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Peppermint schnapps hot chocolate

Peppermint schnapps hot chocolate is the perfect cold weather drink for grownups. It is not too sweet, just a little boozy and it’s a great warm cocktail to enjoy around the fire with friends and family.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my Tom and Jerry and my Apple Cider Bourbon cocktail recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my cocktail recipes in one place.

Peppermint schnapps hot chocolate in reindeer mugs.

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Why you should make this recipe

This peppermint schnapps hot chocolate recipe will be the hit of your holiday season.

  • Fast & Easy – This hot cocoa comes together in about 10 minutes.
  • Make ahead – You can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat when needed.
  • Great for gatherings – Having a holiday party? Double or triple the recipe!
Boozy hot cocoa.

Peppermint schnapps hot chocolate

This boozy hot cocoa is perfect for the holidays. It’s a great warm drink to serve to guests after dinner. Mint and chocolate go together splendidly and this rich hot chocolate is the perfect combination.

This is a favorite of ours to take in insulated cups as we walk the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. It stays warm all night as we wander in the chilly winter weather.

Hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps.


To make this hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps, you may need to purchase a couple of items, but you likely have most of what you need already.

Ingredients for peppermint hot chocolate.
  • Milk – Whole milk or 2% would be best.
  • Cocoa powder – I use Valrhona cocoa powder. It’s a little more expensive than grocery store brands, but believe me, you will taste the difference.
  • Sugar – regular granulated sugar.
  • Good quality chocolate – I like a bittersweet chocolate here, to prevent the hot cocoa from getting too sweet.
  • Peppermint schnapps – Use your favorite brand or homemade.
  • Heavy cream – The main ingredient in whipped cream
  • Powdered sugar – Just a bit to sweeten the homemade whipped cream.
  • Vanilla – Gives the cream a lovely flavor.
  • Candy canes – optional, but tasty

How to make

Making hot chocolate from scratch is so easy, you’ll never use a mix again.

Photo instructions to make hot cocoa with schnapps.
  1. Combine cold heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. This should only take a minute or two if whisk attachment, bowl and cream are all cold. Store homemade whipped cream in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  2. In a small pot, combine cocoa powder, sugar and milk. Whisk until combined, heat until warm, but not boiling. Off heat, add schnapps and chocolate. Whisk until chocolate has melted.
  3. Pipe or spoon whipped cream on top of peppermint schnapps hot chocolate.
  4. Garnish with candy cane, if desired.
Pouring hot chocolate into mug.

Peppermint schnapps hot chocolate Q&A

Can I make this ahead of time?

Absolutely! Make the hot cocoa ahead of time and either refrigerate and reheat, or keep it warm in a slow cooker if you plan to serve it within an hour or two.

How do I make this alcohol-free?

Replace the peppermint schnapps with a teaspoon of peppermint extract.

What spirits are good in hot chocolate?

Try a coffee liqueur (like Kahlua), or Irish cream to change it up.

What is the best peppermint schnapps?

Look for Spaulding, De Kuyper, Mr. Stacks or Hiram Walker.

What’s the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate?

We use them interchangeably, but hot cocoa would be made with cocoa powder and hot chocolate is made with chocolate. I think a combination of the two gives the hot chocolate great flavor.

Hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps and whipped cream.

Variations and substitutions

  • Replace the alcohol with a teaspoon of peppermint extract to keep it kid friendly.
  • Make it in a slow cooker. This is especially helpful for big gatherings or holiday parties.

Helpful tools and equipment

  • A Crock-Pot is great for keeping this peppermint schnapps hot chocolate warm during a holiday party.
  • You’ll need a whisk for the hot chocolate.
  • A handheld electric mixer makes quick work of the whipped cream. Even better if it has a whisk attachment.
Hot cocoa with candy canes.

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Peppermint Schnapps Hot Chocolate

Cheryl Bennett
Peppermint schnapps hot chocolate is the perfect grown up hot cocoa.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups
Calories 721 kcal


For the hot chocolate

  • 4 cups whole or 2% milk // 1000ml
  • 1/3 cup sugar // 66g
  • 1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder I use Valrhona // 21g
  • 3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped (1 Lindt candy bar) // 100g
  • 2 shots peppermint schnapps

For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream //237ml
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • crushed candy canes


  • Place mixing bowl, beaters (or whisk attachment) and heavy cream in freezer for 5 minutes before you begin.
  • Make whipped cream: Combine heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar in cold mixing bowl and beat on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. Place whipped cream in fridge.
  • Make hot chocolate: In a medium sauce pot, combine milk, sugar and cocoa powder over medium heat. Whisk until combined (the cocoa powder will take a minute to incorporate – don't worry!). Heat until steaming, but not simmering.
  • Remove from heat and add peppermint schnapps and chopped chocolate. Whisk until chocolate has melted.
  • Pour into mugs and top with homemade whipped cream. Garnish with crushed or whole candy canes, if desired.


  • You may have a little whipped cream left over, depending on the amount everyone likes on their hot chocolate.
  • This recipe generously serves 4, but you can stretch it to 5 or 6 people for a smaller serving.
  • You can make the peppermint schnapps hot chocolate ahead of time and store in the fridge until you are ready to reheat and serve.
  • To keep it warm, pour into a slow cooker (Crock-Pot) and turn on warm or low.
  • You can double, triple or quadruple the recipe if needed for a large holiday party.
  • As with anything, adjust amounts to suit your personal preferences.


Serving: 1gCalories: 721kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 14gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 135mgFiber: 5gSugar: 46g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂

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Originally published December 18, 2011.


  1. I never know what type of schnapps to buy. So appreciate the suggested brands. Can’t wait to make this tonight. Temps are supposed to hit -20s so this will be the perfect warmer-upper!

  2. Oh the peppermint pieces in the whipped cream just take this recipe to another level. Also, the level of sugar allows the richness and flavor of the chocolate to shine. Thanks for a great holiday recipe.

  3. I love this hot chocolate! It’s not too sweet and the peppermint is a perfect addition. We have it regularly when the weather is cool enough!

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