We may not have yet approached Snowpocalypse levels of wintry chill, but there's no arguing with the fact that jorts season is, regrettably, on its way out the door. And while our natural inclination is to take cover (i.e., hunker down in a blanket burrito on the couch), there's one thing that will always draw us out of our Snuggies—and maybe even get us in the holiday spirit while we're at it. We speak, of course, of the rich, creamy, chocolatey goodness that is a mug of piping-hot cocoa. And it may be an uncontested fact that nowhere in Atlanta does this timeless wintry beverage quite like Cacao.

Of course, it should come as no surprise that a shop that specializes in the highest quality, origin-driven chocolate whips up some of the best hot chocolate in town. But what, precisely, makes Cacao's soothing Aztec Sipping Chocolate so insanely delicious? Well, that's just the thing: no one really knows. No one, that is, except for Kristen Hard, Cacao's founder, who's made good on an oath of silence for eleven years.

It reads a little bit like a fairy tale: while working as a private chef in the Caribbean (which is also where her passion for chocolate came from), Kristen got the recipe for the perfect sipping chocolate mix from a woman on the tiny island of Dominica. "I promised secrecy from the woman who taught me the recipe," she told us. And she's stood by her word, keeping it a secret (even from her employees) for the past decade.

What we do know about the utterly decadent concoction? Infused with six different chiles, it's both spicy and sweet—the perfect balance of flavors to soothe the soul and warm the cockles. But most of all, in keeping with Cacao's bean-to-bar mission, the recipe is exquisitely simple: cocoa beans, high-end organic sugar, a nip of that mysterious spice blend, locally sourced milk and a fresh-made marshmallow. The result? A steaming cup of velvety, rich chocolate that has effectively spoiled all of Atlanta. In other words: after trying this stuff, you'll never be able to sip on that Swiss Miss again.

Cozy up to Cacao's magical woe-soothing elixir at any of their Atlanta locations.