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5 Best Bourbons For Hot Chocolate in 2024 (Recipes Included)

Best Bourbons For Hot Chocolate

Last Updated on April 13, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Nothing warms you inside and out better than a cup of hot chocolate during cold winter nights. But if you wish to add a little liquor to make it extra fun, bourbon might be a great choice to spike your hot chocolate.

However, finding the best bourbon for hot chocolate could be challenging because of too many options. 

Thankfully, our team found the best bourbons that create harmony with the rich chocolate, so read on!

Top 5 Bourbons For Hot Chocolate

5. BSB Brown Sugar Bourbon

BSB Brown Sugar Bourbon

ABV: 30%

Average Price: Around $19

What We Liked: We liked that this bourbon has the signature whiskey warmth despite being sweet. It has tasting notes of cinnamon and brown sugar, perfect for hot chocolate. This bourbon is also a perfect sipping bourbon for any season.

It’s made from a mash of malted barley, corn, and rye. It is barreled at less than 125 proof in Charred American oak barrels for two years.

This spiced bourbon has the perfect sweetness to make any hot chocolate taste better.

4. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream

ABV: 15%

Average Price: Roughly $23

What We Liked: Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream is handcrafted with Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon and real cream. It’s rich and sweet on the palate, smooth and delicious. The creamy vanilla flavor of this bourbon complements the richness of hot chocolate.

It also has a low alcohol percentage, making it a suitable partner for an easy-drinking, delicious hot chocolate drink.

When this bourbon is topped with a dollop of whipped cream, it will surely be a decadent treat you’ll love to drink over and over again.

3. Bird Dog Bourbon Whiskey

Bird Dog Bourbon Whiskey

ABV: 44% ABV

Average Price: Around $22

What We Liked: We liked that this bourbon whiskey has light undertones of honey and raisins. It’s smooth and light, making it perfect for spiking the cozy hot cocoa drink. It’s not too sweet, yet it tastes amazing in hot chocolate. 

However, if you want a little sweetness, we recommend adding chocolate shavings and marshmallows to your hot chocolate. We also like that it is affordable. 

The Bird Dog Small Batch Bourbon 7-Year-Old is masterfully crafted using traditional methods and is aged in hand-selected barrels combined in small batches.

Read: Penelope Bourbon Price Guide

2. Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon

ABV: 45% ABV

Average Price: Roughly $33 

What We Liked: Bulleit bourbon is made from a unique mash bill composed of rye, barley malt, and corn. This bourbon whiskey is smooth with a distinctive spiciness due to its high-rye content. The spicy character gives the hot chocolate a kick that invites another sip.

This affordable bourbon has 45% ABV, so a Bulleit Bourbon Hot Chocolate will warm you up from the inside out! It also has tasting notes of toffee, nutmeg, maple, and oak.

The subtle and complex flavors of this bourbon blend well with the rich and creamy notes of the chocolate. But what’s the best liquor for hot chocolate?

1. Jim Beam Bourbon Cream

Jim Beam Bourbon Cream

ABV: 15%

Average Price: Roughly around $19

What We Liked: Jim Beam Bourbon Cream is rich and velvety, making it ideal for spiking hot chocolate. It’s sweet on the palate and has vanilla, oak, and caramel notes. Its flavors mix beautifully with hot chocolate.

This affordable cream liqueur [2] also gives a warm and fuzzy feeling during cold winter nights.

Aside from being the perfect pair for hot chocolate, you can also enjoy this delicious treat over ice. 

Read: Our Top Bourbons For Boulevardier

Popular Bourbon Hot Chocolate Recipes

Popular Bourbon Hot Chocolate Recipes

Bourbon Hot Spiked Chocolate Recipe

Prep Time: 3 mins

Total Time: 7 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • A dash of salt
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 ½ oz bourbon

Instructions: 

In a saucepan, combine cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, and salt, and mix them thoroughly until combined—heat on medium-high. Mix until the chocolate is completely melted. 

Next, remove from heat when the chocolate reaches your desired drinking temperature. Stir in vanilla and bourbon. Pour it into a mug. To garnish, you can add whipped cream and a caramel drizzle on top. Serve immediately.

Servings: 1

Salted Bourbon Hot Cocoa Recipe

Salted Bourbon Hot Cocoa, best bourbon for hot chocolate

Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 10 mins

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups of milk of choice
  • 1 cup half and half (whole milk and cream)
  • ⅓ cup sugar-free sweetener
  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 oz bourbon of choice

Instructions: 

In a small pan, heat heavy whipping cream and milk until warm. Stir in chocolate and whisk until it is completely melted. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla, sweetener, and Kosher salt. 

