On winter mornings, when the cold seems to have pierced through to the bone, nothing quite compares to the balmy feeling of the sun’s warm glow on your back – except perhaps clutching a mug of hot chocolate. There is something in the nippy, mist-kissed air that invariably inspires a desperate craving for a sip of the beloved cocoa potion.
The Flour Works rustles up a beautiful cuppa – nice and warm, with a sprinkling of cinnamon and chilli powder for that extra kick. The sunshine filtering through the fluttering branches in the restaurant’s outdoor section act as the perfect foil for a steaming gulp. A brisk walk away from this leafy bistro is the vibrant Café 1730, which does a dark chocolate version of the brew. Redolent with lovely bittersweet overtones, it is the perfect thing to curl up with on a chilly afternoon.
Where Else Café literally serves you molten chocolate – rich, thick and as sinful as it gets. You have the option of topping it with a couple of squashy little marshmallows for a change in texture, which will almost certainly cause a sugar rush. This place clearly takes its hot chocolate seriously, for it also offers a ‘cocoa shot’, as well as a special white chocolate version on occasion, which is ingenious and absolutely decadent.
Dario’s in Lane 1, Koregaon Park, blends their hot chocolate with espresso coffee – think sweet with an aftertaste of nutty. Not to mention the combined aromas wafting out of the cup that induce a trance-like state. On the west side of town, Le Plaisir Patisserie & Bistro does a smooth and velvety spiced hot chocolate, which is like the romance of homesickness served in a cup.
We all like to make our coffees Irish once in a while, especially when the weather is that particularly biting kind of cold. A couple of establishments in the city have now gone ahead and put an intoxicating spin on hot chocolate as well. Krustys, for instance, adds a splash of heady brandy to create an adult version of your favourite hot beverage. Stone Water Grill, on its part, has gone all out and concocted a cocktail with hot cocoa, a dash of bacon fat (!), Frangelico (to add a tinge of hazelnut) and some Jim Beam bourbon. One swig of this, especially with that brilliant burning sensation it creates down your throat, should warm you right up.
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