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It’s beginning to really feel like December — you’re visiting holiday markets to pick up gifts, snacking on gingerbread, and breaking out your coziest sweater. But there’s nothing that quite says winter like enjoying a mug of hot chocolate at a local bakery or cafe. Whether you prefer yours with a dusting of cocoa powder or a floating marshmallow on top, ordering the drink is the perfect way to celebrate the end of the year.
We’ve rounded up hot chocolates from four spots in the Boston area who have their own unique and festive versions of the beverage.
Cocorico at the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport crafts a rich hot chocolate, made with real Swiss chocolate, and you can order yours plain or in a few other flavors. The peppermint is sprinkled with crushed candy cane and cocoa powder on top, and the gingerbread uses a syrup that features spices: fresh ginger extract, cloves, and a cinnamon blend (all three drinks are $8 each for a small, $9 each for a large). 450 Summer St., Boston
L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates
This chocolate shop currently offers five different flavors of hot cocoa: dark, milk, white, spicy dark chocolate, and the specialty of the month, Madagascar. The Madagascar is sweeter than the Burdick Blend dark chocolate and brighter, with strong notes of fruit. The beverages do not use added sugar or syrup, and the result is like a chocolate bar in liquid form. (Prices: dark, milk, or white chocolate are $6.25 for a small and $7.75 for a large; spicy dark chocolate is $6.75 for a small and $8.25 for a large; the Madagascar flavor is $6.75 for a small and $8.25 for a large) 220 Clarendon St., Boston; 52 Brattle St., Cambridge
Oakleaf Cakes Bake Shop
You can get a traditional hot chocolate at Oakleaf, but a popular order is the Aztec hot chocolate, a spicy drink made with cayenne and cinnamon. Other flavors include caramel, peppermint, and peanut butter. Large homemade marshmallows, which are light, fluffy, and vanilla bean flavored, can be toasted and served on the edge of your cup ($4.50 for a small, $5 for a large, $.50 extra for a flavor, $.50 extra for whipped cream, an extra dollar for a marshmallow, and an extra dollar for a shot of espresso). 12 Westland Ave., Boston
Sofra Bakery & Cafe
If you’re looking for a unique spin on the winter drink, try the halvah hot chocolate ($6 for a small, $8 for a large) at Sofra. The Turkish sesame confection halvah that it’s made with adds a sweetness and creaminess to the beverage, as well as a nutty flavor. Dark Callebaut chocolate chips are mixed with cocoa powder, creating what general manager Payal Parikh called a luscious treat. 1 Belmont St., Cambridge
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