It’s Halloween! While we’re not the type of guys that like getting dressed up and partying until the sun comes up, we do find All-Hallows-Eve a mysterious and monstrous night to just hang out with some chocolate, red wine, and a good scary film. This year, the rage seems to be all about red wine hot chocolate. It’s essentially a good homemade hot chocolate recipe and a good amount of red wine. That’s it! I could end the post now to give you more time to go out trick-or-treating with the kids to pick up candy, but let me just add a few more words first before you’re out the door.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so damn easy. Which means, it’s also easy to mess it up. First rule, don’t skimp on the quality of the chocolate. While you can use a lesser quality bar like say, Hershey’s Milk chocolate, don’t. If you’re about to add wine to your hot chocolate, choose chocolate that’s on the dark and slightly bittersweet side. There is plenty of sugar in the wine and in the dark chocolate to give it the right amount of sweetness, and since there is already milk added to the hot chocolate why add more? Let the kids have the milk chocolate.
Next rule: use the right kind of wine. This is where you can save a little cash and go for something a little sub-par. A good everyday drinking blended red wine is the perfect accompaniment. Going for a single varietal may seem like the right choice, but after adding milk and chocolate, that Cabernet or Pinot Noir may only be a one note wonder. Although, since this is our first venture into the whole hot chocolate red wine thing, it might be good to explore our options. Since it’s Halloween, we chose to use Apothic Red. It’s a good winemaker’s blend that tastes great on it’s own and pares perfectly with dark chocolate.
Milk is also an important component to this recipe. Here, the best option is going to be whole-fat and organic. A little fat is a good thing now and again, and it’s also used here in a dessert drink which adds to the decadence, so go big. Skim and low-fat milk just wouldn’t cut it in our opinion. We’d rather just drink the wine and eat the chocolate than add either of them to those tasteless, low-fat milks. If you’re going for a non-dairy milk, maybe a cashew or almond milk variety would work and may even make it better. Steer clear of coconut milk. While tropical flavors do exist in wines, those flavors mostly come through in white wines and we wouldn’t want to waste chocolate, red wine, and coconut milk on something we weren’t sure would taste delicious. Lastly, add salt. A pinch of salt brings out the flavors of the chocolate and the wine. Not too much though or it will be a salt bomb.
There’s a million places on the web to find this recipe. We discovered it on thekichn.com which has links to many more sites. Now grab that bar of chocolate, bottle of wine, and whole milk and whip up a batch of this brew. Enjoy it while the kiddies are out trick-or-treating, or if you must join the kids on tonight’s excursion, put the batch in a thermos and enjoy your warm treat while everyone else is freezing.
And one more thing, if this election cycle is causing you to drink (more), add more wine to your hot chocolate and enjoy it with one of our 420 cookies (or a dozen).
Blood Red Hot Chocolate
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup fruity red wine, (we used Apothic Red)
1 cup milk
a pinch salt
Bring chocolate and water to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat; cook, whisking, until melted, about 3 minutes. Add milk and salt, whisk and simmer until desired heat; about 2 minutes. Pour into mugs, top each with red wine and serve.
Milk Frother Method (single serving):
Bring chocolate and water to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat; cook, whisking, until melted, about 3 minutes. Pour 1/3 of the chocolate and 1/3 the milk into an electric milk frother. Press go. When finished pour into a mug and top with red wine.
Optional: Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.