Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate

by autumn on December 22, 2014

Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate // Autumn Makes & Does

It was cold and rainy last week and my first real need–and it was a strong one–this winter for hot chocolate hit. This was of course a “cold” day because it was still in the high 40s, but was was oddly damp for here in the desert. I poured some coconut milk in my little saucepan, threw in some chocolate chips, and winter officially started in my kitchen.


Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate // Autumn Makes & Does

Paul and I have been together for like 8 years and this is the first Christmas we’ll spend together. This means I won’t spend it with my family, which is hard, but I’m still in complete joyful disbelief that we’ll spend it together with a grey furry monster in our old pink house in the desert.

Branch Tree // Autumn Makes & Does

Our first Christmas means our first tree as grown-up humans too. We never had one in NYC. Luckily, Aimee from Simple Bites posted a picture on twitter of her twig tree. (More pics from Aimee here and here.) It was the perfect inspiration for a low-cost, beautiful tree for a couple of people who owned exactly zero holiday ornaments or decorations and had a giant pile of branches in their yard that they forgot to set out on the curb to be taken away.

We selected a couple of branches that complemented each other and set them up in a tall enamel pot that we already had. We used rocks from our yard to weight the pot and secure the branches in place. Paul’s mom gave us some simple white christmas lights and we commissioned a friend to fold us some white paper cranes, which we used as ornaments. The first thing under the tree was a pumpkin (also from Paul’s mom–she grew it!).

Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate // Autumn Makes & Does

When we were hanging the cranes, we had some boozy eggnog out of these little red and white mugs, which I think have become the official boozy eggnog mugs. It was good, but not amazing and it got me thinking about about how hard it is to mix sweet, creamy, alcoholic drinks, so I’ve been on a bit of a holiday mission to get it right. And, I promise, this gets it right.

You know by now, that I adore cardamom. I always want to describe the flavor of cardamom as “deep?” Or maybe old. That makes sense, right? A little? Anyway, it’s the perfect little something, along with rich coconut milk, a dollop of whipped coconut cream, and some bourbon to take your hot chocolate to #treatyoself holiday status.

Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate // Autumn Makes & Does

Coconut Cardamom Bourbon Hot Chocolate
Recipe Type: Drinks
Author: Autumn Giles
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 small drinks
A gluten-free, vegan boozy hot chocolate
  • 2 cups coconut milk (the kind from the carton, not the can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup (1.8 ounces) mini non-dairy chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Brand)
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon (I use Four Roses Yellow Label)
  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and cardamom over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. When it starts to bubble, remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips, and let sit for about 3 minutes.
  3. After 3 minutes, add the bourbon and use a immersion blender to blend the mixture (you can do it right in the saucepan) until frothy, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour into two small mugs and top with coconut whipped cream and additional cardamom, if desired.


  • Here’s a great tutorial for making coconut whipped cream if you’ve never done it before. It’s so fun! It will get a little melty on the hot chocolate, but even melted it still provides awesome creamy goodness.
  • Shout out to Dolly & Oatmeal whose chocolate olive oil cake I made this weekend. Her ganache helped inspire this hot chocolate as well.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carol December 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Oh my, this sounds amazing! I love Cardamom. 🙂 Happy holidays!


2 autumn December 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Thank you, Carol! Happy holidays to you too.


3 Erika December 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Love this! The coconut and bourbon in the hot chocolate.. Must try.
Happy Holidays my dear!


4 Zainab December 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm

this just sounds amazing!!!! Trying this tonight.


5 autumn December 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Yay! Thanks, Zainab.


6 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm

This is one fancy ass hot chocolate. My goodness!!


7 autumn December 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Hahaha! It’s that time of year 😉


8 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough December 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

This is the most perfect combination of flavors. I’ll be making this on Christmas, for sure. Happy holidays to you and Paul! xo


9 autumn December 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Happy holidays to you too, Steph! Thank you.


10 Kate December 27, 2014 at 1:05 pm

What a treat! I always make hot chocolate for the kids with whole milk, but the hubs gets left out because he can’t have dairy, so I’ll be making this one for sure—he’ll especially love the boozy part! Merry Christmas to you!


11 The Thriftchen April 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm

This looks incredible! I can’t wait to try it!


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