Read our tips for the best luxury hot chocolate plus check out our Baileys hot chocolate, spiked hot chocolate, vegan hot chocolate and more decadent hot chocolate recipes. Wondering who makes the best hot chocolate? Read our review of top-rated cocoa available to buy on the market.

For more winter cocktail recipes, try our chai latte, eggnog and mulled wine.

Hot chocolate station ideas

Unwind this festive season with a warming mug of decadent hot chocolate. To take things to the next level, set up your own hot chocolate station where friends and family can load up their perfect mug with all kinds of toppings.

To set up your station, you'll need some cocoa – see who makes the best hot chocolate or make your own with our recipe. Next, you'll need a selection of mugs for your guests to choose from. See the best coffee mugs to find your perfect style.

Set up little jars with plenty of toppings to pick from. This is where you can customise whatever ingredients you like best, the sky's the limit. Try chocolate chips, candy canes, cinnamon sticks and mini marshmallows. Add a selection of Monin flavoured coffee syrups (£9.99) to add a hint of vanilla, gingerbread or caramel.

Adults can treat themselves to a splash of booze in theirs for an added kick. We love Bailey's Irish Cream 17% ABV (£15.43), Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey 40% ABV (£22.12) and The Kraken Black Spiced Rum 40% ABV (£26.50). For more inspiration, see the best coffee liqueurs and our Irish cream taste test.

To really complete your set-up, add a milk frother to ensure a perfectly smooth result every time. See the best milk frothers to buy for our top recommendations.

Easy hot chocolate recipe


  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 litres whole milk
  • 3 tbsp demerara sugar, plus extra to taste
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml single cream


  • dark rum, whisky, brandy, Disaronno or Baileys
  • squirty cream
  • Cadbury flakes
  • (available from Waitrose and Chloe’s Hazelnut & Cocoa Wafers
  • cinnamon sticks
  • ground cinnamon
  • chocolate chips
  • mini marshmallows
  • fudge chunks


  • STEP 1

    Put the cocoa in a large bowl or jug and mix in enough cold milk to make a smooth paste. Put the rest of the milk in a pan and bring to a simmer. Whisk the milk into the cocoa paste until everything is incorporated then pour back into the pan. Add the sugar, chopped chocolate, vanilla and cream, and heat gently, stirring until everything is combined. Sweeten with extra demerara sugar to your liking.

  • STEP 2

    Pour the chocolate into heatproof glasses and let everyone add their own toppings.

More hot chocolate recipes to try

White hot chocolate

Go all out with a large mug of velvety white hot chocolate, garnished with white chocolate fingers, mini marshmallows and whipped cream.

Two mugs of white hot chocolate topped with white chocolate fingers, mini marshmallows and whipped cream

Mulled hot chocolate

Use up leftover red wine to jazz up your hot chocolate. This quick and easy mulled hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm up during the winter months.

Two glass mugs filled with a cherry cup and an orange slice

Vegan hot chocolate

Turn everybody’s favourite hot drink vegan with oat or almond milk alternatives, topped with whipped plant-based cream.

Two glass mugs of hot chocolate topped with cream and cocoa powder on a grey concrete background

Boozy hot chocolate

Mezcal or very peaty scotch whisky lends a welcome kick in this boozy hot chocolate. There's chilli in there for a bit of heat, too.

Smoky Hot Chocolate Recipe

Orange hot chocolate

This rich and creamy hot chocolate comes with zingy notes of orange and intensity from dark chocolate. Add an extra layer of luxury with spiced rum.

Two mugs of hot chocolate, next to a jug of milk and shots of spiced rum


Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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