 tablespoon ground ginger)
- 4 cloves (whole)
- 4 allspice (whole)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- For the Hot Chocolate:
- 1 cup milk (or water)
- 1 packet hot cocoa mix
- 1 1/2 ounces spiced rum (or maple whiskey, ginger vodka)
- 1 ounce gingerbread syrup
- Garnish: cinnamon stick
Make the Gingerbread Syrup
Making the gingerbread syrup is just as easy as any other simple syrup. The key is to allow the spices to steep inside the syrup for nearly an hour in total to maximize the flavor.
This recipe makes about 1 cup of syrup, enough for about eight mugs of gingerbread hot chocolate. Try it in other hot drinks as well. It's great with coffee and makes a fantastic gingerbread latte.
- In a saucepan, heat the water over medium-high heat. Stir in the two sugars until they dissolve completely.
- Add the spices and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, keep the pan covered, and set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Strain out the spices, bottle, and label. The syrup will remain fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
Make Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
While this recipe suggests using a dried cocoa mix with milk, you can use your favorite hot chocolate recipe. Simply make the cocoa, then add the syrup and liquor of your choice. You can also make it non-alcoholic by skipping the booze.
Also, some powdered cocoas are better with water. Follow the directions on your mix for the best results.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, gently heat the milk. Stir it constantly with a whisk and do not let it come to a boil or scald.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the hot cocoa mix, ensuring it's completely mixed in.
- In a warm mug, pour your choice of spiced rum, ginger vodka, or maple as well as the gingerbread syrup.
- Top with the hot cocoa and stir well.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick.