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Haute Chocolate

If you’re still recovering from last week’s Polar Vortex panic, a hot beverage may be your best antidote. Warm up this week—and all winter long—with a mug of world-class cocoa at one of these sweet restaurants.

Max Brenner offers six kinds of cocoa.

1. Co Co. Sala
“It doesn’t matter what the weather is, we always sell a lot of hot cocoa,” says Executive Chef and Chocolatier Santosh Tiptur. We love the salted caramel made with heavy cream, butter, sugar and Maldon sea salt, combined with warmed chocolate and crowned with a housemade marshmallow. 929 F St. NW, 202.347.4265

2. Max Brenner
Half a dozen hot chocolates vie for your affection at this Bethesda chocolate bar. Choose the Mexican Spicy, which is spiked with nutmeg, cinnamon, chilies and pepper. You can have it made with dark, milk or white chocolate. No matter what, the steamy stimulant arrives in a lovable Hug Mug that will warm your hands as you drink. 7263 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, Md., 301.215.8305

3. Poste
Bartender-turned-chef Dennis Marron invented his cocoa cocktail while nibbling pimandes—spicy chocolate-covered Marcona almonds. His chili-laced hot chocolate is boozed up with bourbon and Grand Marnier, topped with amaretto marshmallow fluff, dusted with Espelette pepper, and garnished with housemade pimandes. 555 Eighth St. NW, 202.783.6060

4. Et Voila
The chocolaty Belgium coffee is for the 21 and over crowd. La Chouffe coffee liqueur and Baileys Irish Cream meld with dark hot chocolate sauce to create a heady after-dinner drink (or a buzzy warm-up in the afternoon). Mugs of the perky potable arrive with a whipped cream cap and a shower of chocolate powder. 5120 MacArthur Blvd. NW, 202.237.2300

5. The Sweet Lobby
There are only four ingredients in this decadently dense European-style hot chocolate: 70 percent Belgian dark chocolate, milk, cream and just a touch of sugar. “It’s extremely, extremely rich,” emphasizes owner Winnette McIntosh Ambrose. Top it off with a flavored, housemade marshmallow. 404 Eighth St. SE, 202.544.2404