How To Make Peppermint Schnapps + Boozy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
With the holiday season upon us, I’m bringing you a DIY peppermint schnapps recipe to take your hot chocolate to a whole new level. With this recipe, you’ll never buy store-bought schnapps again. It’s simple to make, and it’s the perfect addition for all of the hot chocolate lovers on your gift-giving list. Or, hide it away for one of those long, stressful days to come when you’ll need a break. Surely, a hot spiked beverage will do the trick. This hot chocolate recipe, which I came up with years ago, always reminds me of the holidays. And I think we can all agree, there isn’t anything much better than a boozy version of an old standard, especially when the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall.
Over the years, I’ve tried and tested so many different versions of hot chocolate. Each one was unique, even if just slightly so. My grandmother’s was velvety and stayed as close to classic as can be. My mother’s had a hint of cocoa and extra whipped cream. I’ve tasted variations at different cafes and restaurants in Toronto through the years, each one focusing on a different ingredient. One added white chocolate, another a pinch of cayenne, and some used whole milk, while others used cream. It went on and on. I took my favourite part of each one when coming up with my own.
This recipe has been made countless times since I first came up with it. I’ve made small changes here and there over the years until finally settling on this particular recipe. It has the perfect balance of heat and sweetness with just a little bit of indulgence thrown in for good measure. My trick is using full fat milk and rich, dark shaved chocolate (the shaved chocolate melts quicker in hot milk, making for a smoother incorporation). It’s best topped with a dollop of whipped cream, some shaved chocolate and crushed candy canes. Share this with a loved one, preferably by the fire with a snowstorm brewing outside.
Happy holidays to each and every one of you. Next time you make a hot chocolate, spike it up.
DIY Peppermint Schnapps
Yield: 1 Litre
Glassware: Large mason jar
1/2 cup (120 ml) sugar
1 cup (240 ml) water
3 cups (710 ml) 80 proof vodka
2 tsp. (10 ml) peppermint extract
1. Start off by making simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
2. Pour the vodka, simple syrup and peppermint extract into the large mason jar. Put the lid on and tighten.
3. Store in a cool, dark place away from sunlight. Every few days give it a stir and return to the cool place.
*After 2 weeks, your peppermint schnapps should be ready to go. You still have time to make this before your big New Year’s party. And to last throughout the holidays.
Boozy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Yield: Serves 4
Glassware: Coffee mugs
Large mason jar
6 oz (175ml) Peppermint Schnapps (recipe above)
10 oz (300 grams) dark chocolate (no more than 72% cocoa), shaved
4 cups whole milk
1 tsp. (5 ml) cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
2 heaping tbsp. (30 ml) cocoa powder
2 heaping tbsp. (30 ml) brown sugar
1 tsp. (5 ml) cayenne pepper
whipped cream, to top
2 tbsp. (30 ml) shaved chocolate, to top
2 tbsp. (30 ml) candy cane, chopped
cocoa powder to dust
1. In a medium saucepan add the whole milk and heat until steaming. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom seeds and remove from heat. Let steep for twenty minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan.
2. Return the saucepan to the stove and simmer the milk over low heat for 5 minutes. Add in the shaved chocolate, cocoa power, brown sugar and cayenne pepper and whisk until well combined. Continue whisking until frothy.
3. Pour the hot chocolate into 4 mugs and add 1.5 ounces of peppermint schnapps. Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, chopped peppermint sticks and a light dusting of cocoa powder.
Mike Lewicki is a contributor at The Boys Club and blogger at Verses From My Kitchen.