Step away from the Swiss Miss mix.
Don’t settle for plain old hot chocolate this season. With new creations that use anything from honey to tahini to durian, here are some of the more unique hot chocolates to try this season.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Prime your camera's video setting for this sweet creation. The bakery's blossoming hot chocolate -- which debuted at its Japan shop and was brought to NYC last month -- features a marshmallow flower held together by a thin chocolate ring placed on top of a cup of its Chef's Hot Chocolate. When the chocolate ring melts, the flower "blooms." And don't miss the chocolate bon bon revealed on top of the flower. $6.50; 189 Spring St., 212-219-2773, dominiqueansel.com (Credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery)
Raw tahini is the not-so-secret ingredient in the bakery's new offering. The hot chocolate is available at all locations -- from its Bryant Park kiosk and holiday shops booth to its Union Square and Lincoln Center stores -- starting Dec. 1. Beyond tahini, the drink is made with a blend of dark, milk and white chocolate and heavy cream. $4; multiple locations, breadsbakery.com (Credit: Meredith Deliso)
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
The artisanal ice cream parlor is a year-round destination for the cold stuff. But it's also launching a few hot chocolates for winter. And just like the ice cream, they feature unique ingredients. The three new flavors, which launch Dec. 1, include the Vietnamese (64% dark chocolate with Vietnamese style coffee and condensed milk), Szechuan (38% milk chocolate with Szechuan pepper corn) and Durian (white chocolate blended with durian). $4/each, available in December; 2 Rivington St., 212-209-7684, morgensternsnyc.com (Credit: Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream)
Even the hot chocolate has honey at this brand new health-conscious cafe, which based its menu on brain-boosting foods. Its generous Belgian hot chocolate features a blend of 70% dark Belgian chocolate, whole milk and honey (it's also available iced, if you're in the mood). For something with more of a caffeine kick, there's the Honeybrains Mocha, with cocoa, Madagascar vanilla, honey, whole milk and espresso. $3/each; 372 Lafayette St., 646-678-4092, honeybrains.com (Credit: Meredith Deliso)
The cafe is all about the collabs this season. Last month it launched its matcha white hot coco with PANATEA ($6.50/small, $7/large), made with PANATEA matcha, Guittard melted white chocolate and almond milk and topped with whipped cream and fresh coconut flakes, available for the winter season at all locations. And just for December, it's teaming up with Brownie Brittle for a "haute" chocolate ($4.75) made with brownie filling and topped with whipped cream and crushed chocolate chip brownie brittle. That launches Dec. 8 (National Brownie Day, naturally) at all locations, with free cups for the first 100 people at each location that day. Multiple locations, mamannyc.com (Credit: PANATEA/Vanessa Granda)