When the particular wind gets whippy and the snow begins to flutter, there’s nothing quite like a cup of creamy, velvety hot cocoa to warm the soul. So we set out on a hunt for the best of the best.
But before we share some associated with the best spots in order to grab the nostalgic mug of chocolate bliss, did you know that the terms hot cacao and very hot chocolate are two different drinks?
It’s true. Despite the particular fact that most people use the names interchangeably, they’re actually pretty different. And since this list includes both warm cocoa plus hot chocolates, along with European drinking chocolate, all of us thought it would be interesting to clarify.
Hot cocoa is a term for what most of us grew up consuming: a hot drink made from sugar, dry milk powder and cocoa powder that can be prepared simply by mixing this with water (though using hot milk is always worth the extra effort).
Hot chocolate, on the other hand, is actually produced from melted or grated chocolate which is mixed with hot milk. Depending upon the quality of dark chocolate that’s used, hot chocolate bars almost usually has a creamier texture and a richer mouthfeel than hot cacao.
And then there’s drinking chocolate, which takes things to an entirely new level. Most commonly, you’ll find it made with equal parts high quality melted or grated delicious chocolate and frothed heavy cream. But a slightly less rich version can become achieved by mixing a higher ratio of grated or even melted candy with the lesser amount of sizzling milk.
You’ll find a little bit of everything on this particular alphabetical list, including a number associated with venues where you can take your popular cocoa in order to the next level along with a shot (or two) of alcohol.
1. Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea
If you haven’t paid a visit to this county fair-themed coffee shop in Yankee HIll, it’s worth a trip to enjoy the bright, quirky space, multi-roaster coffee offerings plus satisfying menu of housemade breakfast offerings, salads and sandwiches.
On the scorching chocolate side, they offer the nod in order to their home city of Chicago with Vosges fair trade consuming chocolate, which usually is steamed with whole milk and served with a Vosges black salt coconut caramel marshmallow truffle ($5. 99)
If you’re expecting the bracingly rich cup associated with hot sweet, this won’t fulfill your expectations. But the drink is creamy and smooth with a delicate cocoa flavor that will – when sipped in between bites of truffle – comprises a lovely afternoon treat.
Prefer it with a jolt of caffeine? Order up the Vosges chocolate truffle mocha, which offers up the particular best of both worlds.
2 . Goddess & the Baker
When within Brookfield, Goddess and the Baker is a beautifully appointed stop for uniquely delicious lattes, well-executed treats and satisfying meals that run the gamut from downright healthy to indulgent.
Around the indulgent side you will find their selection of “Liquid Chocolate, ” European style drinking candies that truly delivers on the promise of rich, decadent chocolate flavor. Like a shot of deep chocolates truffle in a glass, this silky dark chocolate goes down like rich and creamy velvet. It’s the perfect dessert; but I wouldn’t blame a person for drinking it… well, anytime.
It’s available by the glass in four versions: Straight Up ($5. 49); Buzzed (with the double shot of espresso, $5. 99); Salted Caramel (mixed along with house-made salted caramel sauce. $5. 99); or Chai (mixed with masala chai, $5. 99).
But , if it is your first go-round, I’d highly recommend ordering the Liquid Chocolate Flight, which comes with 4 generous pours of Straight Up, Chai, Salted Caramel plus (seasonal) Peppermint ($7. 49). And yes – in classic Goddess fashion – they serve it up a couple of the particular glasses along with a bit of glitter on top.
If you’d prefer something lighter, their own standard incredibly hot chocolate – made with steamed milk – is smooth and creamy with just enough chocolate bars flavor. Get it plain or grab right up their seasonal peppermint edition.
3. Kilwins Milwaukee
Kilwins is an one -stop shop for treats of all sorts, through Makinac Island fudge and handmade chocolates to copper-kettle made brittle, chewy caramels, housemade ice cream (and your favorite ice cream cakes) plus caramel apples.
Their fantastic sizzling hot chocolate is made with steamed dairy and their particular signature shredded dark delicious chocolate. Each indulgent cup is topped with whipped lotion and evenmore shredded candy (12 ounce for $4. 69 or even 16 oz for $5. 69). Guests can also purchase Kilwins sweet shred to make drinks at home.
