How many hot chocolates can you drink?

With the promise of snow across the Alps, temperatures are plummeting, drawers are being ransacked for extra thermal layers and that all important question is on many a skier or snowboarder’s blue lips: ‘where shall we go for hot chocolate?’

Switzerland is the chocolate capital of the world, and Zermatt the best chocolate cliché of them all. From the different sized chocolate Matterhorns that you can buy in the bakeries, to the slabs of different coloured, different textured, different flavoured cocoa delights lining the shops on the quaintly cobbled high street, chocolate here is a way of life to be proud of.

Zermatt’s three interconnected ski areas are well known for mountain gourmet restaurants, and stopping for a luxurious chocolat chaud is a great test of the best. After your breakfast fix in your über luxury chalet, ski to Chez Vrony, which has a terrace with views of the Matterhorn that traps the sun even on the coldest days. There are soft, warm fleeces to sit on and woolen blankets to wrap round you as you point your sunglasses skywards, soak up the sun, and bury your nose in the chocolaty steam from your cup.

You are never far from the next stop. Ski to Flualp, listen to live music and dance on the tables in your ski boots. Next onto the elegant Riffelalp, reached on skis or by the Gornergrat railway. Thaw out your chilled hands around a huge mug of warming, rich-scented, thick hot chocolate in the tiny mountain hamlet of Zum See. Après ski chocolate, with a hefty dollop of local cherry schnaps can be taken at the Hennu stall, where more live music and dancing continues until dark and a short ski home.

But don’t just ask for any old hot chocolate. In Zermatt you have to choose between dark, milk and white before you even start deciding on whipped cream, liqueur, vanilla, hazelnut or apricot kernel. But no marshmallows: in Zermatt your hot chocolate is served with… a chocolate.

Angeline Davies is the Executive Chef at Elysian Collection.

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Comments (6)

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  1. John says:

    I’ve never tried the hot chocolate at Zermatt, but I usually find that in Switzerland they serve hot milk with a portion of chocolate. You then add the pieces of chocolate which melt in the milk. The drink is usually too milky for my tastes. My favourite hot chocolate is served in Italy. It is so thick that your teaspoon all but stands up in it by itself.

  2. Thanks for your comment John. Mmmm, hot chocolate in Italy is yum too! So thick you can stand your spoon up in the cup! I think I will extend my search to Cervinia starting tomorrow. (I’ll keep you posted)
    Hot chocolate in france is good too. They have one called ‘the Green Thing’ which is chocolate and Chartreuse. Not sure about that one.

  3. Oh, to sip hot chocolate in a ski resort in Switzerland – you lucky girl! On average, I drink 2 mugs of rich hot chocolate made with whole milk a day. I then go for a 4 mile jog. It’s my daily routine, but I drink them in my home in Mexico, not in Switzerland. Today I drank a Criollo cacao from the state of Tabasco, Mexico. It was incredible!

  4. In Madrid it great have a hot chocolate with “churros”

  5. Wow ChocolateCentral. I will never forget my first taste of Mexican hot chocolate (with a hefty dollop of Baileys), sitting around the campfire in the middle of a silent snow filled valley, bundled up in duvet jackets and blankets with the snow falling all around. What a taste sensation that was!

  6. Churros! Yum. Do you dunk those delicious doughnuts into the chocolate?
    It seems I might have to do a round the world tour of hot chocolate. Oh well!

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