Last Updated on December 18, 2023 by Leah Hall
Verte Chaud can be called an Apres Ski Cocktail. This hot chocolate is a great combo of creamy melted chocolate with green chartreuse, which is an herbal French Liqueur.
It’s skiing weather! Well, not in Nebraska, but definitely in the mountains, and especially in the French Alps. This Chartreuse Hot Chocolate recipe is perfect for après-ski! What is après-ski you ask? Well, read for more info on this!
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If I go skiing in the French Alps I definitely want to be cozied up après-ski with a hot mug of Verte Chaud. This warm beverage (means “hot green”) is made by spiking rich hot chocolate with Green Chartreuse. Green Chartreuse is the famous herbal liqueur made in France (hence French Alps cocktail). This is the perfect winter warmer!
You don’t have to actually go skiing to enjoy this! Thank goodness for the small things! I think this is a perfect sip for anytime it’s cold, and that’s a lot of places right now.
What Is Après Ski?
Après Ski is served after days of adventure in ski towns of Europe. (There are some resorts that I know do it here in the US and Canada, too!) Après ski is literally French for “after ski,” and it’s a general phrase to describe the social activities that happen after a day spent hitting the slopes. Après ski seems to be as much a part of the skiing culture as skiing itself! Chances are, if you have been skiing, you have been doing it and didn’t even know it!
Here are some important aspects of these Après ski activities:
- in the US: Park City, Utah; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Aspen/Breckenridge/Vail in Colorado; Killington, Vermont; Sun Valley, Idaho
- Canada: Whistler, British Columbia; Mont Tremblant, Quebec; Banff, Alberta
- Europe: Chamonix, France; St. Anton, Austria; Cervinia, Italy; Lech am Arlberg, Austria
- Timing: usually late afternoon, after skiing, until dinner. Most ski towns don’t have a lot of late night stuff open, so it’s before dinner as an opportunity to party. Think 3-6 pm.
- Lodging: usually at ski lodges. Some have pools, restaurants, and lots of people. Think hot springs, hot tubs and heated pools, too. With alcohol to warm up with!
- Food: some describe it as “elevated mountain cuisine”, but a lot of it is appetizers and finger foods. Think nachos and wings. Or in Europe, perhaps a raclette (melty cheese).
- Drinks: some beer, champagne and of course hot toddies! Think cocktail recipes like hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, apple cider with amaretto. Mulled wine as well. Shots (on a shotski!) are popular, too!
- The Fashion: mostly people wear what they wore on the slopes. Nothing overly fancy here, it’s about comfort! Ski pants, sweaters, snow boots. There really isn’t a dress code. But, if going to a more elegant restaurant or cocktail bar consider a shower and a change of attire.
However you celebrate, it’s all about fun and relaxing. If you are celebrating privately, especially with this delicious Chartreuse Hot Chocolate, consider a simple charcuterie and blanket on your couch after a chilly afternoon walk!
We talk all about Green Chartreuse in our Monk’s Muse cocktail post, but as a quick rundown it’s an herbal liqueur made by French Carthusian monks using a 400+ year recipe. It comes in green and yellow varieties, using 130+ herbs and plants. We use it in a lot of cocktails, especially classics. This includes The Last Word, Lumiere, Champs Elysees!
Green Chartreuse Hot Chocolate
This drink seems to have never had a formal name, but since Jamie Boudreau published a love letter to the drink on his website years ago, it has taken on a new name: the Verte Chaud, which translates simply to “hot green.”
You want to make sure you have a piping hot cup of chocolate. No, not grocery store powdered mix in a pouch, but the real deal! Make sure to use bittersweet chocolate melted in warm milk.
We used the base of hot chocolate in our Spiked Hot Chocolate, and we like to make our hot chocolate rich and thick, but drinkable. Use a block of bittersweet chocolate, not cocoa powder, and finishing with a whisk to make the milk frothy. Use a good quality chocolate, so you can adjust the sweetness.
Ingredients Needed for the Verte Chaud
- Milk – whole milk is what we used for richness in the hot chocolate.
- Chocolate – 70% cocao for rich chocolate flavor. This bittersweet chocolate helps cut the little sweetness from the sugar.
- Sugar – demerara or granulated works great in this. Demerara will give an even richer and deeper sweetness to the hot drinks.
- Salt – this ingredient helps cut some of the richness and sweetness in the hot chocolate recipe.
- Green Chartreuse – a green herbal liqueur, full of herbal flavor.
How to Make the Verte Chaud
First, warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Warm until just steaming. Whisk in the chocolate until melted.
Then, bring to a simmer. Whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat, add sugar and salt. Stir until mixed and sugar melted.
When ready to serve, divide green chartreuse between 4 mugs (2 ounces each) and then top with warm chocolate mix. Top with your choice of garnish, whipped cream or marshmallows are divine.
The Verte Chaud is absolute must when the temperatures dip and something warming is desired. The drink brings out the minty flavors hidden within the Green Chartreuse for an interesting mint-chocolate sip, with an herbal complexity.
Tips & Tricks
- Garnish – whipped cream or marshmallows are always a great choice for this decadent drink. Top them with a little sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg too! You can make the whipped cream homemade with heavy cream using an electric mixer, or buy some.
- Mugs – glass mugs are great, as well as regular old mugs for a vintage flair! Just like for hot toddies!
- Green Chartreuse – this green liqueur, as we talk about above, can be hard to find. Yellow Chartreuse can also be a great option as a substitute. It has less mint flavors, but also works well with hot cocoa, and has some of the same different herbs as the green chartreuse. But, try to find a bottle of green chartreuse!
- Cocoa – we discourage you from using prepackaged powdered cocoa mix. This is much more flavorful and rich. And makes for some great cocktails. If you don’t have access to making your own, you can use the powdered stuff, but use milk to make it next time. Try our other hot chocolate cocktails like Kahlua Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Schnapps Hot Chocolate or just Spiked Hot Chocolate!
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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Hot Chocolate Cocktails
- Kahlua Hot Chocolate
- Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate – Minimalist Baker
- Gingerbread White Hot Chocolate – White Kitchen Red Wine
- Boozy Chili Hot Chocolate – Cake N Knife
- Red Velvet Hot Chocolate – Snappy Gourmet
This Chartreuse Hot Chocolate is the perfect Apres Ski Cocktail. Warm and perfect for sipping!
- 3 cups whole milk
- 8 ounce chocolate bar, we used a 70% cocoa bar
- 3 Tablespoons sugar or Demerara Sugar
- pinch of salt
- 8 ounces Green Chartreuse
- Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Warm until just steaming. Whisk in the chocolate until melted.
- Bring to a simmer, don't let it boil over. Whisk constantly for 3-5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat, add sugar and salt. Stir until mixed and sugar melted.
- Divide green chartreuse between 4 mugs (2 ounces each) and then top with warm chocolate mix. Top with your choice of garnish, whipped cream or marshmallows are divine.
This is very herbally, green chartreuse is an herbal liqueur. Make sure you like that before making this recipe. Cheers!
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Serving Size:6 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 22.9gSaturated Fat: 15.3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 69.2gFiber: 1.9gSugar: 66.1gProtein: 10.3g
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