As good as their regular hot chocolate is, I’d recommend going for their salted caramel hot cocoa, which incorporates house caramel sauce, signature shredded dark chocolate and a topping associated with whipped cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle and a sprinkling of sea salt. It’s decadence at its finest ($5. 29 or $5. 99).
Prefer an indulgent version of awesome chocolate that’s more like European drinking candies? Kilwins also offers their own version of drinking chocolate, featuring the higher ratio of chocolates shreds in order to steamed whole milk. The 4-ounce cup ($3. 49) will be meant to be savored; it’s thick, ultra-chocolatey and delicious.
4. La Finca Coffeehouse
There’s so much to love about La Finca Coffeehouse, from its welcoming vibe plus menu associated with fantastic Mexican fare (try the breakfast tacos) to its espresso drinks, which are created using coffee from their family farm in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Another delight is their own Mexican heated chocolate, which is made along with Abuelita dark chocolate, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and steamed milk products ($4. 25). It’s easy, creamy and just sweet enough with a touch of warming cinnamon and a slight kick from the capsaicin.
If you could use the bit associated with caffeine, order the Philippine Mocha. It is a similar build with two shots of espresso in order to boot. If you arrive before it runs out, I’d highly recommend their housemade champurrado made out of Ibarra chocolate bars, cinnamon, star anise, piloncillo, oat milk and masa. It’s traditional, delicious and dairy-free.
5. Rochambo Coffee & Tea House
Rochambo has been a classic stop on Brady Street since 1995, not only for a cup of exceptional, thoughtfully sourced coffee or tea, yet also a liberal dose of community. And there is good reason behind its longevity. Not only do they whip up the delicious cortado and the best(! ) Irish coffee in the city, they also keep folks’ interest with distinctively delicious products.
Their own Bhakti chai chocolate ($5. 45) is usually no exception. Made with exceptional ingredients, this mash-up of chai and Indulgence Chocolatiers dark chocolate hot cocoa is a stellar example of how top-notch elements can come together to create an outstanding beverage experience.
Chai and chocolate are natural companions. You get all the richness of the cocoa, plus warming spices from the particular chai. In Rochambo’s case, you also obtain the excellent pop associated with freshly pressed ginger, which usually takes this particular otherwise average looking cup of very hot cocoa to another level altogether. Oh – did I mention it is topped along with fresh whipped cream and a bit more cocoa plus sea salt on the top? Truly exceptional.
6. Tabal Chocolate
A trip to Tabal’s Wauwatosa shop is definitely always a treat. Not only will you find their retail chocolate bars, but also shelves filled with new creations, a full situation of handmade chocolates and ingredients like cocoa nibs and delicious chocolate hazelnut spread (better compared to Nutella) to enhance your cooking and beverage making. There’s gelato plus coffee. They also have a lovely choice of gift-worthy items because well.
Among their particular offerings is housemade drinking chocolate, which – want all of their products – is really a bean in order to bar product, offers the intensely complex flavor associated with single origin cacao beans, which usually possess not only the base of classic candy flavor, but a strong fruitiness as well.
Even better, a person can stop in and sample their house hot sweet ($4. 25) or sipping chocolate (smaller cup, yet more intense flavor, $3. 50). Both are tasty when made with full-fat dairy, since I’d make them at house.
But you can purchase up cups constructed with coconut milk in the shop, and that is a completely different experience. You still get the wealthy flavor from the chocolate, first and foremost; but the particular mouthfeel can be slightly various. It’s rich and creamy, but slightly thinner and the coconut milk seems to underscore the innate fruitiness of the particular chocolate even more.
7. Camp Bar
If you are looking for a place to get into the holiday spirit, Get away Bar’s Santa Camp is certainly definitely a good option. You’ll find festive music, over the top decor plus a menu of holiday-themed cocktails that will warm your own heart (no matter how Grinchy and small).
