Liquor Laboratory

10 Best Liquor for Hot Chocolate Listed (2024 Updated)

Best Liquor for Hot Chocolate 

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Hot chocolate is one of those treats that everyone surely likes. It can be topped with almost anything sweet or salty– plus, it’s the perfect starting point for a cocktail.

And if you ask about the spirits that pair well with hot chocolate, the option is endless. But if you’re confused about where to start and which spirit to choose, we got you. 

From you’re favorite wine to rum, vodka, and bourbons— here are the best liquors for hot chocolate.  

Top 10 Best Liquor for Hot Chocolate

10. Red Wine

pouring red wine on a glasses

Surprisingly, red wine is on this list. Hot chocolate and your favorite red wine match well to create a rich cocktail recipe

Although you might find some grainy texture, this is a must-try pair that can make your drinking experience a little more unique. 

If you love exploring tastes and spirits, do not miss this hot cocoa and red wine pair for your next cozy cocktail. 

9. Aged Rum/Dark Rum

3 Different Brand of Rum Bottles

If you’re into rums and hot chocolate, did you know that this pair mixes well? 

Dark rum or any aged rum can add oak and vanilla flavors to the hot chocolate, creating a very good cocktail drink. 

One of the best possible pairings of rum is chocolate, which creates an incomparable sensory spectrum. 

Aged rums, particularly, work well with chocolates with a high percentage of cocoa, which create intense flavors.

8. Whipped Cream Vodka

Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka with glass and ice

Speaking of sweet treats, there’s nothing better than a scoop of whipped cream on top of your hot chocolate. 

But to make a twist, you can try topping your hot cocoa with whipped cream Vodka instead of just adding regular whipped cream. 

Whipped Cream Vodkas are simple vodka infused with whipped cream and sweet vanilla.

So don’t expect an actual cream on the vodka; the sweet vanilla flavor does the cream-flavored trick. 

7. Cointreau or Triple Sec

Pouring Bottle of Cointreau on a Jigger

For a change, why not add an orange touch to your hot chocolate? This might sound weird, but it is definitely feasible, and take note– delicious. 

Orange liqueur like Cointreau or Triple Sec can spike your simple hot chocolate into a boozy yet orangy cocktail– without omitting the chocolate’s goodness. 

Besides, chocolate and orange are best friends, so expect them to get along well. 

6. Peppermint Schnapps

3 Different Brand of Peppermint Schnapps

This Peppermint Schnapps is a mint-infused liqueur that tastes like boozy candy canes. It is a staple drink during the winter or holiday seasons. 

If you’re familiar with the Apres Ski Cocktails, you’ve probably encountered or even tried Peppermint Schnapps

But one thing you need to learn is that – this liqueur is great in choco-based cocktails.

So why not try this spirit with your mug of hot chocolate?  

5. Kahlua

3 Bottles of Kahlua

This coffee liqueur will turn your favorite hot chocolate into a quite boozy yet tasty drink. The coffee flavor notes from Kahlua will level up the hot chocolate’s simple goodness. 

This pairing is perfect for cold winter days as you savor the cocoa sweetness and Kahlua’s boozy notes. 

Besides, the combo of milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cocoa powder, spiked with a shot of Kahlua, makes the entire drinking experience deliciously rich and a bit warmer. 

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.”

— Frank Sinatra, Singer/Actor 

4. Spiced Rum

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum bottle with glass and ice

Spiced rum, paired with your hot chocolate, can be your next favorite cocktail. 

You can elevate the hot chocolate goodness by matching it with your favorite Spiced rum from Captain Morgan, Kraken Black, Chairman’s Reserve, Don Q, Sailor Jerry, and more. 

Good thing – you can find a lot of Spiced rum and hot cocoa recipes online that you can try any time. 

3. Tequila

Different Brand of Tequila Bottles

This is your sign if you’ve never tried a Mexican-style hot chocolate.

As soon as you’re used to its chili-spiced flavoring, you can try the Mexican hot cocoa skewered with tequila

Try this hot cocoa and tequila recipe using Don Julio, which uses cinnamon, chili powder, and oat milk. 

We’re telling you – once you savor this recipe’s goodness, you can’t help but want more. 

2. Peppermint Vodka

Smirnoff Peppermint Vodka with cocktail drink

Complete your winter months with a nice dose of mint-flavored treats. If you’ve tried (or are a fan) of SB’s Peppermint Mocha, try a hot chocolate pierced with Peppermint Vodka [1]. 

For added garnish, you can top it with candy canes. And mind you, this special treat also pairs well with Pepper Schnapps. 

You can have any Peppermint Vodka like the Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka or make your own at home. 

1. Bourbon

Different Brand of Bourbon Bottles

The most favorite hot chocolate pair is none other than bourbons. It gives the hot chocolate a cozy feel with a bite of alcohol. 

