Hot chocolate at Roasting Plant Coffee Company
Known for its la minute approach to java, Roasting Plant also churns out a solid cup of cocoa. To create this mellow sipper, the expert baristas steam cold whole milk with handmade dark cocoa syrup sourced from Brooklyn's Tumbador Chocolate. 81 Orchard St between Broome and Grand Sts * 75 Greenwich Ave between Bank and W 11th Sts (212-775-7755, roastingplant.com). $3.21.
Wicked hot chocolate atJacques Torres Chocolate
Cinnamon, ancho chipotle powder, nutmeg and a secret medley of Mayan spices lend a piquant, slightly savory zing to the chocolatier's signature beverage. Robust 64- and 72-percent Belcolade Belgian chocolate at the base offset the heat, which lingers gently at the back of your throat. Locations throughout city; visit mrchocolate.com. Small $3.50, large $4.50.
Peanut-butter hot chocolate at Il Bambino
Before you make the inevitable New Year's resolution to diet, indulge in this creamy, candylike concoction. Royal Treasure semisweet cocoa and sugar are first liquefied with whole milk. Just before being served, the mixture is hit with two heaping tablespoons of velvety Skippy peanut butter, all of which is frothed with an espresso wand. 34-08 31st Ave between 34th and 35th Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-626-0087, ilbambinonyc.com). $4.
Cioccolata calda al "bacio" atGrom
Steamed to order, this indulgent version of the wintry classic gets a distinctive essence from Venezuelan gianduja milk chocolate and Tonda Gentile hazelnut chips. Cut only with a hint of white cane sugar and whole milk, the nutty flavors from the chocolate and the chips come through very clearly without being cloyingly sweet. 2165 Broadway at 76th St (212-362-1837) * 1796 Broadway at 59th St (212-974-3444) * 233 Bleecker St at Carmine St (212-206-1738) * grom.it. Medium $5.50, large $6.50.
The Guayaquil at La Maison du Chocolat
Culled from purveyors in Central and South America, five types of couverture chocolate (super-rich and made with extra cocoa butter) meld together harmoniously in this refined quaff. The bold base simmers for five hours with Madagascar vanilla pods, a hint of cocoa powder and milk before the pods are removed and the drink is served. A dollop of whipped cream (unsweetened, so as not to interfere with the sweetness of the ho-cho) arrives on the side. Locations throughout the city, visit lamaisonduchocolat.com. $8.
Aroma hot chocolate atAroma Espresso Bar
Baristas pour steamed whole milk over solid Israeli milk-chocolate pralines, top the mug with cappuccino-style foam and a dusting of cocoa powder, then hand it over to you to stir to your preferred level of intensity. Use your spoon to scrape up any melted bits that cling to the mug's bottom. Locations throughout the city, visit aroma.us. Small $3.50, large $4.10.
Dark hot chocolate at the Chocolate Room
For this thick treat, two 61 percent bittersweet chocolates are bolstered by Valrhona and Guittard cocoa powders. Lightly sweetened with cane sugar and fair-trade Madagascar bourbon vanilla, the concentrated blend is best enjoyed with an airy homemade marshmallow, which tempers the drink's richness. 269 Court St between Butler and Douglass Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-246-2600) * 86 Fifth Ave between St. Marks Pl and Warren St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-783-2900) * thechocolateroombrooklyn.com. $4.50, with marshmallow $5.25.
White hot chocolate with red berries and hibiscus flowers at Franois Chocolate Bar
Departing from the traditional recipe, pastry chef Franois Payard's snowy interpretation relies on heavy cream, milk and melted white chocolate chunks for its delicate taste and smooth texture. The addition of a house-made syrup of fresh raspberry puree and hibiscus coulis brightens the final product and adds subtle fruity undertones. Mauboussin,
714 Madison Ave between 63rd and 64th Sts, fourth floor (212-759-1600, fcchocolatebar.com). $5.50.
Original hot chocolate atCity Bakery
You'll have to wait until February to try the myriad incarnations presented during the bakery's annual Hot Chocolate Festival; for now, sate your sweet tooth with an oversize serving of the traditional version. Thick and potent, the cult favorite can be ordered with a dense, gooey, housemade marshmallow that bobs at the bubbly surface. City Bakery, 3 W 18th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-366-1414, thecitybakery.com). $5, with marshmallow $5.50.
'wichcraft's Hot Orange Chocolate at Southwest Porch at Bryant Park
Brave the cold for an alfresco skate around the Pond at Bryant Park, then reward yourself with this adults-only libation. Mildly bitter 64-percent dark chocolate, softened by piping-hot milk, receives an aromatic burst from orange liqueur. A cooling crown of sweethomemade whipped cream adds to the drink's decadence. Southwest corner of Bryant Park, Sixth Ave between 39th and 40th Sts (bryantpark.org). $9.