Sober in the City: Indulge in These 20 Hot Chocolate Variations

Sometimes, sober folks get short changed when it comes to holiday and party drinks. I can’t tell you how many times I have attended weddings, dinners, and parties where the host(s) carefully curated the cocktail menu and bar, but then only had diet coke and club soda to offer guests who don’t imbibe. Whamp whamp whamp whaaaa. That’s why I go the extra mile (when I have the time and money) to whip up some creative mocktails for my guests or to bring along with me to parties. One of my cold weather comfort favs is hot chocolate. The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in decedent non-alcoholic hot chocolate concoctions that will put your co-workers’ spiked eggnog to shame. Here are 20 to try:

1. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

2. Peppermint Hot White Chocolate

3. Honeyed Hot Cocoa

via Saveur

via Saveur

4. Agasajo-Style Hot Chocolate w/Rosewater & Chiles

via Saveur

via Saveur

5. Dark Hot Chocolate Peppermint Shots

6. Coconut S’mores Hot Chocolate

7. Macha Hot Chocolate

8. Vegan Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

9. Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

10. Red Velvet Hot Chocolate w/Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

11. Rosemary Hot White Chocolate

12. Earl Grey Hot Chocolate

13. Almond Milk Hot Chocolate w/Chili

14. Cardamom & Orange Blossom Infused Hot Chocolate

15. Lavender Hot Chocolate

16. Chai Spiced Hot Chocolate

17. Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats (omit rum)

18. Strawberry Hot Chocolate

19. Spicy Hot Chocolate Mocha

20. Hot Chocolate Truffle Bombs w/Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows

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Ginger Hale

Ginger has written 13 articles for us.


  1. Along the same lines as the Earl Grey one, I often order 1/2 hot chocolate and 1/2 peppermint tea at cafes. They give me side-eye at first and then go ohhh, wait, that sounds really good, actually.

    There is also this evil ingeniousness: Nutella hot chocolate.

    • Okay, on further reading, I give the rosemary white hot chocolate a pass since it contains actual cocoa butter. On the other hand, Hershey’s “white chocolate” chips don’t contain any part of the cacao plant.

  2. Oh my goodness- these look delicious! Hot chocolate is often my treat during work, either that or tea and several of these combine the two. Perfect!

  3. I love you for writing this article, thank you. The peanut butter hot chocolate sounds divine and seems like a fun way to add extra protein into my holigays. c:

  4. We have our office Christmas party tonight and I’m dreading staying sober. But I’m going in a suit so at least I’ll feel cute :) Maybe I’ll try the earl grey one to warm up before the party :)

    • Hope it went well! One of my partners is sober and a trick we use for any social event where you can byob is to bring fancy root beer or ginger beer. It gives them a nice-looking bottle to have in their hand and avoid people trying to press drinks on them.

      I only wish bars did better at having interesting non-alcohol options. When pressed, tonic with a dash of bitters works for a mocktail that any bar should be able to make, if you don’t mind the amount of alcohol in the bitters (about 1/8 teaspoon).

      • I did the same thing at a party recently: I brought ginger beer so I’d have something to drink all night. The lesson I learned was not to leave your “stash” if ginger beer anywhere near the alcohol lest the other guests mistake it as a donation of mixers! Best to have them in a bag away from the bar.

  5. I love the lindt chili pepper dark chocolate bar, so I’m really interested in trying the almond milk chili hot chocolate! And also the spicy mocha (the link didn’t work for me, but I think this is it –

    Jars of homemade hot cocoa mix also make wonderful DIY Christmas presents. :)

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