Marisa Chavetz / Supercall

Whiskey • Sweet
Perfect Spiked Hot Chocolate

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You might not think of spiked hot chocolate as a “cocktail,” per se. But it’s just as much of a cocktail as Hot Buttered Rum or a White Russian. It still requires the perfect balance of ingredients and it still requires the perfect spirit. Cozy and creamy, spiked hot chocolate is one of the most satisfying nightcaps in the world. And it’s also wonderfully customizable.

Our basic hot chocolate recipe is based on the classic mix of whole milk, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract and that all important pinch of salt. Feel free to swap in some half-and-half or even cream if you like your chocolate extra-rich—or, if you’re “being good,” take it down to 2% milk. But do not use non-fat, whatever you do. The booze you choose is up to you, but we have a few go-to favorites. Bourbon, with its mellowed brown sugar flavors, works perfectly, adding a rich backbone and a bit of a bite. Baileys (or any other Irish cream) will up the creaminess even more, and peppermint schnapps will give you all the holiday feels, while Kahlua (or a different coffee liqueur) will turn it into a boozy mocha. Green Chartreuse may sound like an odd choice, but not if you’re in France where herbaceous Chartreuse-spiked hot chocolate is called Verte Chaud and often sipped as an après-ski beverage. Aged tequila like a reposado is another underrated addition that you should try as soon as you get your hands on a saucepan and a whisk. Think of it as real Mexican hot chocolate. With all the possibilities on your bar, be sure to make a big batch of hot chocolate to spike.

The Essentials

cocoa powder
Your Choice of Spirit
The Details


1 cup Whole Milk
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1.5 oz Your Choice of Spirit (We like Whiskey, Baileys, Peppermint Schnapps, Green Chartreuse, Kahlua or Aged Tequila)
Whipped Cream or marshmallows, for garnish (optional)


  • In a saucepan, heat milk gently over medium heat.
  • When the milk starts to steam, add cocoa powder and stir until completely incorporated.
  • Add sugar, salt and vanilla extract, and stir.
  • Pour your choice of spirit into a mug and top with the hot chocolate.
  • Stir and garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows, if using.
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