Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate

December is a great time for Hot Chocolate! The San Francisco Bay Area is damp (yay for the rain!) and much of the country is covered in snow and ice. Brrrr... Hot Chocolate is definitely called for, so why not add some Grand Marnier to warm yourself up. This is a great hot chocolate to serve during the holidays, too!
Grand Marnier, an orange flavored brandy, has been an icon of authentic French "joie de vivre" for over 150 years. Still owned by the Marnier Lapostolle Family, this acclaimed liqueur has a luxurious taste and still uses the same secret recipe. Grand Marnier is a blend of Cognac, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar.

One of the most important ingredients in Grand Marnier is Citrus Bigaradia Oranges. This variety of tropical orange stands apart from the sweet oranges we usually eat as it is bitter and has an intense aroma. Though the Citrus bigaradia is not a particularly rare orange, the way in which the oranges are harvested and then distilled to obtain the orange essence that goes into Grand Marnier® liqueur is very specific. The oranges are handpicked while they are still green-- when they are at their most aromatic. In order to preserve optimal concentration of the aroma of the peels, they are left to dry naturally under the Caribbean sun for several weeks on the Marnier Lapostolle family plantation. Their slow distillation extracts an orange essence that is particularly aromatic.

Oranges and Chocolate go so well together that Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate is a perfect match! Here's a recipe I've posted before. It's a favorite, and so easy.

Some additions or alternatives: To spice this up, add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to each mug. You can also make your hot chocolate from scratch using your choice of dark chocolate. Mix some Grand Marnier into the whipped cream for a double treat on this fun holiday!


2 ounces Grand Marnier
3 Cups Hot Chocolate (I like Scharffen Berger)
1/2 Cup whipping cream, lightly whipped
Orange Peel (or zest) for garnish

1. Make hot chocolate according to package directions (or follow your favorite recipe-- I use whole milk when making hot chocolate).
2. Pour one ounce of Grand Marnier into each mug and fill mug with hot chocolate.
3. In a bowl whip fresh cream and spoon on top of hot chocolate.
4. Grate some orange zest over the top or add a curled orange peel.

And here's a fun Grand Marnier advertisement from 2011! Very French!
Wouldn't it be great to be in Paris for Christmas?

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