Enjoying hot chocolate at Hatch Family Chocolates together has been on our date night bucket list for the last two years. Coincidentally, Hatch's is right by the hospital where I delivered both Bensen and Emmy so I thought it would be an easy date to go on. After we were discharged from the hospital with Bensen, we stopped by to pick up frozen hot chocolate that we enjoyed on the drive home. While Emmy was in the NICU, going to Hatch's was going to be one of our weekly date nights, but she decided to come home the week that I had that planned. I've been craving their hot chocolate ever since we left the hospital and have had a few plans to go, but because I am off dairy for Emmy's sake, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to enjoy a cup myself.
Last weekend Joe and I had dropped both kids off at my parent's house to spend the afternoon with my mom. We had a family event to attend and were planning on going out to dinner to celebrate Joe's birthday afterward. We had a little extra time after putting Bensen down for his nap at grandma's so we decided to make a stop at Hatch's first. I'd planned to just get some chocolate but I was excited to find a vegan option for hot chocolate on the menu and it did not disappoint! It's too bad (or maybe good) that we don't live closer because I would enjoy a cup daily. I'm also regretting not taking advantage of the fact that we were right there every day for three weeks.
Drinking hot chocolate together has been one of mine and Joe's favorite things to do since early on in our relationship. It can be a quick way to get some quality time in together at the end of a long day, when you have an afternoon off work together or after the kids have gone to bed. Whether you're stuck at home, have a couple of hours to spare or are looking for something fun to fill an entire afternoon, a hot chocolate tasting would make a really fun date night!
At Home Tasting
Perfect for parents or a rainy/snowy afternoon when you'd rather not be out and about. If you don't have hot chocolate on hand, run to the store together to grab some and be sure to pick up a few different flavors. Some people add flavored syrups to a cup of regular hot chocolate, but we prefer to get our hot chocolate already flavored. This is our favorite brand! They have a wide variety of flavors but Hazelnut and Orange Creme are my personal favorites. I've become a hot chocolate snob in the last few years, ever since I was gifted a hot chocolate maker (we have this one), I can't just add some powder to hot water and stir it up, I have to mix it with the hot chocolate maker.
Out on the Town Tasting
If you're feeling really adventurous, you could make a list of places that serve hot chocolate you want to try. Don't know where to start? Take it to Facebook and ask your friends and family where their favorite place to buy a cup of hot chocolate is. Spend the afternoon or evening sharing a cup at each location. At the end, decide for yourselves which cup of chocolate you prefer.
Later this winter, I plan on a date for round two at Hatch's. Because they have a few different flavors, I want to order at least three of them for Joe and I to taste and share. We may also compare dark chocolate to milk chocolate and see which we like better. If you know somewhere that serves multiple flavors, spend all of your time there, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying each other's company.
After all of your chocolate tasting is done, find a quiet place to cuddle up together and enjoy a nap. You'll probably need one after all of that warm, chocolaty goodness hits your system!