We’re just a little over a week away from debuting our Shine Bright Holiday Capsule and we’re giddy with excitement. Working out the final details has really put the team in the holiday spirit and in the process spurred a little hot cocoa competition last week. Yum!
What we quickly learned was we never tire of a good mug of cocoa and with a little prep work you can really dapper up this drink.
So, here’s our overachieving winner – an Irish cream, hazelnut, and peppermint Cócó Te. Perfect for dapper humans looking to be a little extra this holiday season.
Speaking of “little” we save all the alcohol until the end so the little ones and those who abstain can enjoy this holiday treat as well, because what are the holidays about if not family?
Homemade Irish Cream
Irish cream is key to our winning recipe because without it your Cócó Te is just hot chocolate . . . and that’s just not as fun to say. You can purchase any number of commercial brands, but we encourage you to make your own. (it's shockingly easy)
This recipe produces roughly a quart and has a refrigerated shelf life of 6 weeks. We feel obligated to mention what a brilliant gift homemade Irish cream makes and it pairs perfectly with our Deux candle.
- 14 oz Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup Jamison Irish whiskey
- 1 tbsp Quality chocolate syrup
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Instant coffee granules
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- 1 tsp Coconut cream
Blend the sweetened condensed milk, whiskey, chocolate syrup, vanilla, and coffee for 1 minute. Once smooth you can add the cream and cream of coconut. Pulse until combined and smooth.
Bottle, refrigerate, and shake before serving.
Let's Make Some Mugs
This coco recipe won hands down and if you make it, we’re confident you’ll know why. It’s dark and rich without being bitter or too sweet. We’re sharing our favorite way to top it but honestly the options are endless.
We’re going to say this serves roughly 4 adults but that’s only if you have a second pot on the stove ready for refills, because this is the season to be indulgent.
- ¾ cup Water
- 3 tblsp Dutch-processed coco powder (you’ll need a little extra for dusting)
- 3 cups Whole milk
- 6 oz Semisweet chocolate (don’t skimp). Here’s our favorite
- 3 tblsp granulated sugar
- Toppings lightly sweetened cream, toasted marshmallow, small crushed candy cane dust
Bring the water to a simmer in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium-high flame. Whisk in 3 tsp of coco powder until it is smooth, and all the lumps are removed (great job for the little ones).
Add your milk and return to a low, slow simmer. Add the finely chopped chocolate and sugar and whisk constantly until smooth. The key is to never really bring the milk to a boil – lower and slower is best.
The tikes and non-drinkers are ready to top with whipped cream, marshmallows, and candy cane dust.
For the Clifton+Leopold Cócó Te experience add ½ oz of Frangelico, ½ oz Brandy and 1 oz of your Irish cream before topping your mug.