Please can we talk about Christmas now?

I know that it’s not quite December yet and I haven’t even cracked out my winter coat yet but I don’t think it’s ever too early to get into the holiday spirit.

And by holiday spirit, I mean homicidal urges and a hatred for all of humanity.

Christmas is a really special time isn’t it?

This weekend I started my Christmas shopping in earnest.  Saturday morning found me and my mother wondering around Forever 21 on Oxford Street looking dazed and confused as we attempted to find some clothes that a 12 year old would deem acceptable.  I had planned to continue with my mission and hit a few other shops but there were just people.  Everywhere.  Walking so slowly.  Getting in my way.  Queuing at the tills I wanted to use.  How dare they!

Within about ten minutes, I knew it was a bad idea.  I could feel myself getting all hot and flustered and my blood pressure was spiralling dangerously out of control.  It just all become too much for me and before I knew it, I was abandoning my shopping basket in the middle of the store and fleeing as fast as I could, throwing old ladies aside as I raced for the exit (I didn’t really, I promise).

After spending the rest of Saturday lying down in a darkened room, I was determined to conquer my foe the following day.

And conquer it a jolly well did, if the sound of weeping from my credit card this morning is anything to go by.   Two hours later, I had crossed off most of my list and had even managed to sort out presents for some of the more difficult of my acquaintances.

Oh and I accidentally purchased some sparkly shoes too.  No idea how that happened.

All of that shopping really took it out of me though.  My boyfriend was working all day so I had to actually carry all the bags myself!  The horror!  It was very fortunate therefore that I had all the ingredients on hand for a restorative alcohol-laden hot chocolate.  I think these should be a compulsory part of the Christmas shopping experience.

The hot chocolate itself is very simple.  Heat your milk until just about boiling, add some dark chocolate and stir it until melted.  Add sugar to taste and you have a fairly decent drink.  What elevates this hot chocolate though is a generous punch of salt, a good glug of caramel vodka and a spoonful of double cream at the end.    Top with some more cream, obviously, and a grating of chocolate and get ready to drink away your holiday stresses.

I’m just working out how many more Christmas shopping trips I can justify this year…


Salted caramel vodka hot chocolate

Yield: Makes 1 giant cup or 2 normal sized cups


  • 400ml milk
  • 80g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • Generous pinch sea salt
  • 25ml caramel vodka (or any flavoured spirit of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp double/heavy cream

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan on the stove until it’s just about to boil.
  2. Take it off the heat and add the chocolate and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture has thickened. The smaller your chocolate, the easier this will be. Add more salt to taste.
  3. When all the chocolate has melted, stir in the vodka and the double cream.
  4. Pour into mugs, top with some whipped cream if you want and enjoy.

UPDATED:  So many people have asked about the mug and grater that I thought I’d put the answer in the post.  They’re part of a set from Marks and Spencer, a UK department store.  They are available online although delivery is only to the UK so if you’re overseas, you might need to find a friendly British person!

    54 Responses to "salted caramel vodka hot chocolate"
    1. Woah. I have toffee vodka in the fridge AND it’s a Monday. I think that means I’m making this when I get home!

      P.S. I love your sparkly shoes :) I have some red ones, because I want to be Dorothy a little bit…

    2. london bakes says:

      @Julia – I think the fact it is monday is an excellent reason to have one!

      The only thing better than my sparkly shoes would be if they were in red! Who doesn’t want to be Dorothy?

    3. caramel
      hot chocolate

      3 fave things right there!

      this looks great but I am still thinking about those cookies of yours from last week…seriously want one!

    4. Yessss! This is a cup of holiday therapy I will certainly be getting down with. And that mug… adorbs!

    5. london bakes says:

      @Averie – Just wait until you see what my next version of those cookies is going to be ;)

      @Ashley – It is ridiculously cute isn’t it? I’m going to be using it for all my holiday drinking I think!

    6. Asmita says:

      OMG, this is so over the top and fabulous!

    7. Jen says:

      first off, the mug is adorable.

      Second, this hot chocolate. my god. Nothing spells the courage to be able to Christmas shop like warm milk, dark chocolate and vodka.

      Maybe now a yearly (or weekly) tradition ?

    8. Two things: Oh my do I remember Oxford Street this time of year. You are my hero for braving it twice in a weekend!

      And where on earth did you get that mug? I want it!!

      Plus a mug of this beautiful hot chocolate drink in it. Must find caramel vodka stat. I would use Mexican chocolate for it.. but that’s cus I gotta add a little Tex Mexican flair to everything I do.

