For those who mourn an era of the civilized five o’clock tipple, happy days are here again. At the end of a workday, hot cocoa is improved with a tot of something a bit stronger for extra fortification. The combination of cocoa, sea salt, and bourbon elevates the humble cup with a perfect balance of sweet and earthy flavors. Be sure to save some “virgin” hot cocoas for the under-21 crowd.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- 1 pinch Maldon sea salt
- 4 cups milk
- 3 ounces bourbon
- 2 dashes cherry bitters
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Combine cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. In a separate saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until it becomes hot, not quite to a boil.
- Add just a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the cocoa mix, and stir into a smooth paste with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the remainder of the milk and continue stirring until fully incorporated.
- Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, add the bourbon and cherry bitters, then froth with an immersion blender until creamy and foamy. Divide into four pre-warmed cups, and top each with whipped cream if desired.