Chestnut Hot Chocolate

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Cocktail History

The Chestnut Hot Chocolate is a Christmas cocktail that was created by Nick Mautone at the Rainbow Room in New York City, New York and was first published in his book The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails. It was inspired by a chocolate-dipped chestnut purée the author once had at Paprika Weiss, a now closed store that used to be on New York City’s Upper East Side. It combines the namesake flavors of chestnut and chocolate with brandy and seasonal spices to create a delicious boozy twist on the classic cold-weather beverage.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Milk: This is a liquid rich in calcium and protein that is produced by mammals. We used Prairie Farm Vitamin D Whole Milk. For a dairy-free version of this drink, try oat milk in place of the milk.

Cognac: This is a type of brandy made in Cognac, France with distilled white wine. We used Courvoisier VSOP Cognac because it has a rich mouthfeel and a delightful brandy spice with notes of peach, almond, and cinnamon. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy.

Hazelnut Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with toasted hazelnuts, vanilla, baking spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Frangelico because it has a unique sweet and nutty flavor with notes of cocoa. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Hazelnut Syrup in place of the hazelnut liqueur.

Chestnut Spread: This is a purée made with chestnuts, sugar, vanilla, and syrup. We used Bonne Maman French Chestnut Jam (Chataigne).

Saline Solution: This is a solution made with five to one kosher salt and water.

Hot Cocoa Mix: This is a sweetened chocolate product made with ground cocoa beans and sugar. We used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa Mix because it’s rich and chocolatey.

Ground Cinnamon: This is a spice. We used Simply Organic Ground Cinnamon.

Whipped Cream: This is heavy cream that has been whipped and beaten until it is light and fluffy. We used Reddi-Wip Original Dairy Whipped Topping because it offers easier application than making whipped cream at home using an iSi Cream Whipper. For a dairy-free version of this drink, try Reddi-Wip Non-Dairy Coconut Milk Whipped Topping in place of the whipped cream.

Chestnut: This is a large, round nuts with a hard and rough outer husk.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Saucepan: This is used to warm the ingredients. We used the Cuisinart 3-Quart Stainless Steel Saucepan with Cover.

Spoon: This is used to stir the ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips Silicone Spoon.

Ladle: This is used to transfer the drink to cups. We used the OXO Good Grips Silicone Everyday Ladle.

Tasting Notes

The Chestnut Hot Chocolate features fragrances of sweet whipped cream and chestnut and has a thick mouthfeel with the taste of rich chocolate and a prominent nut flavor; meanwhile, the Cognac and Frangelico come in towards the end and leave a slight burn in the throat to go with the lingering chocolate notes.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: After tasting this and the Kohler Mint Cocoa, it’s really a toss-up on which hot cocoa recipe Santa would enjoy more. Both are incredibly delicious yet totally different from one another. And while nuttiness is not something we’d typically associate with hot cocoa, we thought it was a welcome addition. You’ll just have to try both the Chestnut Hot Chocolate and Kohler Mint Cocoa to find out which is your new favorite for this time of year.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“This is a delicious hot cocoa drink that combines chestnut flavors with a bit of Cognac to create a very unique flavor. Even though it’s not an ingredient that is used in drinks very often, the chestnut is very noticeable and quite delicious here, and the Cognac is present but blends well. The original recipe only called for ¼ oz each of Frangelico and brandy, but I made the call to up the former to ½ oz and the latter to a full ounce, and it created a much better flavor, in my opinion. While a little more indulgent than I typically like my cocktails to be, this one certainly was undeniably tasty, and the prominent chestnut flavors were a wonderful touch.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Holy Christmas balls! This boozy hot chocolate is an incredibly decadent delight. I had never tried chestnut purée before having it in this cocktail, and it’s nuttiness and texture adds a layer of delicious to this winter drink I didn’t know I needed. If you’re already a fan of chestnut, this is a recipe you need to try.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails by Nick Mautone.

