Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 5
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Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

For most of us, winter or cozy season as I like to call it, is in full swing. And when the weather gets frightful I love to make my go to hot chocolate recipe with a splash of adult fun. It’s easy and especially satisfying on a cold winter day. With just 4 ingredients anyone can master this simple recipe with some hot chocolate powder, a hot cup of milk, a shot of Baileys and a shot of peppermint schnapps. You’ll have instant cheer this holiday season. If you have little ones in the mix, this can also be made as a mocktail. Recipe card below ­čśë

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

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What is hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate is generally a mix of simple ingredients like unsweetened cocoa powder, granulated sugar or powdered sugar, vanilla and warm milk or hot water. It’s a chocolatey sweet drink most people enjoy during cold weather or around the holidays.

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Adult Hot Chocolate Ingredient List

This is a simple recipe, but I do have a few notes for you.

Starbucks hot cocoa mix – Why reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to? I am all about homemade, but when you have already found the the best cup of hot chocolate why bother making your own hot chocolate mix? Now this is not your average swiss miss mix. This is rich and creamy and oh so chocolatey! It makes the best cup of hot cocoa! I usually get mine at Costco but you can buy it here too. This is also what I use to make my homemade Frappuccinos. I promise you, this is just as good as the homemade version

Milk – This is where I think a lot of hot chocolate goes wrong. Yes many hot chocolate packets require only hot water to make them but to me they are definitely not creamy and rich. This you will only get from using milk. The higher fat content in the milk, the creamier your cocoa will be. I usually use 2% but you could also use skim or whole milk. And if you are dairy free, you can use almond milk instead.

Baileys Irish Cream – If you know you know. Baileys is the secret to every creamy boozy beverage. It is also one of the key ingredients in my chocolate martinis.

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Peppermint Schnapps – I have very fond memories of hanging out at my grandparents holiday parties pretending to mix drinks behind the bar in their basement. And the one thing they always had was schnapps! Peppermint, peach, cinnamon, they had it all. Afterall, schnapps was the flavored liquor before vodka came in flavors. A shot of peppermint schnapps in your hot cocoa and it’s like adding candy canes. The perfect flavor for this time of year. They also have a lot of flavors that go great in hot drinks.

Heating – I always heat just my milk in the microwave for a minute to a minute and thirty seconds. Then I pour it over the hot chocolate dry ingredients into my favorite mug. I find this to be the easiest way. Adding the hot liquid over the cacao powder mix dissolves it better than including it in the microwave. You could also cook your milk on the stovetop on medium heat. If you are making a large batch this would probably be the best way. Or you could heat it in a crockpot for a party or hot chocolate bar.

Mixing – As I said above, I usually heat my milk first and then add it to the cup of mix. I find the hot cocoa mixes best this way. Once the milk and powder are mixed to a creamy hot cocoa consistency I add a shot of Baileys and peppermint schnapps.

Festive Mugs – Nothing makes it feel more like the holidays than adding a bit of extra holiday cheer. There are so many fun options for coffee mugs. This would also make great holiday gifts! Two mugs, a container of hot chocolate mix, and some mini bottles of Baileys and schnapps makes a perfect treat and a great gift.

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe www.GarrisonStreetEats.com 9

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe, the perfect treat for the holiday season. This boozy classic hot drink adds a little grown up fun with Baileys and peppermint schnapps mixed with chocolatey goodness. Perfect for a hot cocoa bar, Christmas party, or just sitting by the fire with a Hallmark movie.
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Drinks, Holiday
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • 2 tbsp Starbucks hot cocoa mix
  • 8 oz hot milk
  • 1 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • Mini Marshmallows optional for topping
  • Regular Marshmallows optional for topping
  • Whipped Cream optional for topping
  • Chocolate Chips optional for topping


  • Heat milk in the microwave for 1 minute. If you prefer it hotter, microwave for an additional 30 seconds in 15 second increments to keep it from boiling over.
  • Add 2 tbsp of Starbucks hot cocoa mix to an empty mug.
  • Pour milk over hot cocoa mix and stir until combined.
  • Add Baileys and peppermint schnapps and stir.
  • Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, or marshmallow snow flakes.
  • Drink responsibly and enjoy!


  • This recipe makes one cup of hot chocolate.
  • Microwave heating times will vary. Start with1 minute and if you prefer it hotter, microwave for an additional 30 seconds in 15 second increments to keep it from boiling over. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.
  • For best results I do not recommend saving cooked leftover hot chocolate or freezing it. Leftover Starbucks hot cocoa mix can be stored in the pantry in an airtight container.
  • For large gatherings make in a crock pot increasing the measurements in equal parts as the recipe above.
Keyword baileys, chocolate, cocktail, creamy, hot chocolate, hot drinks, mocktail, Peppermint

I often make this as an after dinner drink or as dessert. But it is the perfect addition to a holiday party or a night in by the fire.

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe


If you like your hot chocolate a little less sweet, try making Mexican hot chocolate. It traditionally has cinnamon and chili powder for a spicy flavor.

Mocktail Option

Maybe you don’t drink or have kiddos who want to join in the fun. No problem. Just mix the hot chocolate, omit the alcohol, and add a drop or two of peppermint extract. You can also add candy canes to give it a peppermint flavor or peppermint hot chocolate bombs.

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Best Hot Chocolate Toppings

Feel free to top your hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles, chocolate chips and whipped cream or marshmallows! If you want to take your hot cocoa to a whole new level or give your kids a fun craft, try my marshmallow snowflakes.

Marshmallow Snowflakes

Adding marshmallow snowflakes is a fun way to dress up your cup and they are easy to make with toothpicks, mini marshmallows, and regular marshmallows. You can see video on how I made them on Instagram or follow the steps below on how to make them.

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Step 1 – Determine how you want to use the snowflake. On top or on the side of your mug. This is where it will sit on your cup. If you want it to sit on the edge of the mug the marshmallow should be oriented so the flat part faces forward. If you want to place your snowflake on top of the cup orient the marshmallow with the flat part down.

Step 2 – Add two mini marshmallows to a toothpick. One on the end and one in the middle. Make six of these for side sitting snow flakes and eight of these for top sitting snowflakes.

Step 3 – For side sitting snowflakes only, cut a slit in the side of your full size marshmallow. This is how it will sit on the mug.

Step 4 – Stick the toothpicks with the mini marshmallows into the full size marshmallow around the edges.

Step 5 – Top your hot cocoa with the marshmallow snowflakes and enjoy!

Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

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Easy Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

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