When it comes to chocolate, this decadent ingredient can be used in any number of dishes. It's, of course, delicious in cakes, pastries and other sugary delights, but it can also be the unsung hero in more savory dishes like barbecue chicken and even hummus. But where chocolate really shines is in cocktails. You can use this versatile ingredient to remix a classic cocktail or for an adult spin on a childhood favorite like hot chocolate.
If you're lacking chocolate inspiration, the cocktails ahead serve as a great start. Here are our picks for the best chocolate cocktails to bring some decadence to your evening.
Red Wine Latte
The Recipe: Red Wine Latte
The Hero Ingredient: Espresso adds a subtle touch of coffee flavor, which meshes well with the chocolate and red wine syrup.
Pro Tip: Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats notes that you'll be using a red wine syrup and not red wine itself in this cocktail. "This starts with red wine syrup," she reveals. "Grab a red wine you reeeeeally like and use a bit of it to make this syrup. It doesn’t have to be a Cab. It can be a Pinot Noir, which is my red of choice."
Why We Love It: There aren't many drinks that linger on the romantic, but with chocolate, red wine and coffee, the Red Wine Latte is all romance!
Chocolate Martini On Fire
The Recipe: Chocolate Martini On Fire
The Hero Ingredient: There's nothing quite as enticing as the combination of sweet and spicy. And the heat from this cocktail comes from fresh jalapenos and Red Hot candies.
Pro Tip: Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore offers a pertinent tip on working with cocktails that involve fresh peppers. "Always wash your hands well after working with spicy chile peppers," she says. "Touching your hands to your eyes or nose will cause a burning sensation."
Why We Love It: Whether it's the chocolate, the fresh jalapenos or the Red Hot candies, this cocktail has a lot to get excited about.
North Pole Cocktail
The Recipe: The North Pole Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: A dollop of heavy cream makes for a rich, creamy sip you won't want to put down.
Pro Tip: Believe it or not, ginger is one of the key ingredients in this drink. "The key to this cocktail is the molasses and pinch of ginger," says Half Baked Harvest's Tieghan Gerard. "It makes the drink sweet, gingery and all things cozy!"
Why We Love It: Despite its name, the North Pole Cocktail is a dessert-y drink that can easily be enjoyed year-round.
Hazelnut Rum Cocktail
The Recipe: Hazelnut Rum Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: This cocktail gets a hearty dose of chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of chocolate liqueur.
Pro Tip: Hello Glow's Lindsey Johnson recommends this drink for a post-dinner sip or dessert itself. "This is just the cocktail you want after a nice dinner with or as a dessert. It’s that decadent," she says.
For extra flair, add freshly grated nutmeg and dark chocolate shavings on top of each drink.
Why We Love It: With both chocolate and hazelnut liqueurs, the Hazelnut Rum Cocktail is perfect for those who want to put their liqueurs to good use.
S'mores Stout Milkshakes
The Recipe: S'mores Stout Milkshakes
The Hero Ingredient: Beer in a milkshake? As bizarre as this pairing may sound, it's absolutely delicious.
Pro Tip: For extra chocolate appeal, How Sweet Eats' Jessica Merchant reveals that you can use a chocolate stout. "While I didn’t use a chocolate stout for these shakes (Guinness was the first stout to catch my eye and I ran with it), if you by chance have a chocolate stout somewhere around your house, I think it would be absolute perfection," she explains.
Why We Love It: There's really no need for dessert when your cocktail is this decadent and tasty.
Bourbon Hot Chocolate
The Recipe: Bourbon Hot Chocolate
The Hero Ingredient: The use of Combier Liqueur d'Orange with this cocktail provides an unexpected, but welcome pop of flavor.
Pro Tip: Stephanie Gerber of Hello Glow suggests a variety of garnishes, including a sparkly option. "I topped my bourbon hot chocolate with marshmallows but you can also use whipped cream," she reveals. "And hello, how fun is edible glitter?!"
Why We Love It: The combination of Maker's Mark and Combier Liqueur d'Orange makes for a sophisticated take on hot chocolate.
Hot Chocolate Sake
The Recipe: Hot Chocolate Sake
The Hero Ingredient: Adult hot chocolate is no stranger to unique ingredients, but this hot chocolate made using sake deliciously takes the cake.
Pro Tip: Pickled Plum's Caroline Phelps suggests using almond milk in this cocktail to cut down on any added sweetness. "This brings a great, light nuttiness without adding unneeded sweetness to this already sweet holiday drink," she says.
Why We Love It: While this cocktail is still quite rich, the sake cuts down on some of the creaminess, creating a well-balanced sip.
Organic Chocolate Martini
The Recipe: Organic Chocolate Martini
The Hero Ingredient: Thanks to the addition of cacao powder, this martini secretly boasts a nice helping of antioxidants.
Pro Tip: Sugar and Charm's Eden Passante reveals that she packs on the organic ingredients with this cocktail. "I also used organic vodka, just a little organic milk and fresh organic muddled strawberries," she says.
Why We Love It: Organic ingredients like cacao and organic strawberry juice make this a chocolate cocktail you don't have to feel guilty about.
Coconut Mint Chocolate Chip Cocktail
The Recipe: Lucky Coconut Mint Chocolate Chip Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: The amazing, pale green color this drink flaunts comes from creme de menthe, a liqueur that is as delicious as it looks.
Pro Tip: Airheads are used to garnish this cocktail, but it's to be used as a garnish only and not part of the drink. "Fair warning, DO NOT mix the airheads with the cocktail… it will take you a solid five minutes to get that awful taste combo off of your tastebuds," says Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth.
Why We Love It: From the coconut to the mint to the chocolate, there's just so many flavors to love with this cocktail!
Frozen Hot Chocolate
The Recipe: Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate
The Hero Ingredient: Bourbon serves as the perfect boozy base for this frozen hot chocolate thanks to notes of caramel and brown sugar.
Pro Tip: Sugar & Cloth's Ashley Rose uses a combination of chocolates to craft her take on frozen hot chocolate. "A mix of semi-sweet and dark keeps it from being too cloyingly sweet while providing all of the chocolatey goodness," she explains.
Why We Love It: This icy version of hot chocolate is a great alternative when a hot beverage isn't ideal.