Sale
The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails: The Best Nogs, Punches, Sparklers, and Mixed Drinks for Every Festive Occasion
The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails: The Best Nogs, Punches, Sparklers, and Mixed Drinks for Every Festive Occasion
Hardcover Book; Mautone, Nick (Author); English (Publication Language); 128 Pages – 10/17/2017 (Publication Date) – Artisan (Publisher)
$9.08 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time10 mins

Ingredients
 6 oz Milk
 1 oz Cognac
 ¼ oz Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
 2 tbsp Chestnut Spread
 2 drops Saline Solution
 1 packet Hot Cocoa Mix
 1 pinch Cinnamon
 Whipped Cream
 1 Chestnut

Method
1

Whisk hot cocoa mix into milk in a saucepan over medium heat.

2

Mix brandy, hazelnut liqueur, chestnut spread, saline solution, and cinnamon in a mug.

3

When warm, pour hot cocoa into mug.

4

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

5

Garnish with whipped cream and chestnut.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 6 oz Milk
 1 oz Cognac
 ¼ oz Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
 2 tbsp Chestnut Spread
 2 drops Saline Solution
 1 packet Hot Cocoa Mix
 1 pinch Cinnamon
 Whipped Cream
 1 Chestnut

Directions

Method
1

Whisk hot cocoa mix into milk in a saucepan over medium heat.

2

Mix brandy, hazelnut liqueur, chestnut spread, saline solution, and cinnamon in a mug.

3

When warm, pour hot cocoa into mug.

4

Stir for 5-10 seconds.

5

Garnish with whipped cream and chestnut.

Chestnut Hot Chocolate

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative in place of the brandy and Monin Premium Hazelnut Syrup in place of the hazelnut liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey Irish Coffee Mug, 1 Count (Pack of 1), Clear
Libbey Irish Coffee Mug, 1 Count (Pack of 1), Clear
Twelve 8-1/2-ounce clear glass irish coffee mugs; Dishwasher safe; Made in usa
$6.49 Amazon Prime
Sale
Libbey 10.5 Oz. Irish Coffee Mug(pack of 12)
Libbey 10.5 Oz. Irish Coffee Mug(pack of 12)
Capacity: 10.5 Oz.; Height: 5″; Top Diameter: 3-1/16″; Bottom Diameter: 2-3/4″; Maximum Diameter: 4-1/4″
$28.99 Amazon Prime
Libbey 8-1/2-Ounce Irish Coffee Mug, 4-Piece Set, 0.24liters
Libbey 8-1/2-Ounce Irish Coffee Mug, 4-Piece Set, 0.24liters
Four 8-1/2-ounce clear irish coffee mugs 5 7/8-inch tall; Material: glass; Dishwasher safe
$27.37
OXO Good Grips Silicone Spoon,Peppercorn,us:one size
OXO Good Grips Silicone Spoon,Peppercorn,us:one size
Flexible edges easily transfer food from non-stick cookware without scratching surfaces; High heat-resistant silicone is gentle on non-stick surfaces
$11.99 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips Silicone Everyday Ladle
OXO Good Grips Silicone Everyday Ladle
Flexible ladle conforms to curves to scrape up every bit of sauce for serving; High heat-resistant silicone is gentle on non-stick surfaces
$15.95 Amazon Prime

More Christmas Cocktails

If you like this Christmas-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Candy Cane Martini Cocktail Recipe

Candy Cane Martini: A vodka cocktail made with white crème de cacao, white crème de menthe, simple syrup, and crushed candy cane

Cranberry Cobbler Cocktail Recipe

Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, an orange wedge, mint, and cranberries

Kohler Mint Cocoa Cocktail Recipe

Kohler Mint Cocoa: A chocolate mint brandy cocktail made with milk, white peppermint schnapps, dark crème de cacao, cocoa powder, whipped cream, and grated chocolate

Winter Berry Gin Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Winter Berry Gin Fizz: A gin cocktail made with lime juice, cranberry syrup, raspberry liqueur, soda water, cranberries, and rosemary

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-03-04.

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