Amaro Hot Chocolate Recipe

Amaro Hot Chocolate Recipe

[Photo: Elana Lepkowski]

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.

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.
  • Yield:makes 4 servings
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:10 minutes


  • 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. 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. 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. 3.

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