Booze Up Cozy Hot Chocolate With A Splash Of Bourbon

Transforming a simple mug of hot chocolate into a festive treat is easy to do with a splash of bourbon. The toasty caramel flavors of bourbon marry well with the deep flavors of cacao, so whether your preference is for a lighter milk chocolate or a thick, dark European-style drinking chocolate, there's a bourbon perfect for adding to your drink. The heat of bourbon is a great match for spicy ginger hot chocolate or other flavored cocoa recipes. As a bonus, bourbon has hints of vanilla and spice which are great for adding complexity to the drink, and that creates more balance in what is often a sugary drink.

The process of incorporating bourbon into hot chocolate requires a careful balance of proportions for the best result. Typically, just a modest amount of bourbon, about one to two ounces per serving, should be added to your mug. This allows the bourbon to complement the chocolate without overpowering it, allowing all the layers of flavor to reach your tastebuds.

Try bold flavor experiments

There's no need to stick to straight bourbon, either. You'll find a huge range of flavors to mix and match in the mug when it comes to choosing a bourbon. Don't be afraid to dream up a personal combination — the options are endless! You can think about adding traditional complimentary flavors, such as a cinnamon bourbon that will taste like you've stirred up the mug with a boozy cinnamon stick, or a salted caramel flavor for more contrast. Umami-rich peanut butter bourbon would make a delicious combo with a lighter milk chocolate mix, and we love smokey s'mores-flavored bourbon in dark hot chocolate. You could also pair bourbon with a chai-inspired hot chocolate or use it in a tahini-spiked version.

Another way to add a layer of bourbon flavor to your mug is with the garnishes. Sweeten whipping cream with honey or cookie dough bourbon and whip it up into a soft topping for your hot chocolate. A dash more in the mug will make each sip even better.