Perfect, spiked hot chocolate featuring an easy, homemade hot chocolate recipe with vanilla vodka, and coffee liqueur.
When the at-home bakery business was still in full-swing, peppermint bark scraps were always in abundance come the end of the holiday season. I only packaged up the best and biggest chocolate shards, and the small but mighty leftover bark would go in a container for a very special occasion.
I have hosted an annual Christmas party for as long as I can remember. We get all dolled up. These days it is a fancy-schmancy cocktail party, where everyone brings a dish, and we provide our signature roasted beef tenderloin canapés. I typically can’t help myself from making just a few more starter/dessert dishes, but another constant on our behalf is this spiked peppermint hot chocolate.
HOW TO MAKE SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE FROM LEFTOVER PEPPERMINT BARK
In the beginning, when I was working with peppermint bark scraps, I would add the leftover bark to a large pot, and pour over just enough cream to cover the bark. Over low heat, it would melt together, and then, depending on how much bark I was initially working with, I would add whole milk, cup-by-cup, until it tasted like (you guessed it!) hot chocolate!
Once the chocolate to milk ratio was right, I added in the booze and transferred it into a hot beverage dispenser to serve.
To make peppermint hot chocolate using leftover peppermint bark, add the chocolate and cream to a pot over low heat (as indicated above), then add the milk in one cup at a time until the mixture tastes like hot chocolate. At the end, splash in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract for an extra special touch.
Keep track of how much liquid you add, as this will affect how much alcohol goes into the cocktail:
For every 5 ounces of dairy, you will add a 1 ounce of coffee liqueur and a 1/2 ounce of vanilla vodka. If you can find a mocha coffee liqueur, consider it a double bonus! It works beautifully for this cocktail.
Once the at-home bakery days were behind me, we didn’t have quite the abundance of leftover bark as we once did. And what was considered “extra”…kind of got gobbled up by the household.
For an easy and quick spiked hot chocolate for party purposes, it seemed a cocoa powder hot chocolate would be the way to go.
HOW TO MAKE SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE WITH A COCOA POWDER MIX
To make spiked hot chocolate with a cocoa powder mix, you would begin in a pot on the stovetop with your mix and a bit of water over medium heat. Once the cocoa mixture has liquefied, the dairy goes in. After the hot chocolate has heated through, it’s removed from the heat, add the vanilla extract (and peppermint extract, if using) along with the booze.
THE TRICK TO PERFECT SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE
The trick to a good cocoa powder-based spiked hot chocolate is (hate to say it) fat. Heat tends to intensify the burn of alcohol on your palette. And I’m not talking, like, a “Wow, that hot chocolate is really hot!” kind of burn, I’m talking more of a “Ewweeeee! That’s a SUPER strong drink!” kind of burn. Personally, I’m not a fan of either.
The fats from the dairy will help to counterbalance the burn. I know how strange that sounds, but using cream and whole milk, rather than let’s say a combination of half-and-half and 2% milk, will help to cut that overpowering, unpleasant burn from the alcohol, and produce a smooth and enjoyable spiked hot chocolate.
HOW TO COME UP WITH YOUR OWN SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE
You can get really creative when it comes to spiked hot chocolate, and if you want to go out on a limb, do a little experimenting and create own, below you’ll find a few different boozey options for you to choose from!
As a base for your cocktail recipe, for every 5 ounces of dairy, you’ll use 1 ounce of liqueur and 1/2 an ounce of liquor.
GREAT BOOZE OPTIONS FOR SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE:
- Vanilla Vodka
- Bailey’s Irish Cream – a whiskey-based, cream liqueur with mild chocolate flavor
- Godiva Chocolate Liqueur – cocoa flavored liqueur
- Frangelico – hazelnut flavored liqueur
- Kahlua Coffee Liqueur – rum-based, coffee flavored liqueur
- Patron XO Cafe – tequila-based, coffee-flavored liqueur
- Rumchata – rum-based, creamy, cinnamon-flavored liqueur
Top off your spiked hot chocolate with a ridiculously hefty serving of whipped cream, crushed peppermint candy, and maybe even a candy cane for an extra special touch. Whichever way you choose to make it, you can count on warm smiles and spirits to be raised, in more ways than just one. Please, enjoy.
Perfect, spiked hot chocolate featuring an easy, homemade hot chocolate recipe with vanilla vodka, and Kahlua.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (optional)
- 5 ounces (about 2/3 cup) Original Kahlua or Mocha Kahlua
- 2 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) high-quality vanilla vodka
- whipped cream optional
- crushed peppermint candy optional
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and water and whisk to combine.
Allow mixture to come to a rapid simmer, and pour in milk and cream. Stir often until heated through. Remove from the heat.
Add the vanilla and peppermint extract (if using), Kahlua and vanilla vodka, and stir once more.
Ladle into a mug, top with whipped cream and crushed peppermint (if desired). Serve and enjoy.
If you can find Peppermint-Mocha Kahlua, this can be used and the peppermint extract within this recipe can be omitted.