Ho-Ho-Ho! Get into the holiday spirit with this Merry Hot Chocolate Sake Recipe. You’ll love the sweet creaminess of homemade hot chocolate + the warmth of sake!

merry hot chocolate sake

As soon as the holiday season sets in, I’m all about warming winter beverages. There’s nothing quite like being wrapped in the cozy blanket of a frothy pumpkin spice latte – or a whipped peppermint mochaccino as the snow slowly falls outside.

It’s the absolute best!

Well, I’m really excited to share this merry hot chocolate sake with you today! It’s both festive and yummy. If you like drinks that pull double duty in the warming and… ahem, boozy departments, this one’s for you 🙂

nigori sake

What does this hot chocolate sake taste like?

Think of the sweet, rich flavors of your favorite hot chocolate recipe. The creamy and velvety textures, coupled with the soft cocoa nuttiness of good chocolate… Are you with me? Good!

Now, just add a slight warmth (not quite a burn) and a hint of sharpness from Japanese sake to the mix – and you’re there!

It’s almost the same idea as a hot toddy (which is hot tea, honey, herbs and whiskey). The booze provides warmth without being the focal point of the drink.

Well, the same goes for this sake and hot chocolate mixture. It’s got a bit of alcohol in it, but it’s not quite a sake cocktail.

And if you’re worried that the sake may detract from what is already the perfect chocolate fix, don’t be! The flavors of hot cocoa seem to actually be heightened by the addition of sake.

melted chocolate

What is sake?

Sake (日本酒) is a Japanese rice beer made of fermented rice. 

Now while I’ve always heard sake referred to as rice wine, that turns out to not be the case! You see wine is made from fermented fruit.

Sake is derived from rice starch which is converted to sugar – and the sugar is made into alcohol by the addition of yeast. It means that sake is pretty unique when it comes to its creation, but is much closer to the process used to brew beer than wine.

From Junmai to Honjozo to Daiginjo, there are a TON of different types and classifications of sake. For a deep dive into the world of sake, check out this helpful beginner’s guide.

I’ve always preferred drinking cold sake to hot sake. But, of course, that’s just a personal preference. How do you like drinking sake? Hot or cold? Tell me your preferences in the comments section!

What does sake taste like?

As with wine, beer and spirits, each different sake will have flavor properties that can vary greatly. That said, I’ve always found sake to typically be smooth and mild with a dry fruitiness around the edges. Most sake tends to be warming without a sharp bite from the alcohol.

ingredients for hot chocolate

Ingredients for merry hot chocolate sake

  • Sake: There’s no need to break the bank here, because we’re mixing it with other more assertive ingredients. That said, I think it’s always best to use sake you’d be happy to drink on its own. (Same goes for cooking with wine!) When in doubt, ask the staff at your local liquor store.
  • Almond Milk: This brings a great, light nuttiness without adding unneeded sweetness to this already sweet holiday drink. Feel free to use the dairy or dairy-substitute of your choice.
  • Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate: Your choice. Milk chocolate tends to be creamier and sweeter. Dark is usually a bit less sweet and with slight bitter notes – more closely showcasing the true essence of the cacao beans. No matter what you use, at the end of the day chocolate is delicious, right!?
  • Whipped Cream: While this is optional, it’s the holidays! If you want it, indulge 🙂
  • Mint Leaves: A perfect fresh decoration that you can eat if you wish!

As you can see, this is a pretty simple list of ingredients. And the best part is there’s no need for a hot chocolate mix. Making homemade hot chocolate from scratch is so easy!

merry hot chocolate sake

How to make hot chocolate sake for the holidays

  1. Pour sake into a glass or mug and set aside.
  2. Heat your milk in a small saucepan over low heat. 
  3. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir well, and microwave for an additional 20-25 seconds, until completely melted.
  4. When the milk is bubbling, slowly whisk in the chocolate until fully combined.
  5. Turn the heat off and use a ladle to pour the hot chocolate into the sake glass. Serve as is, or with whipped cream and mint leaves.
merry hot chocolate sake

What to serve with this hot chocolate and sake drink

When savoring this warming holiday hot chocolate, my mind always defaults to the sweet desserts that remind me of the Christmas spirit – and winter in general.

There’s nothing like sipping this slightly spiked hot chocolate alongside French stuffed baked apples, or these chocolate espresso cookies. But my all time favorite is a slice of this indulgent Dutch apple pie… à la mode of course!

And if it’s gonna be open bar this year at your holiday soirée check out these other festive and easy cocktail recipes:

Plus:

Did you like this Hot Chocolate Sake Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

merry hot chocolate sake Print

Merry Hot Chocolate Sake

This merry hot chocolate sake is like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Japanese
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sake (you can add up to 1/3 for a stronger sake taste)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (about 8 small squares)
  • Whipped cream
  • Mint leaves

Instructions

  • Pour sake into a glass with enough space to accommodate the hot chocolate and set aside.
  • Heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 25 seconds, stir well, and microwave for an additional 20-25 seconds, until completely melted.
  • When the almond milk is bubbling, slowly whisk in the chocolate until fully combined.
  • Turn the heat off and use a ladle to pour the hot chocolate into the sake glass. Serve as is, or with whipped cream and mint leaves.

Notes

This cocktail is meant to be served immediately… hot and fresh!

Keywords: cocktail, Christmas, Thanksgiving

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