What Alcohol Goes With Hot Chocolate? 11 Ways To Spike It

From your favorite flavored vodkas to red wine.

by Kirsten Nunez and Mia Mercado
Originally Published: 
11 Ways to spike hot cocoa
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Hot chocolate is among life's greatest pleasures. You can top it with pretty much anything salty or sweet. It's basically a dessert you can drink and the perfect starting point for your next cozy cocktail. If you're wondering what alcohol goes best with hot chocolate, you're in luck because there are quite a few.

Amidst the springtime mimosas, the poolside White Claws, and the autumnal pumpkin beers, winter cocktails are often overlooked. But if there's a time to enjoy an adult beverage, it's while you're snowed in with nothing better to do. Because who hasn't sipped on a Peppermint Mocha and thought, "...but what if the peppermint was Peppermint Schnapps?" Just me? Well, don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

While you might have exhausted some of your favorite drinks going into the holidays — looking at you, negroni sbagliato (with prosecco in it) — it’s time to try something new and improved. So, set aside the rosé, give the spiked seltzer a break, and cozy up to a cup of hot chocolate with alcohol in it. It's nostalgic! It's grown up! It's literally chocolate and booze — what more could you ask of a beverage?

From your favorite flavored vodkas to red wine — yes, I said wine — here are 11 different types of alcohol that you can pair with your next cup of hot cocoa.

1. Coffee Liqueur

You can't go wrong with a classic, and there are few combos more classic than coffee and chocolate. If you're looking for something that pairs perfectly with a cozy weekend brunch or are a fan of coffee cocktails, you'll want to try hot cocoa spiked with a coffee liqueur like Kahlua. For more exact measurements, check Sugar and Soul’s Kahlua Hot Chocolate recipe.

2. Peppermint Vodka

The winter months wouldn't be complete without a generous dose of mint-flavored goodness. If you're a fan of Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha, you'll love this hot cocoa that's spiked with Peppermint Vodka by Fork vs. Spoon. For added cute factor it’s garnished with candy canes and, FYI, this would also work well with Peppermint Schnapps.

3. Amaretto

Amaretto's almond-like flavor works perfectly with pretty much any of your favorite hot cocoa recipes. However, if you need an idea starter, this TikTok recipe for alcoholic hot chocolate with Amaretto also includes RumChata and Baileys. So, you get a triple-whammy of spiked hot cocoa flavors.

4. Tequila


If you've never had a Mexican hot chocolate, you'll want to try that first. Once you're fully committed to its chili-spiced goodness, try a Mexican hot chocolate spiked with tequila. Try this recipe from tequila maker Don Julio which uses chili powder, cinnamon, and oat milk.

5. Whipped Cream Vodka

When it comes to a sweet treat, there's nothing like (literally) topping it off with a dollop of whipped cream. Get a double dose of it by adding whipped cream-flavored vodka to your hot chocolate. Check out the full recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, complete with peppermint deliciousness.

6. Red Wine

Yes, you read that correctly. Red wine. If you're in the mood for something rich, try this Red Wine Hot Chocolate recipe from The Kitchn. The reviews are admittedly kind of mixed, specifically in regards to a sometimes-grainy texture. However, some swear by the flavor combination. So, if you've got a packet of Swiss Miss and a fruity red, you've got your next cozy cocoa cocktail.

7. Marshmallow Vodka


Pretty much any flavored vodka works with hot cocoa: vanilla vodka, whipped cream vodka, and even cake vodka. Marshmallow vodka is no different. You can follow Pinnacle's proportions for the perfect flavored vodka hot chocolate.

8. Spiced Rum

Grab that Captain Morgan's you've got on hand and add it to your next mug of cocoa. You can level up your cup with this recipe for caramel hot cocoa spiked with rum from TikTok.

9. Cherry Liqueur

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For those who are a fan of chocolate-covered cherries, you'll want to try this Spiked Cherry Hot Chocolate from HGTV. It even tells you how to make your cocoa from scratch. But if you used a pre-made mix, I won't tell.

10. Cinnamon Liqueur

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So long as it didn't traumatize you during college, a shot of Fireball Whiskey would work well with a cup of hot cocoa. For a slightly more sophisticated version, check out The Cocktail Project's recipe for a spicy spiked hot chocolate that uses equal parts hot cocoa and Cinnamon Schnapps Liqueur.

11. Baileys

If all else fails, you can't go wrong with an Irish Cream liqueur like Baileys. Simply add the sweet alcoholic beverage to your hot chocolate for a warm mug of spiked deliciousness.

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