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This spiked hot chocolate recipe is rich and creamy: ideal for taking the chill off! Make it with rum, bourbon, and more.

Spiked hot chocolate
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Want a cozy winter drink that warms you from the inside out? There’s nothing better at taking the chill off than a homemade Spiked Hot Chocolate recipe! This mug of liquid cocoa is rich and creamy, with an intense depth in chocolate flavor. A hint of aged rum or bourbon, and it gives it a warming complexity with notes of vanilla and oak. Or, add creme de menthe for a smooth peppermint flavor. Take one sip and we think you’ll agree: it’s truly stunning. Here’s more and a few of the best liquors to spike hot chocolate.

Ingredients in spiked hot chocolate

Spiked hot chocolate is regular hot chocolate that’s spiked with alcohol. Common types of alcohol include bourbon, rum, Baileys, or Kahlua, but really anything goes. You can use a purchased hot cocoa mix, but of course the best way to make this drink is with homemade hot chocolate. It takes just 5 minutes to put together and tastes infinitely better than a mix. The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Cocoa powder
  • 2% milk (or oat milk)
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • Liquor to spike (see below)
Spiked hot chocolate

Best liquor to spike hot chocolate

What’s the best to spike hot chocolate with? Don’t worry: we ran a few taste tests for you! Here are our favorite liquors for spiked hot chocolate and some tasting notes, in order of preference:

  • Aged or dark rum: The favorite! Adds nuance with vanilla and oak notes
  • Bourbon: Another great choice: the sip is deliciously cozy with a whiskey finish
  • Creme de menthe or peppermint schnapps: Perfectly minty and smooth! We used creme de menthe but peppermint schnapps is a substitute if you have it, though it has a slightly stronger flavor. Go to Peppermint Schnapps Hot Chocolate.
  • Baileys: Creamy, bright, almost fruity, and sweet. Go to Baileys Hot Chocolate.
  • Kahlua: Smooth and subtle, and very sweet. Go to Kahlua Hot Chocolate.
Spiked hot chocolate with Baileys

Other ideas for types of alcohol

There are lots of other types of you can use to make this spiked hot chocolate recipe! These are untested by us, but please get creative with these more unique choices and let us know what you think:

  • Galliano: This vanilla liqueur would add intense vanilla notes
  • Creme de cacao: Add even more chocolaty flavor with this cocoa liqueur
  • Cointreau or Triple Sec: Add a hint of citrus (consider adding half the specified amount, then increase to taste)
  • Tia Maria: This coffee liqueur is a more sophisticated Kahlua and could add more intense coffee notes

How to make spiked hot chocolate: some tips

Once you’ve determined your liquor, making this spiked hot chocolate recipe is truly easy! Whisk together the ingredients over the stovetop, then add the alcohol and you’re done! Here are a few tips to the process:

  • Consider multiplying the recipe for a crowd. The recipe below makes 2 servings, so multiply as desired.
  • Add alcohol to the batch, or per serving. The quantities below state the amount of liquor to add for the 2 servings. You can also simply add a shot of 1 ounce of alcohol per 1 cup hot chocolate! This way, people can spike their drink with the liquor of their choosing.
  • Top with whipped cream! Sure you can drink it straight, but it’s always better with homemade whipped cream.

More hot alcoholic drinks

When winter rolls around, warm cocktails are where it’s at! Here are some of our favorite hot alcoholic drinks for the season:

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Spiked hot chocolate

Spiked Hot Chocolate

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks 1x


This spiked hot chocolate recipe is rich and creamy: ideal for taking the chill off! Make it with rum, bourbon, and more.


  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips*
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) aged or dark rum, bourbon, or Baileys Irish Cream or 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) Creme de Menthe or peppermint schnapps*


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the cocoa powder is mostly integrated. Whisk in the remaining milk until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Do not boil.
  2. Stir in the alcohol. Serve immediately, garnished with whipped cream or marshmallows.


**Check the schnapps bottle before you make this drink! If using 100 proof (50% ABV) schnapps, just add a drizzle to taste. You can also use Kahlua, but use 1.5 ounces and decrease the sugar to 2 tablespoons. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. LeahK says:

    This was so helpful. We tried some taste tests of our own and you are so right about the bourbon! Our favorite version ended up as hot chocolate, teaspoon of honey, bourbon, whipped cream, so good!

  2. Recipe Bake says:

    The best way to drink hot chocolate! We absolutely loved it.

  3. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!

    1. Rosa says:

      Looking forward to winter Magic! Thank you!