Remove from the heat when it reaches your desired drinking temperature. Stir in the bourbon and transfer to a mug. To garnish, add whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate and salt. Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does bourbon whiskey taste good in hot chocolate?

Yes, bourbon whiskey tastes good in hot chocolate. The flavors of bourbon brilliantly mingle well with the richness and sweetness of the hot chocolate. Most bourbon has strong vanilla notes that pair well with darker chocolates. 

What chocolate type is best paired with bourbon?

Darker chocolate is best for rich and strong bourbon because it provides a counterpoint for robust and sweet bourbons. Meanwhile, milk chocolate goes well with spicy bourbons because their sweetness balances the spice.


What bourbon goes best with chocolate?

Pairing bourbon with chocolate is a delightful experience, and the best choice often includes bourbons with rich, caramel, and vanilla notes that complement the sweetness of chocolate; options like Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, or Buffalo Trace can enhance the chocolatey indulgence, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

What liquor is best with hot chocolate?

For a delightful hot chocolate enhancement, spiking it with liqueurs like Baileys Irish Cream, Peppermint Schnapps, or Grand Marnier adds a layer of warmth and complexity, transforming a classic treat into a comforting and indulgent adult beverage.

Is it OK for bourbon to get hot?

While bourbon is generally resilient and can withstand moderate temperature changes, extreme heat can impact its flavor and quality, potentially leading to a more pronounced alcohol burn and changes in the overall taste; storing bourbon in a cool, dark place is advisable to maintain its integrity and prevent any undesirable alterations.

What is the best bourbon or whiskey for a hot toddy?

Creating the perfect hot toddy involves choosing a bourbon or whiskey with a balanced flavor profile that can stand out amidst the other ingredients like honey, lemon, and hot water; selections such as Maker’s Mark, Jameson Irish Whiskey, or Knob Creek can contribute to a soothing and comforting hot toddy experience.

Is bourbon good with chocolate?

Bourbon and chocolate form a delectable pairing as the rich, sweet, and slightly smoky characteristics of bourbon complement the diverse flavors in chocolate; whether enjoyed side by side or combined in desserts, the combination of bourbon and chocolate is celebrated for creating a luxurious and indulgent experience that appeals to a wide range of palates.

What tastes better with hot chocolate?

Enhancing the flavor of hot chocolate can be achieved with various delicious additions such as whipped cream, marshmallows, cinnamon, or a sprinkle of nutmeg, allowing you to customize your hot chocolate experience to suit your taste preferences.

What liqueur goes well with chocolate?

Pairing liqueurs with chocolate opens up a world of decadent possibilities; options like Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlúa, or Chambord bring a delightful blend of creamy, coffee, or fruity notes that complement the richness of chocolate, elevating your indulgence to a luxurious and sophisticated level.

What is good on a hot chocolate bar?

Creating a hot chocolate bar offers endless possibilities for customization; include toppings such as whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings, caramel sauce, sprinkles, and even flavored syrups, allowing everyone to craft their perfect cup of hot chocolate based on individual preferences.

Should I refrigerate bourbon?

Bourbon does not require refrigeration; in fact, it is best stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations, as refrigeration can potentially impact its flavor and character, leading to changes in taste and aroma that may not be desirable.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

While all bourbons are whiskey, not all whiskies are bourbon; the primary distinctions lie in production regulations. Bourbon must be made in the United States, containing at least 51% corn in its mash bill, aged in new charred oak barrels, distilled to no more than 160 proof, entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof, resulting in a distinctively sweeter and fuller-bodied whiskey compared to other types of whisky, which may have different production standards depending on their origin.Top of Form

So, What’s the Best Bourbon For Hot Chocolate?

Our team chose the Jim Beam Bourbon Cream as the best bourbon for hot chocolate. It’s a limited-edition product that combines sweet, velvety cream liqueur with the world’s finest Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey [1].

We like that the bourbon is light and adds just the right amount of booze for a hot chocolate. It has tasting notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel, creating perfect harmony with the richness and creaminess of the hot chocolate. 

However, while there are a lot of bourbons to choose from, the best bourbon to spike your hot chocolate is the one that matches your taste. So, which bourbon did you like best? Tell us in the comment section below!

References:

  1. Jim Beam® Releases Limited-Edition Bourbon Cream Just In Time For The Holiday Season
  2. Liqueur alcoholic beverage
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