Some “wintery” drinks tend to get boring! But Dirty Hot Chocolate will put an end to this silly notion! The typical hot chocolate is not so typical anymore once you add cool peppermint with an itty-bitty splash (or more) of decadent coffee liqueur and some yummy vanilla vodka. Then to really crush the drink presentation, some crushed peppermint candy brings festive colors! This Dirty Hot Chocolate is a beautiful way to welcome your adult guests to some genuine winter wonder!


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract, optional
  • 2/3 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua®
  • 1/3 cup vanilla vodka
  • whipped cream, optional, to taste, store-bought or homemade, for topping
  • peppermint candy, optional, to taste, crushed, for topping


Step 1 –In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar, the cocoa powder, the salt, and the water and whisk to combine.

Step 2 –Allow the cocoa mixture to come to a rapid simmer.

Step 3 –Add the milk and the heavy cream to the cocoa mixture and cook, while stirring often, until heated through.

Step 4 –Transfer the saucepan from the heat.

Step 5 –Add the vanilla extract, the peppermint extract, the coffee liqueur, and the vanilla vodka and stir to combine.

Step 6 –Ladle the hot chocolate into mugs.

Step 7 –Serve topped with the whipped cream and the crushed candy.