Here’s an adult hot chocolate recipe that will warm you to your toes and it's easily made with no alcohol. It doubles as dessert and an after dinner drink all in one. The Winter Dream hot chocolate recipe is definitely a sweet indulgence!
The St. Regis, 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.
Winter Dream Hot Chocolate
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.
Hot Chocolate Ingredients
Make either the adult version with liqueurs, or for a non-alcoholic version, skip them. It's still delicious. For your shopping list:
- Whole milk
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sweetener of choice (sugar, agave syrup, rice bran syrup, monk fruit)
- Ground cinnamon
- Heavy cream
- Amaretto liqueur (optional)
- Baileys Irish Cream liqueur (optional)
- Grated nutmeg (optional)
Cocoa Powder Notes
Use smooth, rich, dark Dutch cocoa. Dutch cocoa is processed to make it blend easier 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 not processed with alkali.
Sweetener Options (sugar or sugar-free)
To sweet your hot chocolate try the following:
- Agave syrup
- Rice bran syrup
- Mon fruit blend
- Unrefined sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Chocolate liquid stevia drops
- Keto sugar-free simple syrup
How to Make Whipped Cream
Hot chocolate just would not be the same without whipped cream topping. Use a hand mixer or with an immersion blender with the whisk attachment. Add a little vanilla and sweetener first.
For the easy way, get a can of real whipped cream. Yes, the one that you can't help but squirt into your mouth first.
I use a neat tool called an Isi Thermo Whipper. Yes, it’s a bit of an indulgence when it comes to kitchen tools, but you can do more with it than just whip cream. Whip super cold whole coconut milk in place of dairy cream (for dairy-free).
Hot Chocolate Options
Use the spirits or skip them for kids and those you prefer not to drink 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 oat or almond milk for DF, vegan
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-3 teaspoons preferred sweetener
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- ½ cup heavy cream well chilled, then whipped
Winter Dream Spirits Option
- 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.