As the winter months begin to arrive, bringing with them a vicious mix of biting cold and a desire to hibernate through all your classes, the idea of leaving your cozy study lounge is almost laughable. In order to make it through these trying times it is important to focus on the silver lining: You can now begin drinking all the hot chocolate you want without being shamed by those who say it’s only a winter treat or those naysayers who claim, “Drew, eight hot chocolates in one day cannot possibly be good for you.”

However, getting Frontera’s great hot chocolates becomes an ordeal as the winter chill barricades students indoors. But turning to instant hot chocolate brewed in the warmth and convenience of your dorm doesn’t have to be boring — after all, there are so many ways to spice it up. And now there’s one to make it drunk.

Nothing makes the winter blues melt away like a mug full of mulled hot chocolate wine.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes


Servings: Approximately 8



1 bag dark chocolate chips (70% cacao)

2 cups water

½ cup cocoa powder

2 cups powdered sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

4 star anise

8 cloves

2 clementines, halved

1 bottle of red wine (your choice)

A sprinkle of rosemary



1. Add 2 cups of water, star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a deep, large pot. Heat to a simmer.

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

2. Gradually pour in powdered sugar, making sure the sugar doesn’t stick to the sides of the pot. Add your rosemary and halved clementines as well (the juicier the better). Lower the heat to keep your water from boiling off and your ingredients from burning.

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

3. Slowly mix in your cocoa powder. Make sure to mix thoroughly to avoid drinking undissolved lumps of cocoa powder.

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

4. Add entire bag of dark chocolate chips. Stir frequently to melt chocolate evenly without burning it.

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

5. Now for the best part. In whatever manner you find most hilarious, pour in the entire bottle of your favorite red wine. Mix well. (Note: As a firm believer in the mantra “A little for the dish, a little for the cook,” by the time we got around to adding our bottle of wine about 1/3 of it was gone. If this sounds like you, make sure to compensate with approximately 1 extra cup of water.)

6. Cover the pot and be sure to lower the heat if you notice too much water gathering on the lid. Avoid losing too much liquid or your hot chocolate will be extremely thick (though still delicious).

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

7. After about 10 minutes of gentle warming, remove the pot from heat and allow to cool. Covering the pot is optional. Seriously, do whatever you want.

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

8. Depending on your desire to clean dirty dishes, either ladle your hot chocolate into a mug, or strain the entire pot (to avoid a mouthful of cooking spices).

alcoholic hot chocolate

Photo by Emma Danbury

9. Enjoy your mulled hot chocolate wine responsibly! This multi-use drink can be sipped straight, used for dipping holiday cookies or even drizzled over fruit and chilled for a healthy dessert.

Looking for more drinks to curl up with? Check out these links:

Drinks To Avoid Ski Trip Hangovers

6 Spiked Hot Drinks

Best Teas For Every Mood