01/26/2015 02:50 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Tasty variations on a chocolate theme

Just about any flavour that goes well with chocolate can be used to flavour hot chocolate or hot cocoa. Here are a few suggestions. Each is based on one serving.

From home economist Jennifer MacKenzie:

— For orange-flavoured cocoa, steep a strip of orange zest with the milk as it's warming. Remove the zest before serving but garnish with an orange slice if desired.

— For a caramel and chocolate flavoured drink, dissolve 2 to 5 ml (1/2 to 1 tsp) caramel sauce in warming milk and/or drizzle caramel on top of chocolate drink or whipped cream topping if using.

— For strawberry or raspberry and chocolate flavoured drink: Dissolve 2 ml (1/2 tsp) seedless jam into milk.

From chocolate drink hobbyist Mike Mulhern:

— In place of milk, make chocolate drink with sweet mulled wine, almond milk, coffee or even apple juice.

— Add 5 ml (1 tsp) peanut butter or other nut butter to the cocoa before making your paste with the milk.

— Hot cocoa can be flavoured with just about any kind of spirits or liqueurs. Here are just a few suggestions. Before adding warmed milk, combine cocoa powder and sweetener with 30 ml (2 tbsp) of blended scotch (never single malt), dark rum, peppermint schnapps, Grand Marnier or red wine (for a cherry flavour).

— For extra rich cocoa, melt 30 g (1 oz) grated semi-sweet chocolate per serving into milk.