When it’s cold outside, nothing beats snuggling up with a hot drink, (especially a stiff one). This Hot Chocolate Cocktail recipe comes to us from the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek, Colorado. And believe, me the people at Bachelor Gulch know a thing or two about making you feel warm in the dead of winter.
How to make the best hot chocolate cocktail
Hot chocolate cocktails really belong in a category all their own. A hot chocolate alcohol recipe is like the ultimate mashup of childhood comfort and adulting. True, they are part of a greater category of warm alcoholic drinks. But the leap from a Hot Toddy to hot chocolate cocktail recipes is a broad one.
What is the difference between cocoa and hot chocolate?
The way to approach making these warm cocktails is to start thinking in terms of hot chocolate, also called drinking chocolate, instead of hot cocoa. Hot cocoa is the powdered drink you may have favored as a child. Drinking chocolate, on the other hand, is made with pieces of melted (preferably dark) chocolate in milk, cream, a plant-based milk alternative or, if you prefer, water. It can also be made with a combination of hot water and milk or milk alternative. It is a sensual and sophisticated drink that typically offers a more rich chocolate flavor and less sweetness than what you get from a hot cocoa mix.
Should you use a hot chocolate mix for this cocktail recipe?
For this hot mixed drink recipe, you can make hot chocolate from scratch with hot milk and finely chopped pieces of your favorite dark chocolate, (do not use semisweet chocolate). Or you can use a drinking chocolate mix (not cocoa powder). Some good brands include Guittard Grand Cacao, Nomad Chocolate and Franzese Italian Hot Chocolate Mix.
Equipment needed to make this adult hot chocolate
The best thing about this chocolate peppermint cocktail recipe is that it requires no special equipment. You will need to heat your milk or the alternate beverage you use to make hot chocolate, so you either need a microwave-safe mug or a saucepan to heat it on the stove. (A pair of matching, festive mugs like these makes a nice touch.)
You’ll need whipped cream to top the hot chocolate. If you prefer freshly whipped cream, then you’ll need a mixer or a good whisk and some strong muscles. Other than a shot glass to measure the schnapps, you’re set!
Why add peppermint schnapps?
Of course, there’s more to this mixed drink than just the chocolate. A holiday season drink, it’s flavored with peppermint schnapps, a distilled spirit with peppermint flavoring. It basically makes hot chocolate taste a lot like grown-up Peppermint Patty candies. The zing of mint gives the drink a refreshing edge, keeping it from tasting overly sweet. And a peppermint stick garnish gives it the look of something that took far more time to make than this easy mixed drink recipe actually requires.
If you don’t have any peppermint schnapps, you can use crème de menthe liqueur. Alternatively, you can try to make your own with peppermint extract and vodka. For each one ounce peppermint schnapps, use approximately one ounce of vodka with 1/2 ounce simple syrup and a drop of peppermint extract. (This is not an exact science, so taste your peppermint vodka before adding it to your cocktail. You may find you need less simple syrup or more peppermint flavor. But don’t use more than two drops of peppermint extract per drink otherwise you risk overpowering the chocolate flavor.)
Why you should make this peppermint schnapps hot chocolate your winter date night drink
This mint and chocolate cocktail offers charm and warmth, not to mention aphrodisiac ingredients. It’s a drink with a playful presentation, which can help take the pressure off if you’re worried about making some romantic moves. (Note that you don’t have to garnish with candy canes but it adds a sweet and festive touch to the drink. It’s also fun to use for dipping and scooping up the whipped cream.)
This chocolate peppermint schnapps cocktail also happens to be great for drinking while cuddling in front of a fire or watching drizzling rain through the window. And the combination of what is probably the world’s most famous aphrodisiac, chocolate, with the freshness of mint, (also aphrodisiac), this drink may just bring you a little more excitement than listening to the crackling of a fire.
The Snuggler Hot Chocolate Cocktail with Peppermint Schnapps
- 4 oz Premium hot chocolate* (drinking chocolate)
- 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
- 1 miniature Candy cane for garnish
- 1/4 cup Fresh whipped cream for garnish optional
- Top a cup of premium hot cocoa with an oz of Peppermint Schnapps.
- Stir with a candy cane and top with whipped cream, (optional).
If you don't have peppermint schnapps, you can use crème de menthe or make your own peppermint-flavored vodka. See the notes under Substitutions above.
Note that the candy cane and whipped cream garnishes are completely optional but we did add them into the calorie calculations.
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