I am completely and utterly in love with mint hot chocolate. For as long as I can remember, my favorite ice cream flavor has been mint chocolate chip, and I nearly keeled over with joy the first time I tasted a peppermint mocha at my local coffee shop. It was only a matter of time, then, until I developed my own mint hot chocolate recipe at home. Sure, I could buy peppermint hot cocoa mix from the store, but cocoa tastes a thousand times better when I make it myself. Plus, it’s so easy to make from scratch that I could do it with my eyes closed.
If you’re making hot cocoa for adults, feel free to substitute peppermint schnapps for the mint extract — or drop in a shot of espresso for an extra jolt. Now that I think of it, this might be the perfect drink for when Santa finds himself up in the wee hours, hurriedly wrapping last minute gifts and stuffing them under the tree right before the kids wake up at 6am.
- 4 cups 2% milk, divided
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon mint extract (or 1/2 cup peppermint schnapps for you adults)
- Sugar to taste
- Whipped cream for topping
- Crushed candy canes for topping
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 cup of milk until it reaches 180°F (82°C), or when it starts to steam and bubble around the edges. Do not scald or boil the milk, as this will change the flavor. Once the milk is at temperature, turn heat to low and slowly pour the chopped chocolate into the milk, whipping quickly with a wire whisk. Keep whisking until all cocoa is melted.
- Once chocolate is completely melted into the milk, turn heat up to medium and add the remaining milk. Keep whisking quickly until well mixed. Stir in mint extract or peppermint schnapps. Taste the hot chocolate and add sugar a teaspoon at a time until the drink is as sweet as you prefer.
- Ladle hot chocolate into small mugs and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed candy cane.
- Variation: Add a shot of espresso to each mug of hot cocoa for the perfect peppermint mocha.
If you like this mint hot chocolate, check out these other recipes: