Boozy Hot Chocolate Recipes for a Chilly Winter Night

Hot chocolate


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Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate

Kahlúa Hot Chocolate

A coffee liqueur like Kahlúa makes a natural pairing with hot chocolate, adding some extra earthy complexity to the cocoa flavoring. This recipe will guide you through making a Kahlúa hot chocolate from scratch, topped with nutmeg, marshmallows, and salted caramel sauce upon serving, or you can simply add some to whatever mix you have on hand.

Recipe: Damn Delicious

Related: A Surprising Ingredient Makes These Desserts and Drinks Irresistible

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella is a chocolatey hazelnut spread that became an object of obsession in America only in the past decade, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see how it would pair perfectly with an old staple like hot chocolate. This straightforward recipe replaces the cocoa powder with Nutella entirely and leaves your options open for what to spike it with, between bourbon, cacao rum, Frangelico, or a chocolate liqueur.

Recipe: The Kitchn

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Bailey’s Hot Chocolate
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Bailey’s Hot Chocolate

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bailey’s — an Irish whiskey liqueur flavored with cream and cocoa — is another ideal alcoholic pairing for hot chocolate. This recipe finishes by putting the marshmallow-topped mugs in the broiler, creating a toasty-sweet top crust.

Recipe: Amanda K. by the Bay

Hot chocolate

Mocha Mudslide Hot Chocolate

A milkshake-esque cocktail with Bailey’s and Kahlúa, the Mudslide can be easily converted from frozen to steaming hot to suit the colder seasons. The food blog Lemons for Lulu details how to do it on the stovetop with the additions of heavy cream, half and half, strong coffee, and two kinds of chocolate flavoring. The result gets an extra boost of dessert-y decadence with a scoop of chocolate ice cream on top. (For real chocolate dessert options, check out 18 Cheap Recipes That Celebrate Chocolate.)

Recipe: Lemons for Lulu 

Related: Boozy Milkshake Recipes You're Going to Love

Stout Float

Stout Hot Chocolate Float

Beer lovers should know that a dark, full-bodied stout is the best brew to incorporate in hot chocolate, especially when it already has some chocolate or nutty flavoring itself. For this recipe, chocolate stout forms almost as much of the base as whole milk, and the carbonated cocoa gets the root beer float treatment with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream as a topping.

Recipe: Floating Kitchen

Related: Beers and Ciders That Are Perfect for Fall and Winter

Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Butterbeer Hot Chocolate

Here’s one for the grown-up Harry Potter fans, and/or butterscotch lovers, who don’t mind putting in some extra effort for their cocoa. The recipe incorporates a homemade butterscotch sauce into the liquid itself as well as its whipped cream topping, while bourbon provides the alcoholic content.

Recipe: Half Baked Harvest

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Wine lovers can get in the winter’s spirit with this simple yet effective combination of hot cocoa and a fruity red wine of your choice, such as zinfandel, merlot, or syrah. Here the flavor profile really comes together with the addition of cinnamon.

Recipe: The Kitchn

Related: 50 Great-Tasting Red Wines Under $20

Orange Hot Chocolate
Aleksandra Shakhmukhametova/istockphoto

Boozy Orange Hot Chocolate

Just when you think you’ve run out of easy pairings with chocolate, let us remind you of orange, perhaps the fruit most associated with the holiday season. This recipe begins with a standard serving of hot chocolate, then adds an ounce each of brandy and an orange liqueur like Cointreau or triple sec before topping with orange zest, marshmallows, and a dark chocolate drizzle.

Recipe: Momtastic

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin-spiced beverages are something of a fall phenomenon, so of course the flavors can find their way into hot chocolates as well. This recipe offers alternative preparations using dark or white chocolate to complement the pumpkin puree and associated spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. A tablespoon of bourbon adds the boozy element at the end. (Can't get enough pumpkin spice? Here are 25 Pumpkin Spice-Flavored Products You'll Want to Try — and 13 to Skip.)

Recipe: Striped Spatula

White Hot Chocolate

White Hot Chocolate

Though not really chocolate in the technical sense (as it doesn’t contain cocoa solids), white chocolate still makes for a belovedly creamy confection, whether in solid or liquid form. If you’d rather go without the depth of milk or dark chocolate, try this recipe, which gets much of its flavor from sweetened condensed milk, and its alcoholic content from vanilla vodka.

Recipe: Sugar and Soul

Hot Chocolate

Oreo Mint White Hot Chocolate

If you’re already leaning towards a white chocolate drink, try this tip: Blend in a few of Oreo’s mint-crème cookies for added, um, deliciousness. In addition, the recipe also calls for mint vodka in place of vanilla.

Recipe: Delish

Related: Boozy Gifts That Don Draper Would Endorse

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate Del Diablo

While we’re talking about Hispanic hot chocolates, this drink makes prominent use of Patron’s Incendio tequila, which is blended with Mexican arbol chile and Criollo chocolate. Use a cinnamon stick to garnish and stir together this incomparable mix of sugar and spice.

Recipe: Broma

Related: 15 Best Tequilas Under $30 a Bottle for Your Home Bar

Cocoa marshmallows sprinkled with cocoa from above on a winter hot drink. Top view, flat lay.
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Malibu Hot Chocolate

Malibu may have originated from the Caribbean, but the popular coconut rum liqueur can still be served warm to suit a colder climate as well. One shot is enough to add a tropical flair to your favorite hot chocolate mix, or you can follow this recipe by pairing it with Kahlúa as well.

Recipe: Keyingredient

 Rum Hot Chocolate

Spiced Rum Hot Chocolate

Spiced rum is yet another relatively common staple of the liquor cabinet that combines smoothly into hot chocolate. A Cocktail Life provides the recipe to make a spicy, spiked cocoa from scratch using the rum of your choice, plus some seasonal spices of your own, including, rather unusually, cayenne pepper.

Recipe: A Cocktail Life

Related: 18 Best Rums Under $35 to Spice Up Your Home Bar

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Vegan Mezcal Hot Chocolate

Like tequila, mezcal is distilled from the agave plant, but boasts a distinctly smoky flavor that’s made it an increasingly popular ingredient in craft cocktails of late. This recipe puts it in the context of a vegan-friendly hot cocoa, composed of coconut milk with the added flavorings of smoky chipotle and spicy cayenne.

Recipe: Kara Lydon

Coconut Milk Cognac Hot Chocolate

Coconut Milk Cognac Hot Chocolate

For another coconut milk hot chocolate, this recipe adds to the silkiness of melted cocoa with French cognac of the “very special” variety, meaning it’s only been aged a minimum of two years. Even in this context, you can be sure to appreciate the cognac’s complex flavor profile through the chocolate, featuring notes of fruit, flower, oak, and earth.

Recipe: With Spice

Jan. 31: National Hot Chocolate Day
Janine Lamontagne/istockphoto

Whiskey Hot Chocolate

Whiskey adds a somewhat dominant flavor to anything it’s a part of, so this hot chocolate is for enthusiasts only. This recipe recommends using Irish Kilbeggan blended whiskey, which is noted for having a flavor somewhere between traditional whiskey and American bourbon.

Recipe: The Kitchn 

Related: 20 Best Whiskeys Under $50

Butterscotch Hot Chocolate
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Boozy Butterscotch Hot Chocolate

If you have tasty ingredients, why complicate things? Other than the hot cocoa mix itself, all you need to make this cocktail is a shot of butterscotch schnapps. This liqueur may be on the unusual side, but it’s worth ordering a bottle to have on-hand for other drinks during this sweetest time of the year.


Peppermint Schnapps Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Schnapps Hot Chocolate

But if butterscotch isn’t your thing, what about peppermint? Peppermint schnapps will add a bit of cooling refreshment to your hot chocolate, and you can get rid of any candy canes or peppermint sticks you have lying around by crushing and lining the rim with them for a garnish.


Related: Where to Order Beer, Wine, and Liquor Online

Skrewball Hot Chocolate

Skrewball Hot Chocolate

Originally inspired by the many dishes in Asian cuisine using peanut sauce, Skrewball is a peanut-infused whiskey from California. Anyone who loves Reese’s or other chocolate-peanut-based sweets is probably already salivating at the idea of a Skrewball hot chocolate.

Recipe: Beer Alien


Eggnog White Hot Chocolate

If there’s any drink that evokes the holidays better than hot chocolate, it’s eggnog. This recipe brings the two together with surprising simplicity. Besides the eggnog and white chocolate chips, all you need to prepare it are crème de cacao and white chocolate liqueur. Alternatively, you could add eggnog liqueur to a standard white or regular hot chocolate.

Recipe: Who Needs a Cape

Related: 20 Cold Weather Cocktails

Hot chocolate

Bourbon and Frangelico Hot Chocolate

This recipe for adult hot chocolate utilizes a tempting variety of alcoholic ingredients, including bourbon, Irish cream, and the hazelnut liqueur Frangelico. If you don’t mind going the extra mile, they also provide instructions for how to make your own Irish cream at home.

Recipe: The Modern Proper

Related: 19 Best Bourbons for Mint Juleps on Kentucky Derby Day