Kahlua Hot Chocolate Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
Elevate your cozy drink game with this spiked hot chocolate recipe featuring a touch of Kahlua. This rich and creamy beverage is easy to customize with your favorite spirits and toppings, perfect for chilly evenings or festive gatherings.

Updated: Jul. 10, 2024

There’s nothing quite like a warm and cozy mug of hot chocolate on a chilly day. This spiked hot chocolate recipe takes the classic treat to the next level by adding a delightful hint of Kahlua. This indulgent drink will surely be a hit, perfect for cozy nights or festive gatherings. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make at home. You can enjoy a café-quality beverage without stepping outside.

Ingredients for Spiked Hot Chocolate

  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the rich cocoa, making the drink more palatable and indulgent. Any coarse sugar works, but you can use brown sugar for a hint of molasses flavor.
  • Dutch-processed cocoa Provides a deep, intense chocolate flavor that forms the base of this luxurious drink. If unavailable, use natural cocoa powder, though it tastes slightly different.
  • Ground cinnamon and nutmeg: These spices add warmth and complexity, complementing the chocolate with a subtle hint of spice. Nutmeg can be omitted if you prefer a simpler flavor profile.
  • Milk: 2% milk creates a creamy, smooth texture essential for a rich hot chocolate.
  • Kahlua (Coffee Liqueur): Adds a coffee-flavored kick, enhancing the chocolate with a rich, boozy note. Bailey Irish Cream or rum can be substituted for different flavor profiles.
  • Marshmallows and miniature marshmallows (optional): These add a sweet, gooey topping that melts into the hot chocolate, enhancing its texture.
  • Salted caramel sauce (optional): Adds a sweet and salty contrast that pairs wonderfully with the chocolate.
  • Chocolate syrup (optional): For extra chocolate flavor and a visually appealing drizzle.


Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients

Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan.

Step 2: Add the milk

Gradually whisk in the milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the hot chocolate mixture is heated through about five to sevem minutes. Do not let it boil. This helps dissolve the dry ingredients and creates a smooth, creamy base.

Step 3: Add the Kahlua

Remove the saucepan from the stove and stir in the Kahlua. This preserves the alcohol content while infusing the hot chocolate with its rich coffee flavor.

Step 4: Serve

Pour the hot chocolate into mugs and add your desired toppings.

Spiked Hot Chocolate Variations

  • Change the spirit: Substitute different liquors to create unique flavor profiles. Try Bailey’s Irish Cream for a creamy twist, dark or spiced rum for a warming tropical flavor, vodka for a stronger kick, bourbon for a rich and smoky note or amaretto for a nutty almond taste.
  • Make a batch for a crowd: For a party, prepare a larger quantity and keep it warm in a slow cooker.
  • Add a little spice: For extra flavor, add a cinnamon stick and a splash of vanilla extract while heating the milk. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving. It will infuse the hot chocolate with a warm, spicy note and the vanilla extract will add a smooth, aromatic undertone that pairs beautifully with the rich chocolate.

How to Store Spiked Hot Chocolate

Store any leftover hot chocolate in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

How do you reheat spiked hot chocolate?

Reheat spiked hot cocoa on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until it is warmed through. Alternatively, microwave it in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until it reaches the desired temperature.

Spiked Hot Chocolate Recipe Tips

What type of cocoa powder is best for hot chocolate?

Using Dutch-processed cocoa powder is recommended for its rich, smooth flavor. It is less acidic than natural cocoa powder, providing a more balanced taste.

What can you add to a hot chocolate?

Get creative with toppings! Try whipped cream, crushed peppermint candies, mini chocolate chips or even a sprinkle of sea salt for some fun flavor combinations.

What is the best alcohol to put in hot chocolate?

The best alcohol to put in hot chocolate depends on your taste preferences. Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, dark or spiced rum, chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps are all excellent choices, each adding a unique flavor profile.

What goes well with hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate pairs well with savory snacks like pretzels or popcorn. For a sweet treat, enjoy it with cookies, biscotti or fruit like strawberries and bananas.

Kahlua Hot Chocolate

Prep Time 20 min
Yield 2 servings


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
  • Optional toppings: marshmallows and miniature marshmallows, salted caramel sauce and chocolate syrup


  1. In a small saucepan, whisk sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in milk; cook and stir until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in Kahlua. Ladle into mugs; serve with toppings as desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup (calculated without optional toppings): 280 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 116mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 6g fiber), 11g protein.

When we want a cup of hot chocolate, we prefer homemade over store mixes. A splash of Kahlúa adds a touch of fabulous. —Chung-Ah Rhee, Hollywood, California
Recipe Creator