Fellow spiritual siblings, if you’ve been on a vision journey over the last 12 months, you may be blissfully preparing for the season of peace and joy. Unfortunately, here on the bodily plane, it turns out that everything everywhere is now terrible. But nothing can stop the lighting of the menorah or the trimming of the Christmas tree, so we all have to suck it up and head into the holidays like we aren’t in the middle of an endless swarm of festive wasps. That means it’s key to everyone’s survival not to fuck up the season’s hottest hot cocoa recipes.
Don’t Even Think About Nut Milk
Sure, a few years ago, almond milk was all the rage, but guess what? The allergy sufferers of the world are rightly pissed that everyone’s favorite alternate milk is a murder weapon targeted at them, and they’ve started packing. For this year’s cow-safe hot chocolate, you better be using chickpea milk. Not only does it protect you from the furious and sickly allergen crowd, it also keeps you safe from the gluten-free denizens who are prepared to start the purge if they even see a kernel of wheat this festive season. Yes, your hot cocoa will taste like hummus, but you’ll be able to sip it without your lips being sliced off.
Ho, Ho, Hot
Chiles and chocolate are a great twist for a grown-up cocoa, but in a world that has essentially been breathing fire for the last year, a pinch of cayenne just isn’t going to do the trick. This year, you better grind up 9–12 ghost peppers into each cup of cocoa you hand out at your cookie-decorating party. Maybe 20, just to be safe. Everyone you know is living in a well of despair where the things they desire now will only come in crappier and crappier forms. Do you want their breaking point to be your paltry chipotle cocoa?
A Proportional Response
The best part about cocoa is the toppings! Whether it’s whipped cream and sprinkles or fluffy homemade marshmallows, it’s the finishing touches on this year’s recipes that will really delight your guests and keep you breathing until 2019. For the trendiest hot cocoa of the year, the proportions should be something like one-fourth of a cup of cocoa to 120 lbs. of whipped cream. We are very into drowning our sorrows this year, and suffocating them in a marshmallow cloud the size of a hurricane is ideal for this purpose. If you go skimpy on the toppings, everyone will assume you’re using the rest to subvert democracy somehow.
How can you tell when enough is enough on the toppings? It’s an individual choice, but it’s usually when the recipient stops throwing rocks through the windows of grossly greedy capitalist banks to come and grab a cup.
This should really go without saying at this point, but the biggest 2018 twist on hot cocoa that you’ll need to survive is alcohol. It doesn’t matter what kind. It doesn’t matter if it’s for children. Hell, it hardly matters if there’s cocoa. Cocoa with rum? Sure. Cocoa with tequila? Of course. Cocoa with gin? Literally who the hell cares anymore. Pass the wassail, the whiskey, and the whatever, it just needs to be strong, plentiful, and preferably carry just a hint of cinnamon. Everyone still likes cinnamon. So far.