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Sumac Hot Chocolate

Sumac Hot Chocolate (c) Matt Taylor-Gross

If you take anything away from my entire cookbook, I want it to be that you should always have sumac in your pantry, and you should be pairing it with chocolate.

It adds the perfect punch of acidity to make even bad-quality chocolate taste fancy. So you can only imagine the flavor you get when you pair it with those top-shelf bars! 

This hot chocolate was born out of cozy weekends spent up in the Hudson Valley with friends and family in the fall. I pack the trunk of our car with all the provisions to cook up a storm, including half of my spice cabinet. Naturally, some sumac made its way into a pot of hot chocolate to sip by the fire.  While this recipe was ideated in the colder months, you can also chill it to make chocolate milk that puts any school cafeteria to shame. Great for kids! Great for adults who eat/act like kids!

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  • 4 cupsServings


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons Jamie Geller Sumac
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), chopped
  • About 1 cup whipped cream, for serving


1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, honey, sumac, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until smooth. Divide among glasses, top with whipped cream, and serve.

Make It an Egg Cream! 

A New York classic that doesn’t actually contain eggs, or cream! One of my father’s favorite drinks, a chocolate egg cream is essentially chocolate milk—that must be made with Fox’s U-Bet syrup, according to him—and seltzer mixed into a creamy, bubbly beverage that gives any fountain drink a run for its money. Chill this hot chocolate and pour it over ice to fill a glass halfway, then top with cold seltzer and serve with a straw.

Excerpted from JEW-ISH: A COOKBOOK: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch © 2021 by Jake Cohen. Photography © 2021 by Matt Taylor-Gross. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.