Love at First Sip

Whether you’re happily attached or blissfully single, this pair of seasonal hot chocolates will help make your Valentine’s Day sweet and steamy

Rose Hot Chocolate

For us, no wintertime visit to Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates is complete without a soul-warming cup of the midtown shop’s artisan hot chocolate. Whether it’s the rich European sipping chocolate or the spicy Oaxacan variety or the classic American—each crafted with Valrhona chocolate and organic milk from Straus Family Creamery—it’s the salve we need to save the day. “I’ve just always loved hot chocolate made with real chocolate—that’s what gives it that really thick, rich mouthfeel,” says owner Ginger Elizabeth Hahn.

And this time of year, she adds some serious flower power to the lineup with the rose hot chocolate, served through the end of February. This V-Day-inspired rendition gets a kiss of rose-flavored simple syrup and a scoop of fresh whipped cream. The pièce de résistance? An Instagram-worthy scatter of blushing rose petals harvested from Hahn’s home garden in Davis and candied to a dainty crunch. For a chill version, try the also-seasonal rose affogato, a frosty dollop of rose caramel ice cream drowned in warm drinking chocolate. Either way, you’ll be sipping pretty. $6 for the rose hot chocolate; $8.50 for the rose affogato. 1801 L St. 916-706-1738.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Back in 2010, when AmberLee Fawson and her sister-in-law Andrea Hancock began gifting their thick handmade cubes of Belgian couverture chocolate that are designed to be swizzled into a mug of hot milk, it caused such a stir that the budding chocolatiers launched Ticket Chocolate to market their submersible squares to the public. Don’t mistake this for your typical off-the-shelf cocoa, though. “With cocoa powder, so much of the richness has been processed out. Here you’re tasting the actual chocolate,” says Tyler Geertsen, owner of the Loomis-based business, whose lineup has expanded to include artisan s’mores kits and imaginative chocolate bars. Conceived as an homage to the luscious sipping chocolate Fawson grew up drinking in Venezuela, the Hot Chocolate on a Stick comes in flavors ranging from French dark truffle to raspberry milk chocolate and peppermint candy. This conversation-hearts version is available through Valentine’s Day, making it a slam-dunk gift. $4.50 each. 916-626-1871.