Put Some Chocolate in Your Cocktails

16 elegant chocolate cocktail recipes for when you just want to drink your dessert.

By Joe Sevier

Published on February 5, 2016

Gone are the days when mixing chocolate and spirits only meant a boozy milkshake or treacly chocotini; there’s no reason a good chocolate and good alcohol can’t come together for a great cocktail.

There are four main ways to an alcoholic beverage with the irresistible allure of chocolate:

1 Liqueur: Long a component of tiki- and dessert-inspired cocktails, crème de cacao is an oft maligned staple in many bars. But, with the right handling and smart compliments, modern bartenders are finding it can provide an unmatchably velvety texture and wonderful earthy aroma. Used as an accent to Scotch or cachaça, crème de cacao adds a backbone reminiscent of childhood, but in a distinctly adult form.

2 Bitters: There are now literally hundreds of varieties of cocktail bitters readily available. Chocolate bitters even come in more than one form (i.e. Aztec, mole, etc.). Think of bitters as a kind of seasoning, something to provide balance while enhancing the cocktail's primary flavors. Chocolate bitters are especially good for adding richness and mouthwatering aroma to a drink.

3 Cocoa Powder: An essential component in boozy hot chocolate, cocoa powder can also be used as a garnish to add aroma.

4 Real, Actual Chocolate: Melt it down and stir it in, shave it on top, or just nibble it alongside any of these chocolate sippers.

French Kiss Cocktail

New York bartender Mandy Cohen combines cognac, Chambord, Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Liqueur, and a splash of lambrusco to make the rich and sultry French Kiss cocktail. Get the recipe for French Kiss Cocktail »

Nocino Old Fashioned

The Nocino old fashioned served at Houston’s Rosie Cannonball is punctuated with a few shakes of Angostura cocoa bitters. Get the recipe for Nocino Old Fashioned »

U.S.S. Wondrich

This tiki-inspired drink is based on the Adonis, a pre-prohibition recipe that is equal parts sherry and vermouth, with a balancing dash of bitters. Get the recipe for U.S.S. Wondrich »

Le Mexique

This tequila cocktail gets spicy sweetness from ginger liqueur and fruit-forward body from mango purée. Get the recipe for Le Mexique »

The Sabbath

The name of this cocktail—a cross between a White Russian and a Thai iced coffee—is a joking nod to John Goodman's character in the film the Big Lebowski. Get the recipe for The Sabbath »

Pink Squirrel

This rose-hued variation on a grasshopper—the classic boozy chocolate–mint milkshake—trades crème de menthe for almond-flavored crème de noya. Get the recipe for Pink Squirrel »

Tequila Boulevardier

Bitter liqueurs and a touch of sweet vermouth bring balance to grassy, briny tequila in this riff on the classic bourbon drink, adapted from a recipe by bartender Mark Drew. Get the recipe for Tequila Boulevardier »

Zelma’s Punch

This heady tropical cocktail gets its earthy undertones from creme de cacao. Get the recipe for Zelma's Punch »


This riff on the classic cocktail the Titan (scotch, dry vermouth, apricot liqueur, white crème de cacao, orange bitters) swaps out vermouth for the fruitier Bolivian spirit singani. Get the recipe for Hyperion »

Venezuelan Chocolate-Rum Drink

For when you can't decide between a boozy nightcap or a creamy hot chocolate. Get the recipe for Venezuelan Chocolate-Rum Drink »

Twentieth Century Cocktail

This 1937 British cocktail strikes an unexpected balance between velvety creme de cacao and refreshing gin, lemon juice, and Lillet. Get the recipe for Twentieth Century Cocktail »

Cacao Fruit Cocktail

Puréed cacao pulp meets cachaça in this unexpected sipper. Tart lemon provides a burst of freshness, while a splash of sparkling wine adds lift. Get the recipe for Cacao Fruit Cocktail »

The Trophy Wall

The sharp herbal finish provided by Fernet Branca balances the richness of this cream drink. Get the recipe for The Trophy Wall »

Espresso Martini

Vodka, coffee, coffee liqueur, and cream are mixed with vanilla liqueur in this cocktail, which sits somewhere between a classic espresso martini and a White Russian. Get the recipe for Espresso Martini »

Pine Cone Cocktail

This dessert cocktail marries the flavors of chocolate and almonds in a creamy drink, dusted with an intoxicating wiff of nutmeg. Get the recipe for Pine Cone Cocktail »

Black Forest Manhattan

This sweet whisky-based cocktail is the alcoholic equivalent of a chocolate-covered cherry. Get the recipe for Black Forest Manhattan »

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