Ginger Is The Surefire Way To Spice Up A Classic Cup Of Hot Chocolate

There's a special comfort that comes in the form of a familiar food or drink, something you only find in hand-me-down recipes and home kitchens. Some days, that's all you need to keep the belly happy and the heart content. It could be a decadent, cheesy pan of lasagna, or a pie warm from the oven and redolent of childhood memories. On particularly cold days, however, the universal choice seems to be a steaming hot cup of chocolate. And when you need a little bit more warmth to combat the chill, adding ginger into the mix is the way to go.

Known for its distinctively spicy taste and fiery aroma, ginger offers a gentle heat and adds extra coziness to hot chocolate. Tasting Table recipe developer Susan Olayinka, who has her own version of ginger hot chocolate, describes it as "a warm, spicy kick that's perfect for chilly evenings."

These flavor notes are not dominant or overwhelming, more so just a scintillating undertone that sparkles underneath all the rich, bittersweetness. It gives this classic drink a unique zing that makes every sip so much more heart-warming. What's more, with how versatile both chocolate and ginger are, there's a world of possibilities for different experimentations. Play around with some additional ingredients or methods to craft your very own version that just might become a favorite amongst friends and family.

Cocoa powder, milk, ginger, and what else?

Ginger comes in various forms, so there are many ways to add it to hot chocolate. The most common approach is to use ground ginger because it adds an authentically spicy kick. However, you can also go for ginger powder or ginger syrup if the fresh variety isn't readily available. These will usually yield a more subtle and dispersed hint of flavor that will still give the drink that warm undertone.

As the fall and winter slowly approach, you'll probably be itching to sprinkle in some seasonal spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, ground cloves, or allspice. Well, don't hesitate to do so when it comes to hot chocolate, even when you already have the ginger. For an even bolder flavor punch, cayenne pepper is excellent. And how about some orange zest for a bit of citrusy brightness as well?

Once you're done, don't forget about the toppings. Good for more than just the aesthetic appeal, they also amp up the drink's flavor with an extra touch of indulgence. Popular favorites like whipped cream and marshmallows always do the trick, but you can even go for other sweet treats like gingerbread cookies or Biscoff.