We’re not going to argue the fact that hot chocolate is glorious on its own, especially on a cool and crisp evening. But we love it even more when included in one of these hot cocktail recipes, as you get a one-two punch of comfort via the warm chocolate and hooch. Hot chocolate cocktail recipes are more than just throwing in a splash of Bailey’s or dark rum in your mug of instant cocoa; we think you deserve something even better.
Think complimentary flavors like coconut and banana as well as suitable spirits like brandy and vodka. Hot chocolate may seem like a kid thing (and drinking it should, by all means, make you feel like one), but you can give it the bona fide adult treatment in style. Get the marshmallows ready and stoke the fire, these are the best hot chocolate cocktails to take the sting out of the cold.
Rum and Caramel Spiked Hot Cocoa
This one involves some labor, but the results are well worth it. If you’re stuck on time (or effort), simply use pre-made hot cocoa and whipped cream.
(Rum and Caramel Spiked Hot Cocoa Created by Jesse Cudworth)
- .5 cup water
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp Koloa Cacao Rum
- 6 tbsp cold butter
Hot Chocolate Ingredients:
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup chocolate (even parts dark and milk)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1.5 tbsp Disaronno
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- Start by caramelizing the water and sugar into a golden state. Deglaze the caramel by adding 1 tbsp of rum slowly at a time. Allow for each tbsp of rum to fully incorporate before adding another. Next, add in the cold butter and gently swirl the pot to emulsify the butter. Once frothing, pour the caramel onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet and let cool and harden.
- Add cinnamon stick and cayenne to the milk before bringing to a simmer, and steep for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, and emulsify shards of caramel into the milk by whisking constantly, approximately 4 oz of caramel shards. Whisk in chocolate until melted and set aside to cool.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form, before adding the Disaronno and powdered sugar. Whisk the remaining ingredients in and set aside. Give the hot chocolate one last stir, then pour into desired glass/mug. Scoop a dollop or two of the whipped cream onto the hot chocolate and garnish with ground coffee.
This drink is actually a cold cocktail that we’ve revised in the spirit of literal hot chocolate. You’ll love how well banana and brandy work together.
- 2 oz banana-infused D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac
- 3 oz horchata
- 1 tbsp grated Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
- 2 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters
- 2 dashes barrel-aged vanilla bitters
- Shake all ingredients in tin and pour into pot.
- Simmer for a few minutes then pour into a glass or mug.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Peppermint is not just for the holidays, it’s for whenever you’re wandering about with hot cocoa in tow. Note that this recipe yields 4 servings.
- 2/3 cup Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
- .25 cup dark chocolate liqueur
- 4 cups whole milk
- 3 ounces Mexican chocolate, grated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Start by bringing the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan under medium-low heat.
- Once it reaches a simmer, whisk in the grated chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Let it simmer for 8 minutes, then whisk in the vodka and the chocolate liqueur.
- Serve in a mug and top with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Vegan Red Wine Hot Chocolate
In case you haven’t heard, red wine and chocolate go marvelously together. Here, a big and fruity Shiraz is on display—in a vegan recipe, no less.
(Created by Cassandra Rosen)
- 2/3 cup Tussock Jumper Shiraz
- ⅓ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups almond milk, divided
- vegan chocolate shavings and whipped coconut cream for garnish
- Combine the cocoa powder, almond milk, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Heat, whisking occasionally until the cocoa has incorporated, the sugar has melted, and the mixture is hot.
- Remove from heat and stir in the wine.
- Pour into mugs and serve garnished as you like.
Black Forest Hot Cocoa
Simply put, cocoa and cherry do swell together. This easy-to-make cocktail stresses that love connection.
(Created by Fitz Bailey)
- 1.5 oz Coopers’ Craft Bourbon
- .75 oz cherry liquor
- 4 oz hot chocolate
- whipped cream and cocoa dusting for garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a mug, stir, top with garnishes.
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