Red wine hot chocolate. We’ll admit that at first sight, these two beverages may sound like they’d make for odd bed fellows. But think about it. We eat chocolate while we drink wine, in fact, the pair is known to go together quite gracefully, so why not create a recipe that joins your two favorite pleasures into one sinfully delicious mug?
Turns out we’re not the first ones to think of this, either. The beverage has been growing in popularity over the past couple of winter seasons, popping up in Cosmopolitan Magazine, on Martha Stewart’s official Facebook page, and even in the New York Times.
The recipe itself is so simple that it feels as though you must be leaving something out. 1 ½ cup of milk, 1 cup of red wine, and 1/3 cup of chocolate chunks. If you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to have some whipped cream on standby for flair.
Fire up the stove, but keep it to a medium heat level, and grab a medium saucepan. Start by heating your milk and folding in the chocolate chunks, stirring occasionally until the chocolate melts. The concoction will be a bit frothy at this stage and smell like delicious chocolate milk. All that is left to do at this point is pour in the red wine. Feel free to turn the heat down just a notch, but continue stirring regularly until the mixture reaches a uniform heat level.
This is a very rich, decadent beverage. It’s certainly best suited to be enjoyed on its own, versus with a meal, and probably best enjoyed from a small glass instead of a large mug.
The trick to success, according to multiple food bloggers, seems to be working with real chocolate as opposed to powdered cocoa. The balance between the real chocolate and the red wine is one that removes any bitterness from the finished product. When you’re ready to take it to the next level of gourmet, try heating the red wine separately and adding spices to the blend. Things like cinnamon, all spice, and cloves are mentioned often. Then, instead of blending the red wine into your chocolate, you add the two heated beverages only at the moment of serving. This can create a jolly spin on the rich drink.
As for what variety of red wine to use, don’t overthink it. We found a variety of recipes calling for everything from Zinfandel to Merlot. What they all had in common, however, was an insistence on not overspending on your wine. A cheap bottle will work just well as a pricey one for this endeavor, so there is no need to get spendy. Instead, focus on a type of red wine that you like on its own, and then work it into this modern take on an adult beverage for wintertime.