How to make the perfect festive hot chocolate at home

  /   Recipes

Rich. Thick. Luscious. The perfect festive hot chocolate is like a hug in a mug. Perfect a cold winter’s day. 

It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas…

At DASH, our creamy hot chocolate is a best-seller, and the recipe is a closely guarded secret. Our comforting hot chocolate is served year-round, but during the Christmas season, we spruce it up and make a festive mint hot chocolate. It is deliciously decadent. 

If, for some reason, you cannot make it to DASH, don’t worry, you can still have a creamy, dreamy mug at home. Just follow these simple instructions to make the perfect hot chocolate.

First off, the key to any great tasting hot chocolate is great tasting chocolate. The best chocolate for making hot chocolate is good quality plain chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. This gives a lovely intense earthy flavour. However, milk chocolate makes for a sweeter tasting drink and is usually a better choice if you are making the drink for children. We think a 2:1 ratio of dark to milk chocolate strikes a good balance.

To get a lovely richness, make the hot chocolate with full-fat milk and finish off with some pouring cream stirred through and whipped on top. Hot chocolate is not a health drink, so don’t try to make it one. Just indulge and enjoy. A great tasting non-dairy milk alternative is barista oat milk.

Add a vanilla pod and cinnamon stick to the milk and add a pinch of sea salt too. The sea salt makes the chocolate taste more chocolaty. Honestly!

For a more grown-up, spiked hot chocolate, add a tablespoon or two of dark rum, brandy, Drambuie, chocolate liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, Cointreau, Kahlúa or for that festive twist, peppermint schnapps.

As for the toppings, classic whipped cream and mini marshmallows not only look pretty but they add a lovely flavour to the hot chocolate too. Shavings of milk, dark and white chocolate look stunning on top, as too do sprinkles and coconut. Finish off with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and for a festive flourish, decorate with candy canes.

Decadent hot chocolate recipe – makes two big mugs

Ingredients for a festive hot chocolate

  • 400ml of full-fat milk
  • 100g of chocolate (we use 70g of dark & 30g of milk chocolate)
  • 75ml of single cream
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Optional (but highly recommended)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)


  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, warm about one-third of the milk. Add in the chocolate and keep stirring until the chocolate has melted. 
  • Whisk in the remaining milk and the cream and salt. If you are using the vanilla pod and cinnamon, add them in now. For the vanilla, use the tip of a knife to slit the vanilla pod down its centre. Then use the side of the knife to scrape the seeds of out of both have. Place seeds and vanilla pods into the mixture. 
  • Keep whisking the mixture and heat until it is hot but not boiling.
  • If you are adding booze, add it in now.
  • The hot chocolate is ready to serve now, however, the longer it sits, the richer, thicker and more flavourful it becomes.
  • Remove the vanilla pods and cinnamon stick before serving.
  • Pour into big mugs and decorate with your favourite toppings.


So, now you know what it takes to make the perfect hot chocolate at home. So make it personal and make it special, and you’ll be making it again and again. 

Don’t forget to take a photo of your masterpiece and show us on social media.