11/30/2012 12:20 EST | Updated 01/30/2013 05:12 EST

Five Tasty Hot Chocolate Upgrades


No need to drop $4 every time you want a cup of fancy hot chocolate. Use your favourite mix (or recipe) and these simple add-ins; you'll ward off the winter chill with gourmet cocoa from the comfort of your own cottage. Top with whipped cream -- all that's missing is the cardboard cup.

Make it creamy: Stir in 1 to 2 tbsp peanut butter or 1 tbsp chocolate or butterscotch chips, or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Liqueur is your friend: Try Baileys, Kahlúa, Grand Marnier, crème de menthe, Frangelico, or amaretto.

Spice it up: Mix in 1/4 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom.

Enhance the taste: Add 3 tbsp maraschino cherry juice, 1 tsp grated orange zest, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1 to 2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam, or 1 to 2 tbsp pumpkin pie filling.

Let it melt: Add a caramel hard candy, a peppermint or two, or a miniature candy cane (they'll soften and add flavour as you drink).

Get the recipe for Mexican hot chocolate here.