Starbucks In Europe Adds A Delightful Crunch To Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Around the globe, various countries and continents have their own exclusive Starbucks holiday drinks (some of which we find ourselves quite envious of, at times). While the United States adores sipping on peppermint mochas and chestnut praline lattes, Latin America bundles up with a red velvet latte, Japan gets "merry and bright" with its strawberry merry cream frappuccino, and the Middle East and Africa stay cozy with a caramel waffle latte. But as far as Europe goes, which covers everywhere from Spain all the way to Ireland, the continent was introduced to something new in 2023: a hazelnut crunch hot chocolate.

To whip up one of these toasty and crunchy treats, Starbucks blends together a mixture of toasted hazelnut-flavored cocoa powder with steamed milk; then, the drink is topped off with chocolate whipped cream and sprinkled generously with pieces of hazelnut brittle. If that doesn't sound like holiday comfort in a cup, we're not sure what does.

How to replicate Starbucks' European hazelnut hot chocolate at home

Since Starbucks U.S. has neither chocolate whipped cream nor hazelnut brittle topping on the menu, it's unlikely you'll be able to replicate this drink at the cafe. However, ordering a regular hot chocolate and adding hazelnut syrup could be a great way to get close, even if it isn't exactly the same as the European version. Ultimately, in order to get the best results, we recommend making your own at home.

Start with a hazelnut-flavored hot chocolate mix. If you can't find this at your local grocery store, there are plenty of options available from online retailers like Amazon. Instead of using water, prepare the mix with steamed milk; don't worry if you don't own a milk steamer, you can easily heat milk on the stove with low heat, whisking it vigorously until it becomes a light frothy foam. Pour the milk over the powder, combine, and top with chocolate whipped cream. For the hazelnut brittle, place a hazelnut crunch bar (Seattle Chocolate makes a crunchy, European-inspired bar perfect for this recipe) inside a food processor. Pulse until you are left with a loose crumb mixture and sprinkle the mixture on top of the whipped cream to enjoy.