The 'Hot Choklat' - a Winter Warmer

This is the 'Hot Choklat', a beer cocktail I created a while back that will finally be making its debut this Saturday at Brewing up Cocktails: Winter Holiday Special Edition at The Hop & Vine. I truly believe this is one of those drinks with crossover appeal to both beer lovers and cocktail lovers. It is incredibly approachable, deceptively simple, and, most uniquely, is served steaming hot.

Photo from Beer Street Journal

This cocktail has a high proportion of beer, and you may have guessed which beer based on the name--Southern Tier's Choklat, one of the finest dessert beers ever made. If you have not experienced it, the beer is sort of like drinking big, rich, highly alcoholic liquid dark chocolate. When you merely pop the cap on a bottle of this beer you can immediately smell the aroma of dark chocolate brownies in the air. I assumed - correctly - that this may be even better served hot.

That brings me to one of my favorite kinds of drinks during the cold winter months--hot cocktails, or even hot beer. Who does not enjoy a hot chocolate, coffee, hot toddy, hot buttered rum, or even a spiced heated egg nog? Well, it turns out most beer cocktails back in the olden days were actually served hot and often with spices. Drinks were much like a hearty warming meal or beverage to ward off the cold in times when homes did not have a central heating unit.

Photo from Liquor Digest
Back to the 'Hot Choklat' - The cocktail begins with some fine dark rum. The sugar cane and rich molasses of this spirit provide a tasty warmth. It's then followed by a touch of Galliano Ristretto, which is an amazing liqueur currently experiencing a resurgence. As you might expect, it is a coffee-based spirit, but more than a few steps of quality above Kahlua. It is known for its intense espresso flavor and touch of chocolate sweetness, and is so strong we only need a small amount to give the drink the complexity of espresso. Next we slowly heat up the beer. It is key to do this slowly and without any extreme temperatures because it is easy to scald the beer. If done properly it is like fresh baked hot chocolate and mixes beautifully as we top off the mug. Finally we add a thin layer of unsweetened hand-whipped cream to give it extra creamy frothiness. We will also offer a dash of cayenne powder if you desire more of a Mexican Hot Choklat.

Try this drink one time only this Saturday, December 10th, from 6-9pm at The Hop & Vine - 1914 N. Killingsworth Portland, OR


  1. I'm in Salem and can't make the event, but I DO happen to have a 22oz bottle of Choklat ensconced in my beer cellar looking for an good excuse to be consumed! I think this may fit the bill.

    Any chance you'd share the actual proportions of the Choklat, rum & Galliano so we could mix it up here at home? Love to try it.


  2. Outstanding...I am with Unknown, could you pass along how much of each ingredient is required?

  3. Yes, this is amazing. I would very much like to try this myself, but have zero intent on traveling 3000+ miles to do so :(

  4. I am on the East Coast but sure would like to know the drink portions !


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