Amaro Hot Chocolate Recipe

Elana Lepkowski

Why It Works

  • You choose your favorite amaro depending on how sweet or bitter you'd like your drink.
  • Adding Angostura bitters to your whipped cream gives the drink an aroma rich with holiday spice.
  • Many amari are pretty low in alcohol, making this combo good for brunch or nightcap drinking.

Rich hot cocoa gets a boozy touch with bittersweet Italian amaro. You can use the amaro of your choice and then pick the type of chocolate to match: Averna will give semisweet chocolate a nice herbal and caramel finish. For a punch of mint and a bitter kick, sub in Fernet and try milk chocolate instead. Don't worry, though, there are no wrong choices or combinations here.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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For the Angostura Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup (237ml) heavy whipping cream

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) simple syrup (see note)

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract

  • 6 dashes Angostura bitters

For the Hot Cocoa:

  • 1/4 cup (58g) unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Valrhona

  • 1 tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 3 cups (710ml) milk

  • 8 ounces (227g) semisweet chocolate chips (or other type of chocolate, such as milk chocolate, depending on your taste)

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract

  • 5 ounces (148ml) Italian amaro, such as Averna


  1. For the Angostura Whipped Cream: Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat heavy whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form, then add simple syrup, vanilla extract and Angostura bitters. Whip until medium peaks form, about 1 minute longer.

  2. For the Hot Cocoa: In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk and chocolate. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely blend mixture.

  3. Add vanilla and amaro and stir to combine. Pour into glasses and top with Angostura whipped cream.


To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Special Equipment

Medium saucepan, whisk, measuring cups, heatproof mugs

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
803 Calories
44g Fat
82g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 803
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 56%
Saturated Fat 26g 131%
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 132mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 82g 30%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 65g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 278mg 21%
Iron 7mg 40%
Potassium 536mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)