There's never a better time for hot chocolate than Valentine's Day. It's cold outside and a warm drink is the only option. Why not go for a fun flavor that matches the holiday?
Here are ten hot chocolate flavors to add to your coffee shop menu that will complement your customers' Valentine's Day spirit:
1. Hazelnut Cocoa
Hazelnut and chocolate have been paired since the early 1800s. Originally, this happened because hazelnuts were so much cheaper than cocoa beans and had a similar taste. As time went on and the price of chocolate lessened, people continued to put these flavors together because they loved the taste and your patrons will too. To make this, add two pumps of hazelnut syrup to your regular hot chocolate.
2. Mexican Cinnamon
Cocoa beans originated in Central and South America. They were initially made to be drunk with chiles and other spices. While that practice has changed in the United States, Mexican Cinnamon hot chocolate brings cocoa back to its roots. It's made by adding cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and nutmeg to hot chocolate. This warm and spicy take on cocoa is a great addition to any Valentine's menu.
3. Almond Coconut
Chocolate, almonds, and coconut is another classic combination. In the US, we've been enjoying it in the form of Almond Joy bars since 1945. This hot chocolate combines these flavors once again to make a sweet and nutty flavor reminiscent of an Almond Joy. Make this with your regular milk chocolate hot cocoa and two pumps of both almond and coconut flavorings. For extra flair, add coconut shavings on top of the whipped cream.
4. Red Velvet
Red velvet cake is a Valentine's Day staple. It's red, it's rich, it's the perfect cake. Because it's been popular for upwards of sixty years, there are many iterations of this flavor. People have made milkshakes, ice cream, coffee, and even truffles. To make red velvet hot cocoa for your menu, simply add a half teaspoon of red food coloring, an extra pump of dark chocolate syrup, and cream cheese frosting instead of regular whipped cream to your standard hot chocolate. This would be perfect to serve in these red cups.
5. Hot Chocolate Float
Also known as a "Snowman in a Hot Tub," this drink combines vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate. It's a big crowd-pleaser because, as the ice cream melts, the hot chocolate gets more thick and frothy. To make this, simply add one (or two) scoops of ice cream to hot chocolate. This two-ounce scoop would be perfect for this drink.
6. Pink Drink
Pink is a cardinal color for Valentine's Day, so of course you need this on your menu! It's made with a base of white chocolate, three pumps of strawberry syrup or puree, and strawberry drizzle on top of the whipped cream. This is a fun drink guaranteed to dazzle your customers.
7. Cookies and Cream
Cookies and cream hot cocoa is a less common drink but that just means it'll spark curiosity within your patrons. It's a classic mixture of dark chocolate and vanilla. The way you can make this is by adding a pump of vanilla syrup and two pumps of dark chocolate syrup to your regular hot chocolate. Then, take crushed Oreos and sprinkle them on top of your whipped cream. This will be an instant hit. Try serving it in these textured white cups.
8. Cherry Vanilla
Cherry and vanilla is a classic combination. Adding it to chocolate takes it to another level your customers will love. To make this, add two pumps of Grenadine or cherry syrup and one pump of vanilla syrup to your regular hot chocolate. Top it off with whipped cream and a cherry.
9. Peppermint Cocoa
Chocolate and mint is a classic combination that's a favorite of many across the country. It may seem too late in the season for peppermint, but the color makes this perfect for Valentine's Day. A good way to spruce up your regular peppermint hot chocolate recipe is to add red heart sprinkles on top of the whipped cream and a quarter tablespoon of red food coloring to the drink. This will be sure to impress your customers.
10. Hot Lava
This is a much more rich take on hot chocolate. It's reminiscent of chocolate lava cake, making it perfect for Valentine's Day. To make it, substitute half of the milk used for sweetened condensed milk, add an extra pump of dark chocolate, and put chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream. Your patrons will love this new take on a classic Valentine's Dessert.
Valentine's Day is a time for eating, or drinking, decadent things. These flavors will be a major factor in driving traffic to your coffee shop this time of year. Consider adding these items to your menu for some extra romantic Valentine’s flair.