Liquid Holiday Spirit

red mug with hot chocolate, whipped cream, and a candy cane in it

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, so it’s time to stay inside and sip a mouthful. A mouthful of liquid holiday spirit. If you’re stuck inside because of the weather, the stay at home order, or your general lack of interest in being social, then this is the drink for you! So cozy up next to the fire, turn on your favorite holiday music, and take a sip of Liquid Holiday Spirit.

We recently went to a holiday light festival at the Oregon garden resort where you can walk around the resort at night through a maze of Christmas lights, get a socially distanced photo with Santa, sit by the fire pits they had set up, and even eat and drink some German classics. This is where the idea for Liquid Holiday Spirit originated. Except, their version was instant hot chocolate in a paper cup with a not so generous pouring of peppermint schnapps. I decided I can do better than that! It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice, Festivus (RIP Jerry Stiller), or Divali, the Hindu festival of lights that starts on the 13th day of the dark half of the month of Ashwin, people across the world and across cultural beliefs all can find some way to have some holiday spirit!

How to make Liquid Holiday Spirit

Place the milk, cocoa powder, and sugar into a saucepan and simmer over low medium heat. You don’t want to scorch the milk! You could use 2%, 1%, or skim milk, but 2020 has been a heck of a year so why not just do the whole dang milk.

Measure out one and a half ounces of peppermint schnapps and pour into the bottom of a large mug (read; not a paper cup, 2020 has been a rough year but doesn’t mean we can’t still be classy!).

Between stirrings of your hot chocolate on the stove and measuring out the peppermint schnapps, carefully unwrap the plastic from your candy cane. I don’t know how this candy has become such a holiday classic amongst kids and adults alike, unwrapping it for the purpose of the photo for this blog was probably the first time I’ve ever unwrapped a candy cane without breaking it. I’m not joking when I say I actually looked up a YouTube video of how to open a candy cane wrapper without breaking it.

Once the hot chocolate is fully mixed and piping hot, pour into the mug. Garnish with whipped cream on top, some sprinkles, and your candy cane which is hopefully still in one piece. This should make 4 servings of hot chocolate, so you’re either going to sleep really good at night or break quarantine and have some people over to celebrate the holiday with you.


There’s really no official tips for this drink, it’s pretty simple. The tips are more about what you can do while drinking liquid holiday spirit.

  • Listen to Bing Crosby go pa-rump pum pum pum on his drum
  • See if you can get your voice as low as Thurl Ravenscroft
  • Participate in a lively debate on whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie
  • Watch Randy Quaid empty his commode
  • Try to figure out what figgy pudding actually is
  • See if you can remember what the 12 things your true love gave you on the 12 days of Christmas
red mug with hot chocolate, whipped cream, and a candy cane in it

Liquid Holiday Spirit

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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Happy Hour
Keyword: Happy hour
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Servings: 4 drinks


  • 4 cups milk preferably whole
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
  • 1 1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps
  • 1 candy cane for garnish
  • Whipped cream and sprinkles for garnish


  • Place milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until warm (but not boiling). Add chocolate chips and whisk constantly until the chocolate chips melt and distribute evenly into the milk.
  • Once the hot chocolate is done pour it into a mug
  • Pour into t mug the peppermint schnapps, garnish with the candy cane, whipped cream, and sprinkles.

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