Here’s an adult hot chocolate recipe that will warm you to your toes. It doubles as dessert and an after dinner drink all in one. The Winter Dream hot chocolate recipe, from our stay at the St. Regis Resort in Park City, Utah. See notes for a non-alcoholic version.
The Marriott St. Regis Resort, Park City, Utah
Situated above the charming, historic mining town of Park City, Utah, sits the St. Regis Deer Valley. The location is breathtaking. It’s a snowy wonderland for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts. The epitome of mountain elegance, staying at the St Regis was a real treat. The sheer beauty of the area with sapphire blue skies and sparkling white snow plus gorgeous accommodations really spoils you.
My husband attended a business conference in Deer Valley (such tough duty), and this time the wives got to tag along. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to go. For this California beach girl, visiting snow country is fun. I got to bundle up and wear my sweaters, plus the fresh mountain air is so invigorating.
Winter Dream Hot Chocolate: Park City, Utah
Enjoying lunch in the hotel bar & restaurant, I started talking with the restaurant team. Whenever we travel, I find opportunities to talk with the chefs and restaurant staff, always looking to learn something new. I usually end up in the kitchen and this time was no different.
After a behind-the-scenes tour of the amazing hotel kitchen, an array of the resort’s specialty libations arrived at our table. Our favorites were the ginger margarita and the dessert style hot chocolate drink, the St Regis Winter Dream. To hot chocolate, the St. Regis adds almond flavored Amaretto and Baileys liqueurs, then tops with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg and chocolate shavings. Like it’s name, it really is a winter dream.
Start by making hot chocolate. I use milk and smooth, rich, dark Dutch cocoa. Dutch cocoa is processed to make it blend more easily with liquids. It’s an excellent choice for making hot chocolate and things like ice cream bases, and sauces. Another option is natural cocoa powder. It takes a a little more work to get it to blend but it’s totally natural.
Whip it Good
Hot chocolate just would not be the same without whipped cream topping. I use a neat tool called an Isi Thermo Whipper. Yes, it’s a bit of an indulgence when it comes to tools, but you can do more with it than just whip cream. You can whip super cold whole coconut milk in place of dairy cream. You can always whip cream by hand, with a hand mixer or with an immersion blender with the whisk attachment. Or take the easy way and get a can of real whipped cream. Yes, the one that you can’t help but squirt into your mouth first (that was for my brother).
Winter Dream Hot Chocolate Additions or Skip the Spirits
While the St. Regis adds spirits to their version of their Winter Dream hot chocolate, these additions can be skipped for a healthier option or for anyone who does not consume alcohol. Simply make hot chocolate with whole milk, cocoa, cinnamon, and a little vanilla along with a little sweetener, skipping the liqueurs. For a no-sugar sweetener options try liquid flavored stevia drops from Sweet Leaf in vanilla cream or chocolate.
For a Vegan or Non-Dairy Version
To make a vegan or non-dairy hot chocolate, use almond milk or oat milk for the base and top with coconut whipped cream. Make homemade almond milk for the best flavor, and use the rest for a morning smoothie.
Winter Dream Hot Chocolate
Basic Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-3 teaspoons preferred sweetener sugar, agace syrup, rice bran syrup, coconut crystals or liquid stevia, to taste
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream well chilled, then whipped
St. Regis Winter Dream Additions
- 3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
- 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
- Grated nutmeg
- In a small to medium saucepan, bring milk to just under a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sweetener and cinnamon until smooth.
- Add half of each liqueur into two tall mugs. Carefully pour in the hot chocolate. Top with a little whipped cream, or a lot! Garnish with grated nutmeg.