Boozy Hot Cocoa Is What You Need for the Holidays

From Atlanta to Manhattan, hotels and restaurants across the country are mashing up childhood nostalgia and grownup fun with a repertoire of drunken cocoas for the holidays.

December 10, 2019
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Photo By: Brimstone Woodfire Grill

Photo By: Hannah Gregus

Photo By: Loews Atlanta Hotel

Photo By: Recess

Photo By: Kennebunkport Resort Collection

Photo By: King + Duke

Photo By: Kimpton Taconic

Photo By: Kennebunkport Resort Collection/Boathouse Hotel and Restaurant

Photo By: Massanutten

Photo By: Milestone Hotel & Residences

Photo By: Mountain Lake Lodge

Photo By: W Atlanta - Buckhead

Photo By: New York Hilton Midtown

Photo By: The Whitley

Photo By: Whiteface Lodge

Try a Boozy Winter Beverage

Whether blending seasonal flavors of chocolate and peppermint or getting trendy with the addition of chartreuse or mezcal, HGTV rounds up some great ways to get in the holiday spirits.

Doral, Florida's Brimstone Woodfire Grill is on trend this holiday season with its own variation on the tipsy hot chocolate which combines Bailey's, cinnamon and ancho chili pepper for a little bit of heat.

  • 4 ounces milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • 1 ounce chocolate
  • 2 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • pinch of ancho chili powder

Steep your milk with a cinnamon stick and 1/4 vanilla bean. Using a double broiler, melt your preferred brand of bittersweet chocolate. Once melted, add the milk to the chocolate, add Bailey's and mix in a pinch of ancho chili powder. Put it all into your favorite mug, top it off with toasted marshmallows and enjoy wrapped in a blanket by a cozy fire.

Abuelita's Milk Punch

A deliciously Mexican spin on a classic milk punch, Abuelita’s Milk Punch at Houston's La Lucha celebrates the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate but is served cold for easier sipping.

Ponce de Noel

Riffing off of Atlanta's famous Ponce de Leon thoroughfare, the Loews Atlanta Hotel's Ponce de Noel is a spirited mix of in-house hot chocolate, tequila, mezcal, Oaxaca chocolate from local chocolate emporium, Xocolatl, and whipped cream cardamom foam topping. And children can participate in the holiday fun too. Each spiked adult cocoa order can be combined with a complimentary kid-friendly cocoa.

Charlie Brown Christmas

An inventive blend of dates, coconut milk, cocoa powder, bourbon and cinnamon, the Charlie Brown Christmas is vegan and gluten free and is served up at Atlanta food hall Krog Street Market's hipster-friendly Recess, a veggie-centric, fine-casual spot.

Salted Caramel Dream

At the Burleigh restaurant at the Kennebunkport Inn in Maine, hot cocoa is combined with salted caramel Crown Royal and topped with whipped cream, a caramel drizzle and toasted marshmallows for a holiday sip that keeps on giving.

Boozy Hot Chocolate

The name says it all at this stylish Atlanta restaurant in top toque Ford Fry's foodie empire King + Duke. The $12 Boozy combines whole ground cocoa and wild raspberry brandy. A white chocolate version is made with the same wild raspberry brandy, ground Belgian white chocolate and a dehydrated raspberry powder garnish.

Loco Cocoa

The kind of crazy we're all about, Manchester, Vermont's Kimpton Taconic's Loco Cocoa created by Adam Sears combines Mad River Rye, peppermint syrup, Frangelico, hot cocoa and a garnish of crushed peppermint candy for some extra holiday cheer.

Glad Tidings Cocktail

Around the holidays Kennebunkport, Maine's Boathouse Hotel and Restaurant serves up a Glad Tidings Cocktail combining hot cocoa, Meletti Cioccolato chocolate liqueur and rum topped with whipped cream, white chocolate pretzels and chocolate drizzle.

Warm N Fuzzy

The restaurant at Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville, Virginia, Base Camp, serves a decadent blend of Kahlua, Bailey's and Grand Marnier as well as a candy box-worthy mix of sugar goodness in their wintertime Warm N Fuzzy.

Warm N Fuzzy

  • 1/4 ounce of Kahlua
  • 1/4 ounce of Bailey's
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps
  • 8 ounces hot chocolate
  • brown sugar rim
  • mini marshmallows
  • chocolate syrup
  • homemade s’mores cookie

First, rim the glass with chocolate sauce and brown sugar. Then, add in Kahlua, Bailey’s, Grand Marnier and butterscotch schnapps. Fill the remainder of the glass with hot chocolate and stir. Top with mini marshmallows, chocolate syrup and a homemade s’mores cookie.

Spiced Coco

London's 5-star mansion-hotel Milestone Hotel & Residences located across from Kensington Gardens, serves up a holiday-perfect Spiced Coco featuring cognac, Disaronna, a spoonful of cocoa power, double espresso and a topping of double cream. The rim of the glass is covered in melted chocolate (guests can choose from either dark, white or milk), and sprinkled with paprika and turmeric. The drink is paired with a chocolate truffle of choice. Enjoy the cocktail in the Stables Bar, or en suite.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

The Stony Creek Tavern at Mountain Lake Lodge in Giles County, Virginia serves up a hot chocolate made with peppermint-infused vodka and topped with an old fashioned peppermint ribbon candy and sprinkles for maximum nostalgic holiday spirit.

Spiked Hot Chocolate

W Atlanta - Buckhead's rooftop bar Whiskey Blue keeps it simple with a grown-up cocoa combining Tito's vodka, hot chocolate and marshmallows.

The North Pole

The New York Hilton Midtown's Bridges Bar features a North Pole cocktail made with a hot chocolate that features three different kinds of chocolate for a chocolate lover's dream.

The North Pole

  • 1.5 ounces peppermint schnapps
  • .5 ounce of Creme de Cacao Liqueur
  • 2/3 cup of hot chocolate*
  • crushed peppermint
  • toasted mini marshmallows
  • chocolate bar

Rim a mug with crushed peppermint. Add peppermint schnapps, creme de cacao liqueur and hot chocolate and stir together until blended. Finish the cocktail off with toasted mini marshmallows and garnish with a chocolate bar.

*Hot chocolate (3 servings):

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounces chopped Jacques Torres milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces chopped Jacques Torres dark chocolate
  • 1 ounce chopped Baci Italian milk chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Slowly heat milk but do not allow it to boil. Add the blend of the chopped chocolates to the hot milk. Stir until chocolates are fully melted. Stir in sugar, vanilla extract and salt.

Build-Your-Own Hot Chocolate Bar

During December, Atlanta's Whitley hotel will be offering a "spirited" nightcap — the perfect way to unwind after a day of holiday shopping. This festive, boozy hot chocolate experience features a choice of holiday liqueurs including Bailey’s, Godiva Dark or White Chocolate, Frangelico, Kahlua and peppermint schnapps. A Santa-approved "nice-list" version for kids includes marshmallows and Christmas cookies. The build-your-own hot chocolate bar is available for $40 for adults and $20 for children.

Mint Chocolate Fizz

The Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York features a holiday sip for mint fans, the Mint Chocolate Fizz.

Mint Chocolate Fizz

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
  • .5 ounce creme de menthe white
  • 1 ounce chocolate milk
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • .5 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 egg white

Add ingredients and shake without ice for 60 seconds. Then add ice and shake for another 60 seconds. Double strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda, and garnish with mint.

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