Secrets to a Happy Toronto Winter: #4. Hot chocolate isn’t just for kids
1 Briotett Crème de Chataigne (that’s French chestnut liqueur) and aged rum are the boozy additions to Colette’s hot chocolate made with unsweetened Valhrona. The nutty mix is poured into a tall beer glass and topped till overflowing with freshly whipped cream. $16. 550 Wellington St. W., 647-348-7000.
2 Soma’s cinnamon-spiked Mayan elixir combines dark Venezuelan chocolate, Australian ginger, Madagascar vanilla, orange peel and chili. It can be served as an intense, tingly shot, or blended with milk or water for a spicy drink to linger over. $3.33. 32 Tank House Ln., 416-815-7662; 443 King St. W., 416-599-7662.
3 Sweet freak Nadège Nourian imports rare Illanka chocolate from the Piura region of northern Peru for a special line of truffles, bonbons and sublime hot chocolate. Her house-made lemon marshmallows melt into the cocoa-infused hot milk, highlighting the chocolate’s fruity notes. $5. 780 Queen St. W., 416-368-2009; plus two other GTA locations.
4 Imagine churning Reese’s cups into molten goo and you’ll understand how outrageously good Delight’s peanut butter hot chocolate is. Organic PB, Harmony cream and Camino chocolate are whisked together for an over-the-top mug. $3.75. 3040 Dundas St. W., 416-760-9995.
5 The subterranean tapas restaurant Barsa Taberna serves up a spiked hot chocolate goosed with arak (an anise-based Lebanese spirit), star anise, Chinese five spice, and lemon and orange zest. It’s dessert and an aromatic bedtime tonic rolled into one. $10. 26 Market St., 647-341-3642.