Hot chocolate is a staple during the colder months. Just one sip can warm the soul for minutes at a time. With the influx of cold weather Florida has recently experienced frequently this year, here are three ways to warm up your taste buds.  

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice used by most to make delicious desserts such as sweet potato pie and churros. But it can also add a flavorful punch to hot coco. By either sprinkling it on whipped cream or adding it into the hot coco, cinnamon could be the kick that your taste buds crave.

Cinnamon with hot coco can be used a lot of ways. Most add it as a decorative spice. Two sticks of cinnamon dipped in whipped cream covered hot coco always makes for a nice picture. However, adding it directly to hot chocolate is a delicious decision that can't go wrong. It gives the beverage a subtle spicy taste that compliments the sweetness of the chocolate. It doesn't take much either, just a 1/2 teaspoon. Find the recipe for cinnamon hot chocolate here.

2. Mayan Hot Chocolate

When my friend first told me that she adds a small amount of Cheyenne pepper to her hot coco, I was instantly curious. Would it be spicy? Would the flavors mix well? So I researched and found the recipe for Mayan Hot Chocolate

The Mayans, an ancient civilization in Mexico, were one of the first civilizations to combine water and chocolate. However, their version of hot coco was very different from today's, adding chili peppers and cornmeal instead of milk and sugar. They would pour the liquid back and forth between two cups until it thickened. The Mayans would then serve the chocolate cold to all members of society. Though, those of higher class had more access to the beverage than those of a lower status. If you would like to know more about the history of hot chocolate, check out this article here. 

There are only a few items needed to make Mayan Hot Chocolate such as milk, hot chocolate mix, cinnamon and a pinch of Cheyenne pepper. When I say a pinch, I mean ONLY a pinch. Otherwise, you'll be sweating like you just ate 30 hot wings by the time you finish one cup. 

3. Bailey's Irish Cream 

For those over 21 and looking for a nice warm drink to compliment their night out, hot chocolate with Bailey's is the way to go. Topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, this creamy alcoholic beverage will change the way you drink hot chocolate. All you have to do is make hot coco like normal and then add around 2 ounces of Bailey's Irish Cream. It's a great beverage to have when hanging around the fire with your closest friends. In case of emergencies or you can't measure to save your life like me, you can find the recipe here.

There are tons more ways to spice up hot chocolate, but these are the 3 best. Its always fun to find new ways to experience culturally iconic foods and drinks. Now enjoy your hot chocolate tastings! Just don't forget the marshmallows!