Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

It’s cooling off out there and this spiked hot chocolate with bourbon and Grand Marnier is just what you need for your holiday get-togethers.

Hey there, UDH readers! We’re Pam and Sara from Biscuits & Burlap, popping in to give you a little food inspiration to go with your DIY projects. This is our third time contributing to the Ugly Duckling House and want to thank y’all for welcoming us with open arms. Sarah introduced us a couple months ago with a round up of our readers’ favorite recipes and we followed it up with a couple recipes just for y’all including a Limoncello Cucumber Cocktail and an Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

With the cold months quickly closing in on us, what you need is a spiked hot chocolate to warm you up after trick-or-treating, during chilly tailgate parties, and at holiday gatherings.

spiked hot chocolate with bourbon and grand marnier

The key to a great hot chocolate is starting with whole milk. If you must lighten it up, you could substitute 2% but don’t go any lighter than that and please don’t use water. This is your chance to indulge!

Using brown sugar adds to the richness of this recipe and the bourbon? Well, liquor just makes everything better.

spiked hot chocolate with bourbon and grand marnier

Start off with your milk in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the cocoa, brown sugar and salt until dissolved. Last, stir in the bourbon and Grand Marnier and ladle into mugs. Top with whipped cream and garnish with mini chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, or a sprinkle of cocoa and orange zest and you have a yummy spiked hot chocolate!


Spiked Hot Chocolate with Bourbon and Grand Marnier

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3 from 2 reviews

This spiked hot chocolate with bourbon and Grand Marnier is just what you need for your fall and winter holiday get-togethers

  • Author: Biscuits & Burlap
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • whipped cream
  • mini chocolate chips, chocolate syrup or orange zest, for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Add bourbon and Grand Marnier.
  4. Pour into mug and top with whipped cream and desired garnish.

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  1. Please take this with a grain of salt, and be open to the feedback. I have to be honest here, and it wouldn’t be a blog without honest feedback, both the good and the bad. I’m not a fan of this installment or partnership. This is not a recipe and feels very much just like filler advertisement. Its been very disappointing as a long time reader to see your content dwindle as much as it has. It feels mostly like sponsored posts or fillers. I miss finding that inspiration from the blog, and hope to see it return!

    1. Love the honesty, Lynn, even when it’s criticism. I agree with you that a blog should be open to feedback. I have seen your comments before and know you’ve been around a while, so that matters to me that something is bugging ya. These decisions on “what’s best for my readers” vs “what’s best for me” vs “what’s best for my blog” can get really complex, and I don’t blame you for having an opinion on it. I don’t mean this to be long-winded but we all know I do that REGARDLESS, so I hope this at least gives you some point of view from where I’m at and that I’m putting SO MUCH thought into these things, and I’m constantly trying to make this blog the best it can be:

      1) This post wasn’t sponsored (but see item #2 about posts that are). This post was a guest post written by my friends Pam and Sara from a blog called Biscuits and Burlap, who write a food blog and are kind of new to the blogging thing. I have asked a small number of my blog friends (who are smallish and still trying to get their name out there) to contribute once a month to share their recipes or projects. One recipe guest post, one DIY guest post per month (from two diff blogs). NONE of these will be sponsored. I chose to add these contributors for a number of reasons I listed here, so the intros I wrote and their posts are pretty new and have happened recently, so that might seem like a lot of posts all about them, but that will seem like fewer going forward now that the introductions are done (I didn’t want to just throw them at ya without explaining where they came from and why! That would be weird, like finding someone else’s shorts in your laundry). I get that the transition has been unusual since I’ve never had contributors before, but I hope to make it fun for everyone involved, because I really do like these people and hope to help them grow their blogs, not to mention it brings in something new to my site. After seven years of writing about the same subjects, sometimes it’s fun to inject a different POV to refresh my own creativity, and blogs like Pretty Handy Girl have shown me that working with contributors can really create a win-win situation, so I wanted to try it: new content, fresh ideas, me having more opportunities to grow in different ways, etc. I have only just started cooking myself, so because the food posts would be so few and far between from me for a whole new category, I asked them if they’d contribute some to help fill in that category some more (so yes, it’s *kind of* filling in content, but not intended to be anything more than just another fun food post). I’m sorry you didn’t like this particular recipe, but when Pam and Sara suggested making boozy cocktails for my blog, my thoughts were pretty much THAT SOUNDS AMAZING AND I WOULD LOVE TO LEARN MIXOLOGY, because I personally want to try mixing these myself, and their photography is heads and tails above mine when it comes to food shots, so I find that alone to be inspiring for when I do my own. I’m not sure if it’s just that they’re posting and you’re not crazy about recipes or a guest blogger, or if you thought their mentioning a specific brand of alcohol that you thought might be sponsored, but that’s not the case. I do get where you’re coming from with it being so new, so I hope that brings a little insight into specifically them and why I chose them; I personally love Pam and Sara and they are SUCH nice people, so I hope you give them a chance. Think of it like me inviting a friend over to talk about what she’s been working on recently. :)

