From tea to coffee to broth, every hot beverage benefits from a little booze. Hot chocolate may be the most versatile player in the hot beverage pantheon. The options are endless—but we have a few favorites. Here, the best ways to cocktail up your cozy cup of cocoa.
Note: An ounce of spirit per mug of hot chocolate typically makes a pleasantly strong drink, but scale up or down to suit your tastes.
A dark, rich, molasses-y rum enhances the sweetness in cocoa. Choose a smooth budget option like Myers’s or go more upscale with Brugal 1888. Dark spiced rums like Kraken Black not only make a killer Dark ‘N’ Stormy, they add a hit of tropical spice to your cuppa.
Toasty, oaky bourbon gives hot chocolate a charred edge while playing nice with cocoa’s sweetness. Maker’s Mark and Four Roses are great options for an easy-drinking warmer. If you really want to feel a kick, try Wild Turkey 101. It’s potent but not lethal.
In the French Alps, Green Chartreuse and hot chocolate is a popular aprés-ski combo known as Verte Chaud (hot green). Chartreuse’s vegetal, pineneedle-y notes intermingle with hot chocolate’s dark creaminess to make a bright but indulgent drink.
An ounce of sweet and zesty orange liqueur like Cointreau or Mandarine Napoléon in your hot cocoa will net you the liquified version of a Terry’s milk chocolate orange. For an even citrusier sensation, add a few dashes of orange bitters.
For the ultimate chocolate-lover’s drink, add a splash of good quality chocolate liqueur to your mug. Godiva’s bottling tastes like boozy chocolate milk, but we prefer Chopin’s Dorda Double Chocolate Liquor, the love child of vodka and melted chocolate ice cream.