Bourbon Hot Chocolate is an easy winter bourbon cocktail for a cold night. A spiked homemade hot chocolate that will warm you up for Valentine's Day or any chilly evening.
- About Bourbon Hot Chocolate
- How to Make Bourbon Hot Chocolate
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Bourbon Hot Chocolate
If you've ever thought is bourbon good in hot chocolate? you've come to the right place because I'm here to tell that that yes, yes it is!
I mean who doesn't love a good mug of homemade hot chocolate? I seriously can't think of anything I'd rather have on a cold day. And if it's nighttime, I love a good mug of hot chocolate with a little extra fun thanks to bourbon.
Bourbon typically has chocolate and maple flavors (like this homemade hot cocoa), and since I only have summer bourbon cocktail recipes, I knew I needed a winter recipe.
This hot chocolate is so lovely... It's incredibly rich and satisfying, plus it warms you up from the inside out.
Maple syrup and cocoa powder pair so incredibly well together, and you can really tell when you taste this homemade bourbon hot chocolate.
The bourbon and a little vanilla extract take this hot chocolate from good to a comforting boozy cocktail for the cold months.
Feel free to top this tasty drink with some marshmallows for extra fun.
Note that it's very easy to make this dairy-free and vegan if desired. Simply use almond milk or coconut milk in place of dairy milk. It won't be as rich or sweet, but it's still delicious. You can also add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup or marshmallows.
Maple Syrup: Make sure to get real maple syrup. You could also use honey, but I think the honey flavor would be too strong. Plus, maple syrup pairs really well with the bourbon and cocoa powder, so I don't recommend leaving it out.
Cocoa Powder: I used regular cocoa powder from the store. No need to use something fancy or hard to find.
Salt: It might feel weird to put a small amount of salt in a sweet recipe, but the salt helps intensify the sweetness in a good way. You can use sea salt, kosher salt, or table salt.
Milk: Any milk will work. My preferred milk of choice is whole milk or 2% dairy milk. I have also tested it with coconut milk, but it needed an extra tablespoon of maple syrup per serving to get it to be sweet enough. Almond milk and oat milk are other good options. However, the dairy milk will be richer than the dairy-free alternatives, and they might not be as sweet. So have extra maple syrup and/or marshmallows for sweetening if needed.
Vanilla extract: Be sure to use real vanilla extract as imitation extract will give this Bourbon Hot Chocolate a funny taste. If you need to skip it, you can. However, I highly recommend the vanilla to deepen the flavor.
Bourbon: The bourbon you use is a personal preference. I use a good bourbon that I would enjoy in any other cocktail but not one that is too fancy or expensive. Don't waste your money on something too costly because you won't be able to appreciate it as much since the cocoa powder, milk, and maple syrup add a lot of flavors.
Cost of Recipe
- Maple Syrup 1/4 cup: $0.59
- Cocoa Powder 1/2 cup: $0.80
- Salt 1/8 tsp: $0.01
- Milk 4 cups: $2.56
- Vanilla extract 1 tsp: $0.59
- Bourbon 6 ounces: $7.20
TOTAL COST: $11.75 or $2.94/serving (Based on San Diego stores 2020)
Note this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Be sure to scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make Bourbon Hot Chocolate
Time needed: 15 minutes.
It's so simple to make Bourbon Hot Chocolate on the stove or in the microwave. The photo collage is shown as making one serving in the microwave. However, the steps are exactly the same when making the full recipe on the stove. I recommend the stovetop if possible.
- Stir together the water, maple syrup, and cocoa powder.
Heat over medium in a saucepan.
- Cook until the cocoa powder is completely stirred into the water.
- Pour in milk.
- Stir until completely combined.
Remove from heat, and add vanilla. Pour into heat-proof cups or mugs.
- Pour in bourbon.
- Top with marshmallows, and enjoy!
How to Make Bourbon Hot Chocolate in the Microwave
Hot Chocolate in the Microwave is better made to serve one. Follow the steps above except use the microwave instead of the stovetop.
- Stir together the cocoa powder and water in a microwave-safe mug.
- Microwave for 30 seconds.
- Pour in maple syrup and milk.
- Microwave for 60 to 90 seconds until warm.
- Pour in the bourbon, and enjoy!
Milk: Any kind of milk will work.
If you want to make this a peppermint bourbon hot chocolate, add 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract to the mixture when you add the vanilla extract. Taste and add more if needed by 1/8 teaspoons.
For a little sweeter flavor without adding extra sugar, add 1/8 teaspoon almond extract.
Alternative Prep & Cooking
You can make this hot chocolate with bourbon on the stove or in the microwave. It can also be made to serve one or four, or increase the ingredient amounts (and the size of your saucepan) to serve more if needed.
How to Make Allergy Friendly
This is already gluten-free, egg-free, and soy-free. You can make it dairy-free by using coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk. Regarding non-dairy types of milk, I've only tried it with coconut milk, and it was delicious.
How to Fix a Mistake
Too sweet: Add extra maple syrup my the tablespoon until it is sweet enough. Also, adding marshmallows will make this sweeter.
Not sweet enough: Whisk in another tablespoon of cocoa powder and/or add another tablespoon of bourbon. Taste and add more as needed. You can also add water or milk by the tablespoon.
Make Ahead Ideas
You can technically make this ahead of time, but I think it's best to enjoy right after making. If you do decide to make this ahead of time, follow directions but do not add the bourbon until just before serving.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat until warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use a good bourbon that you'd enjoy in any other cocktail. But don't waste your money on something too costly because you won't be able to appreciate it as much since the cocoa powder, milk, and maple syrup add a lot of flavors to the spiked hot chocolate.
While alcoholic beverages don't usually offer many nutrition benefits, this Bourbon Hot Chocolate does have a few. The cocoa powder gives each glass 3 grams of fiber, and if you use dairy milk, you'll get about 9 grams of protein per serving.
What to Serve with Hot Chocolate with Bourbon
Since there is alcohol, I recommend at least having some appetizers with this spiked hot cocoa if nothing else.
Watch the Story
If you want a cozy, creamy, delicious spiked hot chocolate, you need this Bourbon Hot Chocolate. It would be a great cocktail to serve as dessert or to enjoy for Valentine's Day or another chilly evening.
MORE CHOCOLATE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Easy Chocolate Sauce
- Mayan Hot Chocolate
- Chocolate Protein Pancakes
- Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- German Chocolate Brownies
Bourbon Hot Chocolate
- Stir together water, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and slowly whisk in milk. Cook for 5 minutes until milk is hot; do not boil.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour bourbon, 1.5 ounces each, into 4 mugs. Stir in hot chocolate and serve. Enjoy!
This post was originally published on February 11, 2015. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
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