Chocolate Cocktails, You Mocha Me Happy!
If you’re cuckoo for cocoa, woo your sweetheart with a chocolate cocktail from this decadent list! Try a spiked hot chocolate, a boozy frozen mocha, or one of the many classic cocktails reimagined with a chocolatey twist.
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Frozen French Silk Pie Cocktail from The Cookie Rookie
Every Valentine’s Day season, romantics seeking the perfect holiday cocktails to serve their sweethearts have to comb through web pages and web pages of chocolatey cocktail recipes. And they’re usually drinks with over-the-top layers of liqueurs, syrups, cocoa powder, sprinkles, and flavored vodka.
If you’re like me and love chocolate, but you aren't crazy about overly sweet chocolate cocktails, I've found the best dessert drink recipes to sate that sweet tooth: They won’t give you a toothache and they're easy to put together.
Only a few require you to make your own infusion, like the strawberry Campari for the chocolate strawberry Negroni. Most are just a few steps and call for easy-to-find ingredients and a cocktail shaker.
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Chocolate cocktail Q&A
Brush up on your chocolate cocktail knowledge before you shake things up
What is the difference between creme de cacao and chocolate liqueur?
Creme de cacao is basically a chocolate-flavored liqueur, but it’s both less sweet and thinner than chocolate liqueur.
What’s an easy way to make a chocolate cocktail?
If you don’t want to bother with chocolate liqueurs or chocolate syrup, a quick and easy way is to add a couple of dashes of chocolate bitters to a classic cocktail such as a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or even a tequila Boulevardier. Adding the chocolate bitters gives cocoa notes without significantly changing the taste or sweetening up the drink.
How do you make a chocolate martini?
All you need to throw together a chocolate martini is 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ½ ounces of creme de cacao, and chocolate shavings, chocolate syrup, or cocoa powder to rim the glass. Shake the vodka and creme de cacao together in an ice-filled shaker and strain into your rimmed glass.
What kind of liquor pairs with chocolate?
When looking for the best spirit to pair with chocolate in your food, you’ll want to look for high-quality bottles with notes that are complementary to chocolate, such as baking spice, vanilla, and caramel. For this reason, some good candidates to drink alongside a chocolaty dessert include whiskey, aged rum, sherry, a bold red wine, stout beer, and agave spirits mezcal and tequila.
A martini in name only, but decadent and enticing in that martini glass
Make this drink when you’re looking for something to pair with dessert. The White Chocolatini has a softer flavor than the chocolate martini thanks to the milder white chocolate liqueur, so it can be enjoyed alongside fruit tarts and creme brulee.
To play up a fireside moment and indulge a sweet tooth, craft this s’mores and chocolate martini mashup complete with a graham cracker crumb rim. If you can’t get a hold of whipped cream vodka, you can sub in vanilla vodka.
Espresso martinis are having a moment right now. But to make this modern classic even more irresistible, add creme de cacao and rim the cocktail glass with grated chocolate and sugar.
Hot chocolate drinks
Stay in and cozy up with these endorphin-raising cocoa cuppas
The Hot Mentha Mess is a Mexican hot chocolate with a hit of iciness from the minty amaro. Its bourbon backbone complements the hot chocolate, and just two pinches of cayenne give it a kick. Garnish with a mint sprig and marshmallow.
A word of caution accompanies this recipe: It’s a very rich drink made with ⅓ cup of dark chocolate, a cup of red wine, and 1 ½ cup of milk. Even though the serving amount is two, it’s recommended that you divvy it up even further into six to eight smaller glasses for sipping.
No instant hot chocolate packets in this recipe. You make it yourself with milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate chips and whole milk. And then you spike it with tequila and peppermint schnapps for a one-two punch of refreshing mint and cozy hot cocoa.
If you’ve ever had a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a chocolatey stout, you’ll love the cozy introduction of the hot chocolate element here. The stout brings in a malty depth of flavor to everyone's favorite hot beverage.
Frozen chocolate cocktails
For a truly decadent chocolate dessert drink, combine it with ice cream
This 1970s classic is even better as a boozy shake. Its desserty potential is realized when you mix the vodka, Kahlua, Baileys Irish cream liqueur, and chocolate with a cup of vanilla ice cream.
In this adults-only version of NYC restaurant Serendipity3’s world-famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, you have the choice of using either Kahlua coffee liqueur if you’re a mocha lover or Baileys Irish Cream for sweet milkiness.
This recipe is simply a mix of chocolate ice cream, rum, bourbon, and Frangelico. But it also gives you the option to customize it to taste. Either switch out the Frangelico for amaretto if you prefer almonds, use coffee or vanilla ice cream, or make it kid-friendly by leaving out the liquor altogether and using hazelnut syrup instead of the hazelnut liqueur.
Surprise your special someone with this pretty floral shake. You will need to first infuse vodka with culinary-grade lavender for two days. But the time and effort are worth it for the big smile you’ll get when they taste this unique milkshake.
Classic cocktails: The chocolate edition
If you want to add merely a kiss of chocolate to a cocktail, these classics are the way to go. They’re spirit-forward and laced with chocolate bitters and/or creme de cacao.
In this riff on the Sidecar, creme de cacao and tawny port are subbed in for the curaçao used in the traditional recipe. Just a half ounce of lime juice brightens up their combined richness.
Saeed House, bartender and creator of this variation on a classic Old Fashioned, calls it the perfect drink for sipping when you’re listening to slow jams. Its pièce de résistance is the garnish of brandied maraschino cherries atop a square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate, all floating on the large ice cube.
Is your sweetheart a Negroni lover? Serve them what is the equivalent of a chocolate-covered strawberry Negroni. You only need a day to make the strawberry-infused Campari. Do that by soaking a pound and a half of hulled strawberries in a liter of Campari for 24 hours. A quarter ounce of white chocolate liqueur brings the chocolate flavor.
Earthy chocolate notes work beautifully in the classic Sazerac. The warm cocoa from the creme de cacao and chocolate bitters is layered with the spiciness of the rye and herbaceousness of absinthe.
The classic Grasshopper gets a delicious minty upgrade when it trades creme de menthe for Branca Menta. The result with Godiva chocolate liqueur and heavy cream is a sophisticated dessert drink.
The Brandy Manhattan, which is popular in Wisconsin and Minnesota and uses brandy instead of whiskey, is sweeter than the traditional version. But this recipe marries the two together using whiskey and brandy and plays up the chocolate aroma with just a few dashes of chocolate bitters.
Chocolate on the mind?
Check out these chocolate-themed articles for guidance on making the very best hot cocoa of your life, and so many droolworthy chocolate desserts to accompany your chocolate cocktail. Because you can never have enough chocolate, right?