Forget mulled wine or hot toddies, ’tis the season for steaming cups of hot chocolate.
While summer is all about drinking cocktails on rooftop bars and sipping smoothies in the park, winter is made for finding a cosy corner in café and bunkering down with a mug of this glorious beverage.
Dark, creamy, topped with marshmallows, flavoured with chilli, or even Guinness; whatever your preference, warm up with our picks of the capital’s hottest hot chocolates.
A blend of crushed Maltesers and organic steamed milk, the Malted Hot Chocolate has become a signature at speciality coffee bar Vice Coffee Inc, Middle Abbey Street. Now, they have gone one step further with The Mocca Master; their classic hot chocolate spiked with a shot of Irish Coole Swan Irish Liquer or Tia Maria. While you are at it you might as well sample the rest of their Signature Cocktail menu – which includes the Black Forest Betty chocolate infused Absolute vodka, espresso, black cherry, cream, and chocolate shavings.
Like their porridge served with toasted seeds, dried fruit and crystallised ginger, or beans classic topped with soft-fried eggs, turmeric-lemon yogurt, hazelnut dukkah
and pickled onions, Brother Hubbard North and South, f.k.a Sister Sadie, know how to rework a classic into something exceedingly delicious. Their hot chocolate too has been given the BH treatment, and comes in a pimped up fashion: a rich chocolate ganache served with steamed chocolate milk.
Can’t decide between a night in front of the fire, or a night out on the town? Zozimus Bar‘s Boozy Hot Coco might just be the perfect combination between cosy and crazy. If the sound of a combination of a generous amount of golden rum, warm luxurious chocolate milk, layered with vanilla cream and sprinkled crushed chocolate biscuit doesn’t get you off the couch I don’t know what will.
As evidenced by the stunning display of handmade truffles, macarons, pastries, ganaches and more, Cocoa Atelier, the French-inspired, Irish-owned chocolate boutique on Drury Street, knows a thing or two about the fine art of chocolate making. No less care is put into their opulent hot chocolates, and they make it all the more tempting with a combo deal of a small hot chocolate and macaron for only €3. Bottles of this luscious liquid are also available to take home.
The ‘Made by Me’ counter, allowing you to create your own personalised chocolate bar, might be the star attraction at Coco Bó on O’Connell Street, but they put all that liquid chocolate to other good uses too, such as for their decadent hot chocolate range. There is no ‘standard’ option here, the menu starts at Luxury, and only goes up from there with the version Deluxe served with a topping of whipped fresh cream, and the 99 Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and a flake – all of which are served with an extra helping of melted chocolate and a singular large marshmallow perfect for dunking.
Made from the molten chocolate prepared daily at their chocolate factory, Butlers Chocolate award winning hot chocolate is one of the most popular hot drinks at their chain of cafés, and you only need to take a look at their menu to see why. Along with the classics, white, milk and dark, you can savour the likes of praline, coconut, almond and even chilli varieties.
Of course, no trip to Dublin Airport would be complete without a hot chocolate at Butlers, and with a chocolate of your choice free with every order you can forget the impending flight as the sugar high alone will take you sky high.
Although hidden away on the shady Stephen Street Lower, a spotlight is often shone on Accents Coffee & Tea Lounge for their signature hot chocolates. Stir into steamed milk your choice of white, milk or dark Belgium chocolate buttons, accompanied by a generous side of marshmallows. Sink into the cosy couches, leather armchairs, or comfy beanbags and drift away to chocolate heaven.
With a name like The Sweetest Thing one would expect that this café would deliver a spectacular sugar shock. Delivering on that and then some, along with a mind boggling array of sweets and desserts their hot chocolates are regarded as some as the best in the city. Their impressive selection includes Baileys, mint, peanut butter, white, and even a Guinness hot chocolate.
There’s nothing sly about The Fat Fox café’s hot chocolate selection. Their overtly delicious milk, white, dark (a Christmas special), and peppermint hot chocolate range are all made using Belgian chocolate by their skilled baristas. Perhaps this is the reason why the fox has piled on a few pounds.
An offshoot of Lorge Chocolatier in Kenmare, Benoit’s Chocolate Factory recreates master chocolatier Benoit’s famous Valrhona chocolate infused hot chocolate, and sell pouches of its ‘Ultimate Hot Chocolate’ to cafés, restaurants and hotels for you to enjoy at home. For the month of December only, Benoit’s Chocolate Factory will host a pop-up Hot Chocolate Bar in the Arnotts Festive Flavours Market. Personalise your mug of magic with the likes of marshmallows, caramel, mint, doughnuts or hazelnuts, and savour alongside Belgian chocolate lollipops, Christmas tree decorations, bars, or loose chocolates.
Although no longer available at the weekly Temple Bar Food Market, Bean and Goose‘s grown up hot chocolate is worth seeking out. To a rich dark cocoa and brown sugar stock, sisters Karen and Natalie Keane add 66% Mexican single origin chocolate, bay leaf, cinnamon, and vanilla for their Aztec hot chocolate, or a shot of Writers Tears whiskey to the Irish Whiskey spiced infusion.
Make a beeline for their stall at the upcoming Teeling Whiskey Craft Fair or at the Makers and Brothers Christmas pop up on Dawson Street. Most excitingly, the pair have plans to create a retail version of their hot chocolate in 2017, and they will be popping up at a number of larger retailers soon doing tasters.
The fact that small-batch roaster and speciality café Urbanity Coffee in Smithfield does great coffee is no surprise, but their hot chocolate shouldn’t be overlooked. Made using chocolate from Hazel Mountain Chocolate, Ireland’s first stone ground ‘bean to bar’ chocolatiers, this cosy concoction might just be worth forgoing your caffeine fix for.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.