While I admittedly love pretty much everything about winter, I will agree that the cold can get pretty rough. Sure, sweaters and extra blankets help, but the best cure for an icy cold day? Warm beverages. Make that — warm adult beverages.
I attribute my survival of this year’s polar vortex to some warm, boozy beverages, so I feel qualified to say that they not only help but may just be a necessity. While you can go the easy route and just add some peppermint schnapps or Rumchata to your hot chocolate, if you’re stuck inside because of the weather, you might as well go all out.
My new favorite? Spiked white hot chocolate with cabernet caramel sauce! You read that right — the hot chocolate is spiked and so is the caramel sauce. It literally does not get better than that.
The recipe comes from Woodbridge Robert Mondavi Winery and uses their cabernet for the caramel sauce. The hot chocolate requires whatever brand of dark rum you’d prefer, along with whole milk, vanilla, white chocolate chips and whipped cream.
Total cook time is 20–25 minutes, but it will only take you about five minutes to throw together. The full recipe serves four to six people, so it would definitely work if you were having a winter party — or if you were just really, really cold, of course.
Take a look at the full recipe below:
Spiked White Hot Chocolate with Woodbridge Cabernet Caramel Sauce
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20–25 minutes total (inactive)
Yield: 4–6 servings
The Cabernet Caramel Ingredients:
1 bottle Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
The White-Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
5 cups whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups good quality white chocolate chips
6-8 Tbsp. dark rum
1 cup whipped cream, unsweetened
Reduce the red wine: In a medium pot, reduce the Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is ¾ cup total liquid, 15–20 minutes. Keep warm.
Make the Cabernet caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat for 6–8 minutes or until an amber-colored caramel forms. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the reduced wine. Return to the stove and simmer 3–5 additional minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Keep warm.
Make the hot chocolate: In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat about 2 cups of the milk and the vanilla over low heat. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl that fits on top of the pot to create a makeshift double boiler. Gently melt the chocolate in the bowl above the milk, stirring with a rubber spatula. When melted, remove from the heat and heat the remaining milk in the pot until it simmers. Gently whisk the warm, melted chocolate into the milk. Add the rum to taste, if using…
Serve the drink: Spoon some cabernet caramel into the bottom of four large mugs or six smaller cups. Pour in the hot white chocolate mix. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with additional cabernet caramel. Have kids at the party? Simply omit the rum and the caramel and dust with a little cinnamon instead!
If you’re looking for an easier drink, you might want to check out this “Santa’s Sin” cocktail. Obviously, you don’t have to wait until next Christmas to try it, as it’s simply hot chocolate, Rumchata and salted caramel vodka.
Will you be making this delicious beverage the next time you’re in need of a warm-up?