Get Cozy with This Spiked Hot Chocolate

A bartender makes the case for combining whiskey and green chartreuse.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist. Photo Assistant: Mitchell Mylius. Food Stylist: Micah Morton with Big Leo. Food Stylist Assistant: Terrance Harvey.

You might not think of spiked hot chocolate as a cocktail, but it’s just as much of one as Hot Buttered Rum or a White Russian. It still requires the perfect balance of ingredients and the perfect spirit. "Whiskey plays well with chocolate," Shae Minnillo, a bartender at Manolito in New Orleans, tells us. 

Cozy and creamy, spiked hot chocolate is one of the most satisfying nightcaps in the world, and it’s wonderfully customizable. For a fresh take on the cocktail, we asked Minnillo to provide us with his version. "This is like a hot chocolate Tipperary—sure to warm the body and the soul. Ask a cocktail bartender what to pair with hot chocolate and, invariably, they will answer with either whiskey or chartreuse—so why not have both? The flavors and textures of the spiked hot chocolate and whipped cream are perfect for colder weather."

Spiked Hot Chocolate



  • 2 ounces Whiskey
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • Chartreuse Whipped Cream


Step one

In a saucepan, heat milk gently over medium heat.

Step two

When the milk starts to steam, add cocoa powder and stir until completely incorporated.

Step three

Add sugar and stir.

Step four

Pour whiskey into a mug and top with the hot chocolate.

Step five

Fill the small half of a cocktail tin halfway with heavy cream and an ounce or two of green chartreuse. Shake the cream in the shaker until it is almost solid (you’ll be able to hear the difference).

Step six

Top the hot chocolate off with your shaken cream. If done correctly, the whipped cream will sit on top of the coffee and create two distinct layers.

Step seven

Using a microplane, grate dark chocolate on top of the cream and serve.

Recipe provided by Shae Minnillo