‘Tis the season for warm, cozy nights around the fire, sipping delicious cups of spiced hot chocolate and enjoying all the magic that the holiday season has to offer. This boozy hot cocoa is the perfect companion for your winter nights.
If you’re a chocolate lover, this recipe is for you! Add your favorite booze to make an adult version, or keep it classic and enjoy the sweet, creamy decadence of a homemade hot chocolate. This spiced hot chocolate recipe is surprisingly easy and uses just a few ingredients.
Why Make Spiced Hot Chocolate From Scratch?
There are numerous hot chocolate mixes out there that just conveniently require water or milk, but if you have the time to try some homemade hot cocoa, it’s definitely a must! Making spiced hot chocolate from scratch means you can customize it to your preferences by adjusting the sweetness level, making it dairy-free, adding fun spices, and avoiding any extra preservatives or additives.
- Milk – Choose your creamy base of choice. If you’re wanting a dairy-free version, opt for coconut, soy, or oat milk. I used half 2% cow’s milk and half coconut milk; the latter adds some extra creaminess.
- Cocoa powder and chocolate – This is spiced hot chocolate, after all. Use high-quality cocoa powder for the best deep, chocolatey flavor. You can also add melted chocolate to add even more richness; keep in mind this thickens up the hot chocolate, so you may need to adjust with more milk.
- Sugar – Sweeten up with the sugar of your choice. Granulated sugar works just fine, but honey or agave works too! Add more or less sugar based on your sweetness preference.
- Salt – Just a pinch to enhance the sweetness flavor.
- Extras – Now to be creative! Add fun flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, or peppermint. Mix in some hot coffee to create a mocha. Create an adult version by including your favorite alcohol (I find bourbon, rum, and Baileys work great). Finally, top with whipped cream, marshmallows, or crumbles of your favorite chocolate bar or cookie (because why not make it that much more decadent).
The Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe
Makes 2 servings
- 2 to 3 cups milk of choice (I used half cow’s milk, half coconut milk)
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- ¼ cup chocolate chips or squares (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 to 3 oz alcohol of choice (bourbon, Baileys, rum, etc.) – omit for kid-friendly version
1. Add milk to a medium-sized pot on a stove set to medium heat. Allow to warm, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.
2. Add cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and spices, and whisk until combined. If adding additional chocolate chips, wait until the hot chocolate is steaming (but not boiling) before adding (otherwise the chocolate may burn on the bottom before completely melting). Stir well until completely melted and creamy.
3. Remove from heat and pour into mugs. Top your spiced hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed cookies, graham crackers, or whatever your heart desires! Enjoy hot.
What Booze to Add
Whatever your preference is (or what you have on hand). Some may be a little more adventurous and add wine or beer, but if you want to play it a little on the safer side, stick with alcohols like spiced rum, whiskey/bourbon, chocolate liquors, or Baileys.
Can I Store the Leftovers?
You bet! Store leftovers in a sealed container or glass jar in the fridge or cooler for 3 to 5 days. Reheat on low-medium heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on the bottom.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat to warm you up this winter season, look no further. Enjoy this rich, spiced hot chocolate with your friends or family (or even by yourself!).
Carlin is a lover of all things outdoors, adventure, and food! She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys activities like camping, hiking, biking, snowboarding, and surfing—especially in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and BC, Canada. She combined her passion for food and the outdoors and decided to start her outdoor food blog, Camp Kitchen, where she shares easy, delicious, and approachable recipes for the outdoors.
Image credit: Carlin Frimmel