The holidays may be filled with cocktail and wine parties but there’s perhaps no better drink to warm up with this month than a good, tasty hot chocolate. And with the yummy varieties found in the Capital City, there’s sure to be one to hit your holiday hot spot.
Best traditional: Silver Spoon Bake Shop
The hot chocolate at Silver Spoon Bake Shop receives as much attention to detail as the shop’s decadent sweets. The hot chocolate is made from scratch using an imported Belgian chocolate that results in a rich, velvety drinks topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Add a shot of espresso for a delicious mocha for just a few quarters more.
$2 for 12 oz., $3 for 20 oz. 2507 Devine St, Columbia. www.silverspoonbakeshop.com
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Most indulgent: Drip
It hardly seems fair to just call the decadent chocolate beverage served at Drip “hot chocolate.” The drink is actually made from a blend of 100 percent cocoa and Callebant chocolate, a Belgian Couverture chocolate with a high cocoa butter content used by gourmet and culinary professionals. It is combined with heavy cream and milk. No need to order a side of pie – with this drink, dessert’s in the cup.
$3.75 for 8 oz. 729 Saluda Ave. and 1441 Main St. www.dripcolumbia.com
Best adult version: Kaminsky’s
For the grown-up version of your favorite comforting winter beverage, head to Kaminsky’s and order the Hot Buttery Chocolate – hot chocolate combined with a smooth butterscotch schnapps. It’s like a “cult favorite” according to the staff. Feeling a little more festive? Consider the Peppermint Pattie version made with – you guessed it – hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.
$7. 930 Gervais St. www.kaminskys.com
Best flavored: Sweet Cream Company
The three rich hot chocolates at Sweet Cream Company are made with made with milk or almond milk and Sweet Cream’s rich cocoa powder, the same used for their dark chocolate ice cream. The classic is solid, but for a fun twist, add the cayenne flavor for a little heat or the peanut butter flavor for a beverage reminiscent of a melted peanut butter cup.
$3.59 for 12 oz., $4.29 for 20 oz. 1627 Main St. www.sweetcreamcompany.com
Best white hot chocolate: Cool Beans
For white chocolate lovers, the white hot chocolate at Cool Beans will hit the spot. The traditional features a creamy white hot chocolate steamed with milk. Not sure if you want the white chocolate or a dark chocolate taste? Order the zebra for a beautifully swirled combination of the two. For the taste of a Christmas cookie in your cup, order the macaroon. It’s made with white chocolate, mocha, almonds and cocoa (and a shot of espresso if you’d like to add it). For an additional 50 cents, Cool Beans also offers a vegan hot chocolate made with soy or almond milk and a vegan cocoa powder.
$3.50 for 12 oz. 1217 College St. www.coolbeanscoffeecompany.net