When done right, red wine hot chocolate will be your new favorite winter cocktail.

By Gillie Houston
Updated May 24, 2017
© Getty Images/EyeEm

Individually, hot chocolate and red wine are two beloved beverages to cozy up with throughout the winter months. But when the two join forces, they create the ultimate cold weather drink.

According to The New York Times, hot toddies, eggnog, and mulled wine are out, and wine-spiked cocoa is in. The quirky idea, which has been circulating the web inconspicuously since 2014, is about as simple as it gets: Make hot chocolate, combine it with red wine, and if you're feeling fancy, add some whipped cream.

While the decadent drink first made a splash on the Internet earlier this fall—with site after site singling it out as the ultimate winter drink—as the temperatures have dropped the demand for the spiked cocoa has escalated.

Though rum, whiskey, and peppermint schnapps have been sufficient boozy partners to hot chocolate in the past, The Times insists that when done right, red wine hot chocolate will be your new favorite winter cocktail. According to chef Jacques Torres, the key to doing it right starts with using real, high-quality chocolate, rather than cocoa powder, which should be combined with milk and a bit of condensed milk for a creamy boost.

Torres also recommends heating hot chocolate and mulled wine separately—a deviation from most recipes—before combining, allowing the spices to be present in the drink. The famed pastry chef recommends mulling the wine with allspice and ancho and chipotle chiles for "a little bit of heat."

Or, if you're on the lazier side, a packet of Swiss Miss and a quick pour of whatever red you already have open just might do the trick. For more awesome (wine-free) hot chocolate recipes, check out this list.