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Bourbon Hot Chocolate Recipe

by Emily
Bourbon hot chocolate drink next to Christmas tree candles and greenery

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for details at the bottom of this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on this bourbon hot chocolate article. We hope you enjoy making this bourbon hot chocolate recipe this winter!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

But the fire is so delightful

And since we’ve no place to go

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

-Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Lyricist Sammy Cahn and Composer Jule Styne

We all know how the classic song by Frank Sinatra goes. Every December, I light scented candles, hang decorations, cook, bake, and dance around my house to that song. I truly never get sick of it–To me, the song signals that the holidays are here. 

A glass mug of hot chocolate filled with marshmallows. Greenery sits in the back.
Who Doesn’t Love Hot Chocolate?

The month of December is all about holiday cooking and baking with friends and family. Looking back, I have made some delicious treats on this blog. Examples included white chocolate pistachio brittle and chocolate bourbon sauce. Today, we will actually use that chocolate bourbon sauce previously posted to make this bourbon hot chocolate! Before we get to the recipe, I will give some helpful cooking tips & tricks as well as answer some potential questions you may have. 

Bourbon Hot Chocolate Tips & Tricks:

Here we list some helpful tips & tricks to help you make this bourbon hot chocolate recipe. We hope they help!

  • While I use regular dairy milk for this recipe, you can easily use dairy substitutes! Below, we list some dairy substitute recommendations for those with milk allergies, lactose intolerance, and/or who live a vegan lifestyle! 
  • When heating milk or milk substitutes on the stove, make sure to slowly heat the milk by keeping the temperature low and stirring often. This prevents the milk from curdling from the heat! 
  • DO NOT boil the milk–boiling will curdle the milk as well. Instead, heat until it starts to simmer and is steaming. Remember, you are not cooking the milk, you are only heating it! 
  • When cooking the bourbon chocolate sauce used to make this hot chocolate recipe, note that while the bourbon flavor remains, the alcohol is cooked out. To make this recipe fully alcoholic, we also add a bit of bourbon to the drink at the end. 
  • You can top this drink with marshmallow, cocoa powder, and/or whipped cream! All three options are absolutely delicious! 
Do You Prefer Marshmallows or Whipped Cream on Your Bourbon Hot Chocolate?

Bourbon Hot Chocolate Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that we learned some tips & tricks for cooking bourbon hot chocolate, we can answer some questions you may have about this recipe! If we did not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at [email protected]

Is This Drink Allergen-Free? (Gluten, Soy, Nut, Etc.)

This recipe does not contain most of the major allergens. It does not contain any soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, gluten, or eggs. 

This bourbon hot chocolate recipe does contain milk. If you wish to avoid dairy, you can replace the milk with non-dairy alternatives! We list some options below!

An overhead shot of bourbon hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. Greenery and Christmas tree candles in the back.
Doesn’t This Tray Look Beautiful?

Further, it is important to note that this hot chocolate does contain bourbon. While most experts state that bourbon is safe for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, some people still choose to avoid those made with rye or wheat–Studies have shown that during the distilling process, the gluten proteins completely break down allowing bourbon to be safe for consumption. However, be on the lookout for hidden gluten in bourbon brands that add flavorings or other additives after distillation. Check the bourbon to find brands made with corn if you feel uncomfortable consuming those with gluten-containing ingredients. 

Finally, as always, read the packaging of your ingredients to make sure the products do not contain any allergens. If you have allergies, you should also check to make sure these ingredients do not have any cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. 

Can I Substitute the Milk with Dairy-Free Alternatives?

Like I stated above, you can easily replace regular dairy milk with milk substitutes. For this recipe, we recommend using more neutral-flavored substitutes such as almond or oat milk. Other substitutes, such as coconut milk, can overpower the other flavors (unless you love coconut!). Below, we listed some options for a milk alternative:

  • Almond Milk: If you use almond mix, know that some brands heat better than others. Like regular milk, almond milk can curdle. When using almond milk, make sure to choose a brand specifically made to use in hot and cold drinks. Further, we recommend buying plain almond milk without added sugar and flavors. (Brand Recommendation: Silk)
  • Oat Milk: In most coffee shops, baristas prefer to use oat milk as an alternative to regular cow’s milk. Oat milk has a texture most similar to regular cow’s milk. When making hot drinks, we recommend spending a little extra money and buying barista oat milk variations. These work better for steaming and frothing. Remember, if you are gluten-free, make sure to buy oat milk that is certified gluten-free so it does have cross-contamination or contain any gluten. (Brand Recommendation: Earth’s Won Barista Edition)
Two glass mugs of bourbon hot chocolate topped with marshmallows. Greenery sits in the back.
Would You Share Hot Chocolate With a Friend?

How Do You Store This Hot Chocolate?

To make this bourbon hot chocolate, you first prepare our chocolate bourbon sauce. When making this chocolate bourbon sauce, you make multiple servings. To store this chocolate bourbon sauce, you place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This sauce lasts in the refrigerator for a few months! You can use it for this hot chocolate or add it to ice cream or baked goods! 

Then, you need milk to make this bourbon hot chocolate. You need to safely store your milk in the refrigerator for as long as it stays in date. 

To make our bourbon hot chocolate, you blend these two ingredients!

Note: Storing in the refrigerator may harden your bourbon chocolate sauce. Remove it from the refrigerator a few minutes before use to soften it again. Further, you can microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for a few seconds to soften it as well. 

A side shot of a mug of hot cocoa. Greenery and candles in the background.
Happy Holidays Everyone!

I Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make Bourbon Hot Chocolate!

In the end, I hope you enjoyed learning about how to make bourbon hot chocolate. Beyond being a delicious drink to enjoy on your own in front of the fire, it is the perfect winter drink to share among friends at holiday parties–Just make sure to inform them of the alcohol content!

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on this blog. I listed some of my favorite Carving A Journey recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Further Carving A Journey Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at [email protected]. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog YouTube channel with my husband! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to the blog by joining the mailing list. I hope you enjoyed learning about bourbon hot chocolate! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Bourbon Hot Chocolate Recipe

Recipe by Emily
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Recipes, Dessert, BeverageCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 Cup Bourbon Chocolate Sauce, Chilled

  • 16 Oz Milk or Milk Substitute

  • 1.5 Oz Bourbon, 1 Jigger

  • Optional: Mini Marshmallows

  • Optional: Whipped Cream


  • On medium-low heat, bring the milk to a slow simmer in a small saucepan.
  • Once the milk is simmering, add the chilled and thickened bourbon chocolate sauce to the milk. Stir until completely combined. Then, slowly bring the texture back up.
  • Remove the hot chocolate from the heat. Add the bourbon to the hot chocolate. Stir to combine.
  • Top your hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream. Serve it hot.

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