Put Some Chocolate in Your Cocktails

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

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

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 » Mandy Cohen

Nocino Old Fashioned

The Nocino old fashioned served at Houston’s Rosie Cannonball
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 » Julie Soefer

U.S.S. Wondrich

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 » Matt Taylor-Gross

Le Mexique

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

The Sabbath

The Sabbath Cocktail
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 » Matt Taylor-Gross

Pink Squirrel

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 » Michael Kraus

Tequila Boulevardier

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 » Anna Stockwell

Zelma’s Punch

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

Hyperion

Hyperion
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 » Matt Taylor-Gross

Venezuelan Chocolate-Rum Drink

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 » Matt Taylor-Gross

Twentieth Century Cocktail

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 » Maxime Iattoni

Cacao Fruit 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 » Maxime Iattoni

The Trophy Wall

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 » Anna Stockwell

Espresso Martini

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 » Ingalls Photography

Pine Cone Cocktail

Chocolate Almond 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 » Andre Baranowski

Black Forest Manhattan

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