Hot Chocolate with a splash of Gran Marnier

For the finale of the dinner party my husband and I hosted for my father-in-law’s birthday, we had hot chocolate with a splash of gran marnier.  My father-in-law had this on a recent vacation and it’s what he requested in lieu of birthday cake.  Works for me!  Of course I didn’t want to use old instant hot cocoa, so I started thinking about how I would go about making it myself.  I think Starbucks has some of the best hot chocolate ever, so I googled for a knockoff recipe of theirs, and found it at recipezaar.  It got good reviews, so why not!  Of course I tweaked it to my liking, and to satisfy the request of the birthday boy!

Hot Chocolate with a splash of Gran Marnier


1/2 cup water

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup sugar

1.5 cups whole milk

1.5 cups half and half 

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 shot gran marnier, per mug

whipped cream topping

chocolate shavings


In a large glass bowl, mix the water, cocoa and sugar until well blended.  Heat for 2 minutes to create a chocolate syrup.

Stir in milks and vanilla, microwave until very warm, but not scalded. 

Pour into mugs, add shot of gran marnier to each mug and mix in.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

mrjamesbday 009

Hot chocolate with a splash of gran marnier (sorry for the dark picture!)








The Verdict:  Soooooo smooth and creamy!  The liquor gave it just a hint of orange.  I was worried that using the cocoa powder it would be chalky tasting but it wasn’t at all.  This is great because (other than the liquor) it’s all stuff you normally might have on hand.  Definite keeper!


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