Hot chocolate in three clear glass mugs with whipped cream and candy toppings.

What better way to celebrate the arrival of cooler weather than cozying up with your favorite hot beverage? When it comes to cold-weather libations, you can’t go wrong with a classic: hot chocolate. Assembling boozy hot chocolate pairings using flavorful spirits and your favorite sweet toppings is the perfect way to take this beloved beverage over the top. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a quiet night at home or host a BYOM (bring your own mug) gathering, this is your guide to creating deliciously spiked hot chocolate.

Clear mug with powdered hot cocoa mix packets and a silver spoon on a dark wooden surface.

Step 1: Heat Things Up

Whether you choose pre-made hot chocolate or create your own from scratch, the first step is to make the base for your toasty masterpiece. If you do decide to create your own, make sure you have plenty of milk and your favorite kind of chocolate on hand. Using milk instead of water is a way to add richness to your prepackaged powder, if that’s the route you decide to take. If you’re hosting a gathering with multiple guests, keep large batches of your hot cocoa warm using a slow cooker!

Cherry bourbon, peppermint schnapps, and Irish cream liquor in clear bottles with labels.

Step 2: Mix It Up

Any spiked hot chocolate needs a little extra spirit! Classic, warm beverage add-ins like Irish cream liqueur and flavored schnapps are fan favorites, but have you ever tried adding a shot of caramel, vanilla or whipped cream vodka? What about cherry bourbon? Any of these fun flavors will ensure your cocoa is merry and bright!

Step 3: Top It Off

Be sure to leave room to top off your cocoa creation. You can’t go wrong with classic toppings like whipped cream and marshmallows, but we recommend pairing the flavors of your selected spirit with similar toppings for the most delicious experience. Check out our pairing suggestions below.

Hot chocolate in a clear mug with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Cherry bourbon and shaved dark chocolate

Hot chocolate in clear mug with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.

Peppermint schnapps and crushed peppermint

Hot chocolate in clear mug with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.

Irish cream liqueur and cinnamon

Now that you have your inspiration, it’s time to set up your seasonal spread and enjoy your magical holiday creations with loved ones. Don’t forget to stop by your Publix Liquor Store for your favorite spirits! What spiked cozy libation will you create? Be sure to share pictures of your masterpieces with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Darby P.

Written by

Darby joined Publix as a member of the social media team in 2020, bringing with her a love of writing, photography and cuisine. The opportunity to combine social media and food was a dream come true. Outside of work, you can find her enjoying charcuterie boards with friends, listening to music or watching (and amateurly critiquing) cooking competition shows. Darby enjoys living in Central Florida and taking advantage of all it has to offer.

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