Tis the season to cuddle in front of a roaring fire. And to pair with those flames, I have a cocktail recipe to help ignite the flames of passion. This winter cocktail recipe combines hot drinking chocolate with the one-of-a-kind flavor of amaretto. I’m calling it the Almond Joy because that’s exactly what it does, bringing a little extra joy to winter.
What makes a great winter cocktail recipe?
The best winter cocktails should be filled with warming ingredients. In this recipe, the warming ingredient is sophisticated and richly flavored drinking chocolate. And, of course, warm winter drinks should be filled with plenty of joy-inspiring hard liquor!
This heart-warming cocktail recipe is inspired by a drink offered at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, a luxury enclave for wealthy snow bunnies in Colorado. Of course, the recipe doesn’t come with a dashing bartender to mix your cocktail for you but it definitely offers a taste of the good life in your own home.
How to make great hot chocolate with amaretto
The recipe for the Almond Joy couldn’t be more simple. It just calls for a base of a great cup of drinking chocolate and a splash of Amaretto. And then it’s topped with whipped cream. (Or top it with an adorable, seasonal marshmallow, the way I like to serve it.)
This spiked hot chocolate recipe calls for just three ingredients:
- Drinking chocolate – See my recommendation of brands below or make your own with finely chopped chocolate and whole milk or your favorite plant-based milk.
- Amaretto liqueur
- Whipped cream – This is technically optional but really, what’s hot chocolate without a dollop of cold whipped cream on top?
What is the best hot chocolate for cocktails?
You can make drinking chocolate from scratch with finely chopped pieces of your favorite dark chocolate, (do not use semisweet chocolate). Just add the chocolate to hot milk or your favorite milk alternative. You can also use a combination of warm milk and hot water. 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.
Of course, great drinking chocolate isn’t just about the ingredients, it’s about how it’s made. Hot chocolate can be made in the microwave but to get the best hot chocolate, heat the milk or plant-based alternative in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Be careful not to scald the milk. When the milk comes to a low simmer, turn the heat as low as possible and add in your drinking chocolate, stirring continuously with a whisk until it is fully incorporated. (Whisking will help give the drinking chocolate a lovely, almost frothy texture.) THIS is how you make great hot chocolate!
More fun winter cocktail recipes
Almond Joy Winter Cocktail Recipe
- 4 oz Drinking chocolate*
- 1 oz Amaretto
- 1 oz Whipped cream optional
- Top a cup of premium hot cocoa with the Amaretto liqueur.
- Top with whipped cream (optional).
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