We’ve talked Iced Coffee, we’ve covered Smoothies but with the return of polar bears who carry the baggage of seasonal vortexes, there is only one non-alcoholic libation that gets a New Yorker through frost bite with a smile. It’s not tea — tea is great but not necessarily indulgent, and when your fingernails have grown so irreversibly brittle, indulgence is all you’ve got. It’s not coffee either because maybe we’re quitting, maybe we’re not. Also, it’s not quite as sweet, both literally and figuratively as our shining star, the liquid apex and sole redeeming quality of Jack Frost’s oasis.
Have you guessed what it is yet?
It just occurred to me that the story’s title is a tell-all.
I feel like I’m standing pants down, only if that were true, you would see that I am wearing emo pink and black underwear that look like they’re from Hot Topic and say Bad on them.
Here’s a guide to good hot chocolate in New York City.
Maman, 239 Centre Street
Lavender flavored hot chocolate from a beautiful little piece of Aix-en-Provence staffed with handsome french angels and pretty patisseries. The hot chocolate is delicately scented and doesn’t taste too floral or too rich.
Swiss Miss Coca Powder with Marshmallows
It never fails to be perfect because you can’t mess it up. Too chocolatey? Add coffee or more water. Too watery? Add more powder. The crunchy little freeze-dried Marshmallows are floating bits of happy aliens covered in cotton, and make me feel like an astronaut. Oh, and I’m sorry, this story is titled “Good Hot Chocolate in NYC” but you can get this stuff anywhere? Well if I’m in New York, and I’m drinking Swiss Miss, then news flash, Channel 5. It’s the best in New York.
-Amelia “weird red head” Diamond
Sant Ambroeus, 265 Lafayette Street
The general manager, Alireza, brought the Man Repeller team some of its crack equivalent last week and it was more of a sipping chocolate than your typical hot chocolate (it was really rich and delicious). He said it was a giant block of chocolate melted into the cup.
City Bakery, 3 West 18th Street
I think of City as the old staple for hot chocolate; they serve it in what resembles a soup bowl and add a giant homemade marshmallow the size of a Rubix Cube.
Also, has anyone tried MarieBelle?
-Charlotte “I love knit two-pieces” Fassler
Mast Brothers, Williamsburg
Mast Brothers just started brewing their own hot chocolate, and it is some next level shit, especially because their maple chocolate bar is my favorite confectionery ever.
Or, to try and copy their recipe at home:
4 cups whole milk
1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces dark chocolate
Combine and warm on stove
-Krista “I am the coolest member of this stupid team” Lewis
To make at home if you don’t drink dairy and are sugar-conscious:
This Vegan Mint Hot Chocolate recipe from the Instagram account @runningonveggies:
1 cup of almond milk
a few stems of fresh mint
1 bag of peppermint tea
2 teaspoons of cocoa
Nu Naturals peppermint liquid stevia to taste
Combine all ingredients and warm on stove
Separately, Fika Mexican Hot Chocolate is sold by the box in nearly all of their NYC locations, and is the perfect blend of dark chocolate, cinnamon and chipotle. If you’re stopping in at the Tribeca flagship, make sure to stock up on their bite-sized chocolates too. Melt them over the stove and fondue your celery sticks.
-Esther “I love dance cardio and paleo cookies” Levy
Max Brenner, 841 Broadway
There is a 0% chance that this hot chocolate isn’t actually just a bar of melted milk chocolate, which comes topped with marshmallows. You have the option to overload the cup in many marshmallows or submit yourself to just a few sprinkled in. I would suggest doing the former. After two or three sips, you might start to feel nauseous but just power through it. Trust me.
TriBeCa’s Greenwich Hotel, which is connected to Locanda Verde, also serves a delicious helping of hot chocolate in a white ceramic mug about the size of my head (which, surprising, isn’t big to scale but seems generous for a ration of hot chocolate) and can come with a) marshmallows, b) chili flakes, c) cinnamon.
-Leandra “Wears the same jeans 15 times a week” Medine
This seems like barely a dent in the underworld that is the saccharine potion so, please, finish off our list.