Among the offerings upon their menu is a very nice (or maybe naughty) spiked hot cocoa. Named in homage to Cousin Eddie and his memorable quote from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, ” Shitter’s Full is made with Swiss Miss warm cocoa mix and your choice of Jack Daniel’s Fire or Dr . McGillicuddy’s.
Either version is far better than the particular name would insinuate. In fact, I’d recommend trying the drink spiked with Jack Daniels Fire; it’s a pleasant sipper for a cold winter evening.
8. County Clare
There aren’t many places more cozy than the “snug” from County Clare Pub, where the atmosphere is as congenial as you’d expect from an Irish bar. I’ve consumed a number of Irish whiskeys plus Guinnesses there. But, this wasn’t until recently that I tried their truly delicious spiked sizzling cocoa.
Terry’s Hot Chocolate is the name associated with the drink, which is flavored with orange vodka, Irish lotion, and popular chocolate ($9). Topped along with fresh whipped cream, the particular drink arrives together nicely with the flavor that’s reminiscent of the chocolate oranges that ruled the 1990s. I’m guessing the drink is named after that nostalgic treat, and – although you don’t get in order to experience the fun of “whacking and unwrapping it” – it’s a delicious indulgence just the same.
9. Nomad Coffee Bar
Nomad Coffee Bar is a relative newcomer to the scene, but it is an apt sister-venue to the soccer-themed Nomad World Pub, which pays homage towards the pub’s early days in the particular 1990s whenever it was a full-on coffeehouse during the daytime plus a soccer bar in the evening.
The covered, heated deck makes it an enjoyable spot in order to grab breakfast time or lunch, even during the colder months. And, nicely, it’s the downright picture during special events, particularly World Cup festivities during which cups of coffee are essential to get still the hardcore football fans through the particular sometimes very early morning games.
Yet I’m here to talk about their own hot cacao ($3), which usually stands up against many others within the town thanks to its thoughtful construction with Omanhene scorching cocoa, a brand which was birthed in Milwaukee and which pioneered the first, single-bean, processed-at-origin, all-natural (non-alkalized) cocoa natural powder featured within a powdered hot cocoa drink blend.
It’s delicious on its own, with a rich, full body along with a lovely fruity aftertaste that is reminiscent of raspberries; the whipped cream at the top helps to pull everything together and enhance its mouthfeel. At Nomad Coffee, you can order “Bend it Very hot Cocoa” to which you can add a shot of any number of liqueurs or even spirits with regard to $5. In this case, I might opt for Chambord to underscore those raspberry notes. But the butterscotch schnapps We tried along with my mug last week was fairly darned amazing too.
Your choices regarding shots include: Absolut, Aperol, Aquavit, Baileys, Bulleit bourbon or rye, butterscotch schnapps, Calico Jack port, Campari, Cazadores, Chambord, Disaronno Amaretto, Dr Mcgillicuddy’s Menthol, Espolon, Fernet Branca, Frangelico, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Goslings Rum, Jameson, Kahlua, Malort, Rumchata, white Sambuca, Sqrrl, Tuaca, Mezcal
10. Vintage Grounds Coffeehouse
Classic Grounds will be one of those spots you would never guess was inside a strip mall. It is cozy plus quaint with a cute little lounge area and fireplace and lots of (surprise) vintage tables plus decor. It’s a great spot to grab a cup of coffee or something in order to eat using their menu which features all-day breakfast, sandwiches and salads.
The particular coffee store also has the liquor license, so you can add a shot of liqueur or spirits to any drink, resulting in the potential for Irish Cream lattes and… bourbon spiked hot cacao, which is usually what I chose to order on my most recent trip.
I don’t think I’ve ever added bourbon to incredibly hot cocoa prior to, but if you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of cabin coffee, this little dandy has a similar impact. Sweet caramel notes mix along with creamy cocoa and lotion and about 2 sips in, you’ll feel that deep warming sensation that makes you forget how cold it is outside.
Warm chocolate is definitely $4. 50 for a 16-ounce pour. Meanwhile, your options intended for adding a shot consist of: Full spectrum CBD ($2); spirits (whiskey, bourbon, rum, vodka, brandy, $3); liqueur (schnapps, Kahlúa, Irish cream, $2)