Boozy bourbon hot cocoa with the familiar spiciness of gingerbread makes for the coziest adult Christmas treat.
Everybody is talking about hot chocolate bombs and hot chocolate charcuterie boards right now and I'm over here just content with a good spiked hot cocoa recipe. Enter my bourbon gingerbread hot cocoa. It's cozy and comforting, just as hot cocoa should be. And it has the familiar spices of a gingerbread cookie plus a kick of bourbon whiskey because 2020 has been a freaking year. I deserve nostalgic holiday flavors, booze, and hot chocolate all wrapped into one delicious package. And so do you. So let's get into how to make bourbon gingerbread hot cocoa.
More of my Favorite Hot Boozy Beverages
Is it Hot Cocoa or Hot Chocolate?
We've talked about the difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa before but just in case you need a refresher, hot chocolate uses milk chocolate while hot cocoa uses cocoa powder. This recipe uses cocoa powder, hence bourbon gingerbread hot cocoa. I'm all about spicing up hot cocoa and hot chocolate recipes and this one is one of my favorites.
Gingerbread hot cocoa is good but adding a shot of bourbon makes it even better, assuming you're after a boozy hot chocolate recipe. If you are just looking for a solid holiday hot cocoa that's suitable for all ages, you can nix the bourbon and still have a Christmas hot cocoa recipe that everyone can enjoy. You might have arrived at this post by searching how to make spiced hot cocoa and this recipe certainly fits the bill, with or without bourbon. Best of all, it takes less than 15 minutes to make. You simply can't beat that for homemade hot cocoa.
Spiked Gingerbread Cocoa Ingredients
The ingredient list for this recipe is super simple. You'll recognize my favorite gingerbread spices and the basics of a hot chocolate recipe plus molasses and brown sugar for that classic gingerbread vibe. And it all plays so well with a good buttery bourbon.
- Brown Sugar
- Milk or Water
- Sea Salt
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Vanilla Extract
Keep scrolling for the full recipe card.
Tips for Making Bourbon Hot Cocoa
- Can I use water to make hot cocoa? This hot cocoa recipe is fairly rich so feel free to substitute some or all of the milk with water, if you prefer. I won't be offended.
- Does the liquor cook out of spiked hot chocolate? When you add the bourbon matters. If you want both the flavor and affect of the liquor in your cocoa, stir it in it just before removing the hot cocoa from heat or even directly in each glass. This will minimize the amount of alcohol that evaporates. But if you just want bourbon flavor in your hot cocoa, add it earlier on in the cooking process so that the alcohol has more of a chance to cook off.
- How to top boozy hot chocolate? I also encourage you to get creative with the garnishes. Topping your mug with more cocoa powder, marshmallows, and whipped cream are easy options. But why not take it to the next level with mini chocolate gingerbread people floating on top? Do it.
- Can I use instant hot chocolate mix in this recipe? You cannot substitute unsweetened cocoa powder for instant hot cocoa powder equally as the latter includes sweeteners and sometimes dried milk. If you do want to take that shortcut, you'll need to cut the sugar off the ingredient list below and likely reduce the amount of molasses. Taste it as you go to make sure it isn't too sweet.
Bourbon gingerbread hot cocoa should be on your winter happy hour list and I hope you enjoy it soon. Sharing is caring so make sure you pin this recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
P.S. more gingerbread recipes you'll love:
Bourbon Gingerbread Hot Cocoa Recipe
Bourbon Gingerbread Hot Cocoa
- 1 ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 shot bourbon whiskey
- whipped cream, cocoa powder, cinnamon, marshmallows for garnish optional
- Add all ingredients except bourbon to saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until dry ingredients are dissolved and mixture is uniform.
- Cook for about six minutes until mixture is steaming. Do not bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in bourbon. Alternatively you can add bourbon as hot cocoa cooks for less of an alcohol taste.
- Divide cocoa between two mugs and garnish as desired. Enjoy carefully and responsibly!