Winter is long and dark, but there are ways of brightening it up — like promotions for unlimited soup, for instance, or a steaming mug of hot chocolate. The Italian-ish minds at Olive Garden know this, and the company's social team has taken to TikTok with a little hack for turning its beloved after dinner mints into a delicious treat at home.
Olive Garden regulars are very familiar with the Andes chocolate mints that diners are given at the end of a meal, those little rectangular bars with one layer of crème de menthe flavoring and one of milk chocolate. Typically servers will provide one per diner, but if you're lucky, you could take home a whole handful — and for this recipe, which is almost too simple to call a recipe, you'll need it.
The TikTok instructs viewers to melt several Andes mints into a mug of hot milk, stirring to fully incorporate. That's it — no fancy ingredients required, and you don't even have to light up the stove. The mint hot chocolate can easily be made with just a microwave. Workday pick-me-up, anyone?
Read more: 11 Discontinued Chocolates We Miss The Most
It's Getting Hot (Chocolate) In Herre, So Unwrap All Your Mints
Not everyone likes mint chocolate, but those who do enjoy the classic combo are likely to be fans of Andes mints. The candies are sweet, creamy, and way more fun than a regular breath mint. It makes sense that the chocolate mints wouldn't need much adulteration to become a delicious beverage. Olive Garden's video recommends mixing 10 of them into 8 ounces of hot milk and simply stirring until the two ingredients are fully combined. The person in the video appears to be pouring from a milk frothing pitcher like the kind often used to make espresso drinks, but if your resources are more limited, zapping the milk in the microwave will get the job done, too. (Just heat it up for one to two minutes in 30-second intervals, stirring in between.)
Of course, if you want to dress your hot chocolate up a little more, there are ways to do that. Swap regular milk with almond or oat for a distinct nutritional profile and slightly different flavor (and for the lactose intolerant, no gastrointestinal discomfort to worry about later). Of course, hot chocolate practically demands to be topped with whipped cream or marshmallows, which in turn can be topped with chocolate shavings for some extra visual flair. Booze is another welcome hot chocolate accompaniment -- a shot of peppermint schnapps or even Brancamenta will lend your cozy beverage a grown-up edge.
Mint To Be
Andes mints can be found in stores, but the chocolate mints distributed at Olive Garden are specifically made for the restaurant chain. The regular creme de menthe candies are three layers, sandwiching mint between two of chocolate. The ones served at OG are said to be the same recipe but are just two layers — mint on one side, chocolate on the other — and they come in a special branded wrapper.
If your server doesn't automatically bring you a small horde, there's a simple way to get more mints: Just ask. If your server doesn't have any extras, you can try checking with the host stand on your way out. (While you're at it, you can pick up a new cheese grater from the Olive Garden, too.) If you run out of luck with that approach -- well, as noted above, there's always Andes mints at your local supermarket.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.