Whether you're warming up après-ski or après a round of great sledding with the kids, a touch of booze in your hot chocolate makes every adult a little happier at the end of the day.
Use the base ratio of 1 fluid ounce (2 tablespoons) liquor for every 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) hot chocolate, and adjust based on your preference for sweetness and flavor balance. We've added some suggestions below as well.
Bourbon: Vanilla and caramel are notes already found in bourbon, so why not try it with a salted caramel hot chocolate bomb to bring those flavors out a bit more? Top with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle, and if you want it even sweeter, try honey and bourbon.
Rum: With its sugar cane base, rum adds just the right punch to your hot chocolate. Try spiced rum on its own, white rum with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg or a flavored rum such as coconut or vanilla for even more of a tropical taste.
Bailey's: This Irish cream liqueur combines whiskey, cream, cocoa, and vanilla extract, so it brings a lot to your mug! Consider cutting down on the sugar in your hot cocoa if you are planning to add Bailey's, since it's quite sweet. You can also make your own homemade Irish cream!
Red wine: This unusual mix-in is a surprisingly harmonious pairing, with the wine's tannins blending with the chocolate for a bittersweet adult beverage. Replace 1/2 cup of the milk in your hot chocolate with a fruity red wine such as Merlot or Zinfandel.
Amaretto or Frangelico: One is almond, the other is hazelnut, but both earthy and nutty liqueurs add richness and depth to a cup of creamy cocoa. Try whisking in a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or allspice as well.\
Grand Marnier or Cointreau: When you want a touch of citrus in your cocoa, add a shot of one of these orange-flavored French liqueurs. Grand Marnier is made with cognac, so it will also bring notes of vanilla and oak to the party.
Peppermint vodka or liqueur: 'Tis the season! When you're feeling festive, nothing beats the classic combination of peppermint and chocolate. Vodka will be the most neutral minty addition, and liqueurs like schnapps and crème de menthe will be sweeter.
For more ways to spike your cold-weather drinks, try our boozy coffee ideas too.