13 Fantastic Ways to Make Hot Chocolate Even Better

Mounds bar hot cocoa
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Baby, it's cold outside, and a steaming mug of rich, sweet hot chocolate is everyone's favorite warm winter drink! But why should you be satisfied with just a single, yummy hot chocolate recipe, when there are so many wonderful, sweet and delicious variations? We've rounded up our absolute favorite homemade hot chocolate recipes here, from classic European hot cocoa to Mexican hot chocolate. Whether you want to add a splash of booze, or gift your hot chocolate concoction, we've got a hot chocolate here to delight every palate, and warm every tummy.

  • 01 of 13

    Dutch Hot Chocolate

    dutch hot chocolate
    James Baigrie/Getty Images

    Warme Chocolademelk (Dutch for "hot chocolate") is fun to say, and a joy to drink! A steaming mug of Dutch Hot Chocolate is a favorite drink all year round in the Netherlands, enjoyed by children and adults alike (for the latter, often with an added glug of brandy or rum). There's nothing quite like homemade hot chocolate made with good quality dark chocolate and whole milk, topped with real whipped cream and dusted with cinnamon.

  • 02 of 13

    Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

    red velvet hot chocolate
    Elizabeth LaBau

    Red velvet lovers, rejoice! Now you can enjoy the taste of your favorite cake in a steaming mug of sweet and delicious hot chocolate. This rich, creamy red velvet flavored hot chocolate drink has all the decadent deliciousness and exciting color of a red velvet cake. Best of all, it's topped with a frosting-like cream cheese whipped cream!

  • 03 of 13

    Hennessy Hot Chocolate

    Hennessy Hot Chocolate
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    Hennessy puts the "ho ho ho" in this hot chocolate cocktail that's laced with cognac for a fantastic, boozy kick. But it's the spiced syrup and pure vanilla extract that take this festive winter drink to the next level of deliciousness.

  • 04 of 13

    Authentic Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

    Authentic Mexican hot chocolate

    ​The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

    Authentic Mexican chocolate hot chocolate, known in Mexico as Chocolate Caliente, is warm, comforting but also surprisingly refreshing for those who are used to North American hot chocolate. The classic Mexican recipe uses a rustic chocolate called "chocolate de mesa" (literally, "table chocolate") that is made with cinnamon, adding a lovely spiced taste to this frothy, hot milk-based drink.

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  • 05 of 13

    Ski Lift Hot Chocolate Cocktail Recipe

    ski lift hot chocolate
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    Who's ready for a winter trip to the tropics? Aromatic, heavenly tropical flavors of peach and coconut combine with classic rich hot cocoa in this adventurous cocktail that offers a wildly different take on the usual winter mug of hot chocolate.

  • 06 of 13

    Hot Chocolate On a Stick

    hot chocolate on a stick
    Elizabeth LaBau

    Yes, hot chocolate on a stick! This clever candy recipe is super-easy to make and produces delicious blocks of chocolate fudge that can be dissolved in hot milk to produce rich, creamy hot chocolate! Give it as a gift that everyone on your list will love, or keep it yourself and enjoy eating it plain, use it as a hot chocolate base, or do both!

  • 07 of 13

    Mounds Bar Cocktail Recipe

    Mounds bar hot cocoa
    Verdina Anna/Moment/Getty Images

    Chocolate and coconut have long been a popular pair for sweet treats and this hot chocolate cocktail recipe mimics one of the most famous candy bars with that mix. Easy to make and enjoy, the Mounds Bar cocktail uses rich, old-fashioned hot chocolate and coconut rum to create a warming, grown-up version of that childhood favorite.

  • 08 of 13

    Viennese Hot Chocolate

    Viennese Hot chocolate
    Jean-Christophe Riou/Foodcollection/Getty Images

    Try a taste of Europe this holiday season. In this simple but decadent recipe from Vienna, warm and wonderful hot chocolate is thickened with the addition of an enriching egg yolk.

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  • 09 of 13

    Hot Peppermint Patty

    hot peppermint patty
    Farrukh Younus / Moment / Getty Images

    This awesome grown-up winter drink for chocolate-mint lovers features your favorite hot chocolate, spiked with a trio of boozy liqueurs. It's the perfect hot cocktail for cozy nights by the fire, chilly days in the ski lodge, or anytime you want delicious comfort in a mug.

  • 10 of 13

    White Hot Chocolate Mix

    white hot chocolate recipe
    mphillips007/E+/Getty Images

    White Hot Chocolate is an elegant variation on the usual hot cocoa recipe. It's also great for gifting! Just pair with some pretty mugs, stirring spoons, mini marshmallows and candy canes in a pretty gift basket.

  • 11 of 13

    Iced Hot Cocoa Recipe

    Iced hot chocolate recipe

    The Spruce

    Craving something cool? Those of you who enjoy iced lattes will appreciate the refreshing thought behind this sweet, thirst-quenching iced hot chocolate drink recipe. This all-weather drink with all the decadent flavor of hot chocolate can be enjoyed all year round, on hot days or cold.

  • 12 of 13

    Chocolate Kiss Cocktail

    chocolate kiss cocktail
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    If you adore candy cane mochas topped with fluffy whipped cream, you're sure to swoon over this hot chocolate cocktail recipe that tastes just like a peppermint mocha from your favorite coffee shop. This is one kiss that's sure to chase away the chills, as it is spiked with two types of booze.

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  • 13 of 13

    Old-Fashioned Hot Chocolate With Variations

    hot chocolate
    Diana Rattray

    Don't let the "Old-Fashioned" name fool you. This classic hot chocolate recipe with unsweetened chocolate, milk, sugar and vanilla may be a traditional formulation, but you'll find creative ideas here for tweaking everyone's favorite hot winter drink to suit your tastes - including additions that work for the younger set, and cocktail upgrades for adults.