      2) Overall (outside of this post, since you mentioned other sponsored posts), I get that sponsorship can seem weird or ill-fitting; sponsored posts can automatically seem forced just BECAUSE they’re sponsored and all that obnoxious disclosure. For the first five years of this blog’s life, I was working full time AND blogging, two full-time jobs — I’m happy and grateful that the blog grew enough to support me, but I still have no staff to handle the backend. I’m always learning new things to do that side better so I can create more content and still comply with all the rules that now exist and keep sponsors happy for long-term relationships. Recently, my partnered posts (where I’m working with a brand in ANY particular way) increased during the summer/fall, which I addressed here. The reason was mainly wanting to fund the large shed project and the future deck build in 2018 in advance, which is going to cost a crapton of money but should also be so EPICALLY awesome to learn how to build that I’m genuinely excited for it. I pay for my living and operating expenses with ad revenue, but since that’s not enough to pay for it all, sponsored posts pay for project budgets.

      There are a number of different things that factor into whether I accept a sponsor. The first, of course, is whether I think it will be fun/creative enough for myself to actually do AND for readers. The second is if I happen to be doing a project ANYway and a sponsor comes along in the same category (which strangely happened this year a few times, such as when I already have hydrangeas from the same company who then wanted me to do another project using their plants). I’m open to getting them involved because it’s still something I was already doing and helps pay for the project AND the next project. The downside is that the required legal disclosures can make it seem more forced even though it was organic all along, and that’s always a struggle for any blogger to comply with rules and still write how we want to and keep a nice balance (after all, I talk about products I use whether it’s sponsored or not). Unlike most full-time jobs where you earn your living and move on with your day, HOW I earn my money through the blog is required disclosure by law, especially as of late. Every post, whether it’s a free pencil or a paycheck, requires a disclosure if you’re earning from it in some way (and “in some way” is where gray areas begin and can get you in trouble).


      So, all of that to say that I hear you and have the same goal with every post, every month, every change: making great content. Trying new things realizing what worked and what didn’t is scary, but it teaches too, so thank you for the feedback. I think there are a few things I could do better with sponsors, so I’ll work on those going forward. But things like decorating for fall, the fire pit, putting in the cement slab for the trash, the cross stitch, taking out the chain link fence, adding hedges, gravel, mulching, adding crown in the bathroom, personal/life updates, the upcoming shed, and more don’t feel like “filler” content to me; that all feels pretty consistent from 2010 to 2013 to now. I’m not moving on to the next house for another couple of years, so something like a new kitchen remodel could only happen the one time for now, but there’s still lots more to do until then (like the guest bedroom makeover, which I’m starting on this winter once it’s too cold to work on the shed outside). Thanks so much for your comment and thanks for sticking around. I really do love seeing your comments on the blog. Feel free to email me separately with more info (sarah @ ugly duckling house . com) if you want to talk more! <3

      1. Well said, Sarah. What a balancing act! DIY blogging is a peculiar kind of beast. Not only is there content creation, site maintenance, photography, social media, sponsor relations, and reader interaction, but somewhere in there, physical project work actually has to get done. It’s all chewing away at time, energy, and money. It’s just unsustainable to blog without revenue streams to keep offering readers free content. Readers may not realize how many sponsorship opportunities quality bloggers filter out because products don’t fit, are nonsense, or simply come from scumbags. I think you balance it better than most, better than I do for sure. I think it’s fine to add guest posts to expand audience and take a little pressure off. I honestly don’t know how you generate great content as often as you do.

        1. Thanks for chiming in, John! Means a lot to hear that come from you. And can I add that I am still SO JEALOUS that you went to that Dewalt event earlier this year, ha! I love their tools and can’t wait to share some of the skills I learned at STIHL (seems like something that would be totally up your alley). Look for that in the spring!

  2. Woe, this post is making me salivate. I wanna go home now and make this recipe. Thank you

  3. I love making this in cold weather. Ran across your blog when I was looking to see if anyone else had a penchant for bourbon, hot cocoa and grand manier! Enjoyed the post.

    1. Glad you stopped by, Chandra! This is definitely a booze-friendly blog ?. I only just recently started sharing recipes, but lots of family recipes and cocktails are on the way!