If you ask about the best bourbons for hot chocolate, you can try the Bulleit Bourbon, Jim Beam Bourbon Cream, Bird Dog Bourbon Whiskey, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream, and BSB Brown Sugar Bourbon

The lightness of bourbon adds the right amount of booze to the hot chocolate. 

How To Make A Spiked Hot Chocolate 

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes 


  • 2 cups milk (2%)
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. bourbon or aged/dark rum (Alternative: 1.5 oz. Peppermint Schnapps)
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips (dark or semisweet)

Instructions: In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat. Add the cocoa powder and milk, then stir until the mixture is mixed. 

Using a wooden spoon, add the rest of the ingredients and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth. Set over medium-high heat until the chocolate melts.

Then, mix in your preferred liquor, stir, and serve right away. Also, you can top it with marshmallows or whipped cream. 

Serving: 1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use liqueurs in hot chocolate drinks?

Absolutely! Liqueurs are fantastic additions to hot chocolate, offering a delightful way to infuse your favorite warm beverage with extra flavor and a touch of indulgence. Liqueurs, known for their sweet and flavorful profiles, can elevate a simple cup of hot chocolate into a luxurious treat. Their versatility allows for endless possibilities in creating unique and delicious hot chocolate concoctions.

When incorporating liqueurs into hot chocolate, it’s essential to consider the flavors you want to highlight and how they will complement the rich cocoa base. Here are some popular liqueurs that pair exceptionally well with hot chocolate:

Peppermint Liqueur: Adding a splash of peppermint liqueur to hot chocolate creates a cozy and festive drink reminiscent of candy canes. The refreshing minty flavor adds a delightful twist, perfect for warming up during the winter months or celebrating the holiday season.

Chocolate Liqueur: For chocolate lovers, chocolate liqueur is a natural choice to enhance the cocoa richness of hot chocolate. The addition of chocolate liqueur intensifies the chocolate flavor, making for an indulgent and decadent treat that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Hazelnut Liqueur: Hazelnut liqueur brings a nutty and slightly sweet taste to hot chocolate, complementing the creamy texture of the beverage. The subtle hints of hazelnut add depth and complexity, creating a comforting and luxurious drinking experience.

Coffee Liqueur: Coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa, adds a delightful coffee flavor to hot chocolate, transforming it into a delicious mocha-inspired drink. The combination of rich cocoa and aromatic coffee creates a harmonious blend of flavors that’s both comforting and invigorating.

Orange Liqueur: For a citrusy twist, orange liqueur can be a delightful addition to hot chocolate. The vibrant orange flavor adds a zesty brightness to the drink, balancing the sweetness of the chocolate and adding a sophisticated touch to your beverage.

When incorporating liqueurs into hot chocolate, it’s essential to start with a small amount and adjust to taste. The goal is to enhance the flavor of the hot chocolate without overpowering it with alcohol. Stir the liqueur into the hot chocolate just before serving to ensure that the flavors are well-incorporated.

Will hot chocolate with liquor make you drunk?

While hot chocolate with liquor can contribute to intoxication if consumed in large quantities, the amount of alcohol typically added to hot chocolate is relatively low. Liqueurs are typically lower in alcohol content compared to straight spirits, and when added to hot chocolate, the overall alcohol content of the beverage remains relatively modest.

However, it’s essential to exercise moderation and drink responsibly when enjoying hot chocolate with liquor. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, even in the form of hot chocolate cocktails, can lead to intoxication and impaired judgment. It’s crucial to be mindful of your alcohol consumption and know your limits.

If you’re concerned about becoming intoxicated, consider pacing yourself and alternating between hot chocolate cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoying hot chocolate with liquor in moderation can enhance your drinking experience without compromising your safety.

What Type of Liquor Goes Best with Hot Chocolate?

The type of liquor that goes best with hot chocolate depends on personal preferences and desired flavor profiles. Here are some popular options:

Whiskey: Bourbon, rye, or Irish whiskey can add warmth and complexity to hot chocolate, with their rich, oaky flavors complementing the chocolatey sweetness.

Rum: Dark or spiced rum can enhance the flavor of hot chocolate with their caramel, vanilla, and spice notes, creating a comforting and indulgent drink.

Brandy: Brandy adds a subtle fruitiness and depth to hot chocolate, with its smooth and warming qualities making it an elegant choice for cold winter nights.

Peppermint Schnapps: Peppermint schnapps adds a refreshing minty flavor to hot chocolate, perfect for adding a festive twist to the drink during the holiday season.

Coffee Liqueur: Coffee liqueur such as Kahlúa can complement the chocolate flavor of hot chocolate while adding a hint of coffee bitterness and sweetness.

Ultimately, the best type of liquor to use with hot chocolate is subjective and depends on individual preferences. Experiment with different options to find the combination that you enjoy the most.

