Spiked Hot Chocolate is a festive cocktail perfect for the holidays, and you can easily whip up a quick batch for this year’s holiday party, or even make single servings for relaxing at home by the Christmas tree. If you’re not quite sure how much or what kind of booze you’d like to dress up your hot cocoa with this season, you’ve come to the right place!
This is a homemade hot chocolate recipe made for spiking, and you can make it work with just about any combination of alcohol. Not sure which combo to use? See the list of boozey items below, all of which pair perfectly with chocolate. However, if you’re not ready to put on your mixologist britches just yet, take comfort in knowing you’ve got three stellar, ready-made alcoholic hot chocolate combinations to choose from: vanilla vodka and Kahlua, Baileys and Kahlua, or make it simple with whipped cream vodka!
HOW TO MAKE EASY SPIKED HOT CHOCOLATE
To make spiked hot chocolate, you would begin in a pot on the stovetop with your cocoa powder 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 alcohol.
QUICK RECIPE OVERVIEW
- Mix cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and water in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Add the dairy and bring to temperature.
- Remove from heat and vanilla (or peppermint) extract and alcohol.
FEEL THE BURN (OR ACTUALLY, DON’T)
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. The fats from the dairy will help to counterbalance the burn. 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.
If you’re in a pinch and you don’t have the cream, you can still use this recipe with whatever dairy you have on hand. However, I would suggest adding the alcohol in smaller increments to taste, rather than all at once if making a big batch.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE 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 your own spiked hot cocoa recipe, below you’ll find a few different boozy options 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 ALCOHOLIC HOT CHOCOLATE:
- Vanilla Vodka
- Whipped Cream 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
FOR HOT CHOCOLATE WITH BAILEYS AND KAHLUA
Single Serving: Hot chocolate with Kalua and Baileys is also a popular combination. For this cocktail, you’ll add 1 ounce of Kahlua and 1 ounce of Baileys per serving of hot chocolate. A traditional hot chocolate serving is anywhere from 5-8 ounces, which is just under or right at 1 cup of liquid.
Big Batch: For a big batch, follow the hot chocolate recipe located in the recipe card, omitting the vodka and Kahlua quantity it calls for. Instead, add a 1/2 of a cup each Kahlua and Baileys.
FOR HOT CHOCOLATE WITH WHIPPED CREAM VODKA
Single Serving: To make an alcoholic hot chocolate with whipped cream vodka, add 1 1/2 ounce of whipped cream vodka per serving of hot cocoa.
Big Batch: For a big batch, follow the hot chocolate recipe located in the recipe card, omitting the vodka and Kahlua it calls for. Instead, add 1 cup of whipped cream vodka.
How to Make Spiked Hot Chocolate from Leftover Peppermint Bark
We make a few batches of my Williams-Sonoma copycat Peppermint Bark at the start of every Christmas season. The big shards are usually gobbled up fairly quickly, but inevitably we’ll be left with a few scraps come the end of the holidays, and the leftover bark goes in a container for a very special occasion. We host a potluck Christmas party every year, and we always provide our signature roasted beef tenderloin canapés and, of course, spiked peppermint hot chocolate.
If you’d like to make alcoholic hot chocolate with your leftover peppermint bark, here is a simple method for doing so. I’m sure everyone’s leftover quantities will vary, so here is more of a method rather than a recipe for putting that peppermint bark to good use.
1. COMBINE PEPPERMINT BARK AND CREAM
Add your leftover bark to a large pot, and pour over just enough cream to cover the bark. Over low heat, and allow it to melt together.
2. ADD MILK AND VANILLA EXTRACT
Add whole milk, cup-by-cup, until it 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.
3. ADD BOOZE
Once the chocolate to milk ratio is right, add the booze. For every 5 ounces of dairy, you will add 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. Then, transfer it into a hot beverage dispenser or a crockpot on warm and serve!
Top off your spiked hot chocolate with a ridiculously hefty serving of whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed peppermint candy, or maybe even a candy cane for an extra special touch. Whichever way you choose to make or serve it, you can count on warm smiles and spirits to be raised! Please, enjoy.
5 MORE FESTIVE DRINKS YOU’LL LOVE
- Homemade Candy Cane Vodka would be perfect in your spiked hot chocolate and can be used to create tons of unique cocktails for the season. It’s sure to liven up any Christmas party!
- Homemade Hot Chocolate made on the stovetop is perfect for spreading a little Christmas cheer to a crowd! It features a simple stovetop mix of cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, milk, and cream
- Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix is a 3-ingredient winter staple that’s ready in an instant!
- Apple Pie Martinis are simple and festive, mimicking the flavors of apple pie and featuring vodka, Horchata liqueur, and apple cider!
- Coffee Martinis are the perfect beginning (or ending) to any meal — chocolatey and rich with spice!
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.