Make this Christmas hot chocolate, then check out our mulled wine, eggnog, masala chai, Christmas spiced negroni and more Christmas cocktails. Make this and other festive treats to take with you on a winter walk.

We added a Christmassy spin to a winter classic by steeping orange peel and festive spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in hot milk. We then used this spiced milk as a base for a warming hot chocolate.


  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 strips of orange peel
  • 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 100ml single cream
  • 100g dark chocolate


  • squirty cream
  • chocolate flakes, fingers or wafers
  • chocolate chips, mini marshmallows or fudge chunks
  • cinnamon sticks


  • STEP 1

    Put the cocoa powder in a heatproof jug and mix in just enough milk to make a paste. Pour the rest of the milk into a pan and warm over a low heat until just simmering. Stir in all of the spices and the orange peel and leave for 30 mins to infuse.

  • STEP 2

    Remove the whole spices and orange peel from the infused milk and bring back up to a simmer (being careful not to boil). Whisk the hot milk mixture into the cocoa paste until smooth, then pour back into the pan. Add the brown sugar, cream and chocolate, and heat gently over a low heat, stirring until everything is combined. Serve in mugs topped with squirty cream and any other toppings of your choice.

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Two coupe glasses of orange liquid with cherries on the side


Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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