How Can I Enhance the Flavor of Hot Chocolate with Liquor?

Enhancing the flavor of hot chocolate with liquor is a delightful way to elevate this classic beverage into a luxurious treat. Here are some tips to enhance the flavor of your hot chocolate with liquor:

Choose Complementary Flavors: Select a liquor that complements the flavor of hot chocolate. For example, chocolate liqueur enhances the cocoa richness, while peppermint liqueur adds a refreshing twist.

Experiment with Different Liqueurs: Explore a variety of liqueurs to discover unique flavor combinations. Hazelnut liqueur, coffee liqueur, and orange liqueur are just a few options to consider for adding depth and complexity to your hot chocolate.

Adjust Sweetness: Consider the sweetness level of the liquor and adjust the amount added to suit your taste preferences. Sweeter liqueurs may require less additional sweetener, while less sweet liqueurs may benefit from a touch of sugar or simple syrup.

Garnish with Whipped Cream: Top your hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream for added richness and indulgence. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, cinnamon, or grated chocolate for an extra layer of flavor.

Experiment with Spices: Add a dash of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or chili powder to your hot chocolate for a warming and aromatic twist. These spices can complement the flavors of the liquor and enhance the overall drinking experience.

Use High-Quality Ingredients: Start with high-quality hot chocolate and premium liqueurs for the best flavor. Quality ingredients will shine through in the final drink and ensure a deliciously satisfying beverage.

By incorporating these tips, you can create hot chocolate drinks infused with liquor that are rich, flavorful, and utterly indulgent.

Are There Any Traditional Hot Chocolate Cocktails I Can Make with Liquor?

Yes, there are several traditional hot chocolate cocktails that you can make with liquor. These cocktails combine the rich, creamy texture of hot chocolate with the flavorful kick of liquor, resulting in decadent and satisfying beverages. Here are a few classic hot chocolate cocktails to try:

Spiked Hot Chocolate: Add a shot of your favorite liquor, such as whiskey, rum, or brandy, to a cup of hot chocolate. Stir well and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a simple yet delicious treat.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Add a splash of peppermint schnapps to hot chocolate for a refreshing and festive twist. Garnish with a candy cane or a sprinkle of crushed peppermint candy for extra holiday cheer.

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Spike hot chocolate with tequila and a pinch of cinnamon for a spicy and flavorful drink inspired by traditional Mexican hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon for an authentic touch.

Irish Hot Chocolate: Add a shot of Irish cream liqueur, such as Baileys, to hot chocolate for a creamy and indulgent treat. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup for an extra dose of decadence.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate: Infuse hot chocolate with hazelnut liqueur for a nutty and aromatic twist. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts or a dusting of cocoa powder for an elegant finishing touch.

These traditional hot chocolate cocktails are easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to experiment with different liqueurs and garnishes to create your own signature hot chocolate creations.

What Are Some Tips for Mixing Liquor with Hot Chocolate?

Mixing liquor with hot chocolate is a simple and enjoyable process, but here are some tips to ensure a delicious and satisfying result:

Start with Hot Chocolate: Begin by preparing a cup of hot chocolate using your preferred method. You can use instant hot chocolate mix, homemade hot chocolate, or store-bought hot chocolate.

Add Liquor Slowly: Pour the desired amount of liquor into the hot chocolate gradually, stirring continuously to ensure even distribution. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste, keeping in mind the alcohol content of the liquor.

Experiment with Flavors: Explore different liqueurs to discover unique flavor combinations. Consider classic options like chocolate liqueur or peppermint schnapps, or experiment with more unconventional choices for a creative twist.

Garnish Thoughtfully: Garnish your hot chocolate with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or other toppings to enhance the presentation and add extra flavor. Consider complementary garnishes that complement the flavors of the liquor and hot chocolate.

Serve Immediately: Hot chocolate with liquor is best enjoyed immediately after preparation while it’s still hot and the flavors are well-incorporated. Serve in a heat-resistant mug or glass for optimal enjoyment.

Experiment and Have Fun: Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different combinations of liquor, hot chocolate, and garnishes. Mixing liquor with hot chocolate is a fun and customizable process, so feel free to tailor it to your preferences and taste preferences.

By following these tips, you can create delicious hot chocolate drinks infused with liquor that are perfect for cozying up on cold winter days or indulging in a sweet treat any time of year.

Key Takeaways 

Hot chocolate plus your favorite booze feels like heaven on earth. Who wouldn’t love the goodness of hot chocolate spiked with delicious and rich liquors? 

Now that you have a handful of options to try with your favorite mug of hot cocoa, you’re a step closer to experiencing the warm and sweet treat these pairings can deliver. 

Just try all the liquors above and see which suits your tastebuds. Enjoy!


  1. Vodka distilled liquor
  2. Liqueur alcoholic beverage
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