by Cate Wells

Sometimes it’s so cold out that pre-packaged hot cocoa just isn’t going to cut it. Caribbean hot cocoa—the first of Cate’s Cocktails recipes—will keep you warm with a combination of chocolate and dark rum. You can also try it with another type of liquor from the islands like Kahlua? Or if have a thing for Irish guys, maybe Bailey’s? And, yes, spiked swiss miss works too, but your own personal blend is so much more fun on a cold day. Remember that this is perfect for after ice-skating, not before.

TIP: For a topping of fresh whipped cream, there’s no need to get out the mixer or blender. Just add 2 ounces of heavy cream plus a dash of sugar to your coffee grinder. Blend until nicely whipped and voilĂ .

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup water
1 ounce dark rum

Bring water to boil in saucepan. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and vanilla until well blended. Remove from heat. Add rum to taste. Makes 1 serving.

How do you like to spice up your hot chocolate?