      Oh – speaking of Texas – I was mentioning you to my husband and the fact that you were Christmas shopping on Oxford Street (to which he groaned very loudly) and then he said, “Hey, she should go to Bodean’s!”. So there you have it, missus. The next time you find yourself near Regent Street, search out Bodean’s Barbecue. AH-Mazing food. Perfect spot for a break from shopping. It’s on Poland Street.

    9. london bakes says:

      @Asmita – Thank you! I think it’s the essence of the holidays ;)

      @Jen – I’m definitely not going to save this as an annual event. I might even have another one tonight…

      @Amber – Hehe, the mug is actually from Marks and Spencer. It came with the little grater. I want to drink everything out of it! Mexican chocolate would be amazing too or any kind of flavoured chocolate that’s not too sweet.

      I have walked past Bodean’s I think but never actually gone in there. I’m always looking for good barbecue though so I will have to try it next time which, I fear, will be next weekend…

    10. Mal says:

      Yum, this sounds absolutely delish!

    11. Holy smokes, get me some of this—quick!

    12. london bakes says:

      @Mal – It really was plus it made the whole flat smell *amazing*

      @Rachel – I think I just need an IV drip full of this and I’m good to go.

    13. Elaina says:

      Ohhhh the pain of Oxford Street Christmas Shopping…although the atmosphere is something I had never experienced before other than London, I am quite content on not plotting random murders whilst trying to buy pressies this year ;) LOL Glad you made it out safe and glad you were able to enjoy such a wonderful afternoon with your gorgeous cup of hot chocolate! Might have to introduce this one to my holiday recipe collection :) x

    14. london bakes says:

      @Elaina – It wouldn’t be Christmas without the madness of Oxford Street…

      Let me know if you make it & if you like it! x

    15. Haha just about laughed out loud throughout reading this whole thing… well done on the shopping. ;)

    16. oh wow! never heard of anything like it! i’m gonna have to try this over the holidays this year!

    17. oh my goodness! I want one now (it is eve but Id still say that even if I was reading this at 5am!).
      Its so exciting commenting on a UK blog because it means you might actually have a vague idea what I am talking about when I mention stuff like Horlicks. Horlicks yes? Okay – well. Horlicks and Baileys! seriously Horlicks and Baileys – you need to get involved.
      Its been my comfort drink for like 7 years and is insane good. Not as classy as yours by a long shot – but good for immediate comfort hits! xx

    18. Patricia says:

      We are about to embark on Thanksgiving here in the US but yes let’s talk Christmas!! I just LOVE your little grater – and the hot choccy sounds divine. Thanks!!

    19. london bakes says:

      @themoveablefeasts – You either have to laugh or cry when it comes to Christmas shopping…

      @Oh Sweet Escape – I hope you like it! Let me know how you get on :)

      @Em – I do indeed know what you mean by Horlicks. I never would have thought of putting it together with Baileys but it’s an interesting concept. I will have to investigate!

      @Patricia – I don’t think you need to wait for Christmas to drink it, Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse too ;) I’m so glad you like it!

    20. Anonymous says:

      This looks so good! This would be a great holiday drink..but a drink for every day is even better!

    21. madhu says:

      This post made me laugh! I am smitten with that tiny grater right there too! :-)

    22. starleigh says:

      This looks delicious, but more importantly, where can I get that mug??

    23. Either thats a HUGE mug or thats a teeny tiny grater!

    24. This looks like the perfect Christmas shopping de-stresser – and I love anything with salted caramel in. The little mini grater is so cute too…*love*

    25. london bakes says:

      @Anon – I am a big advocate of drinking special drinks every day!

      @madhu – Isn’t the grater the cutest thing ever?!

      @Starleigh – Are you in the UK? If so, it’s from Marks and Spencer. It’s about £10 for the mug and grater in their Christmas gift section.

      @Lauren – A bit of both ;)

      @thelittleloaf – I love it too. I just want to grate everything I can now!

    26. Amee says:

      Ah – we can talk about it now then? I love christmas soooooo much, and vodka but not as much! I can see myself dining that in the near future, it is the adult marshmallow of the hot chocolate world.

      Cute shoes :)

    27. adorable. So so adorable. And can I drink this at work?

    28. Oh my gosh, that looks like fantastic hot chocolate! Plus, it definitely seems to be a good way to unwind after some Christmas shopping. Definitely the most stressful part of the holidays.

    29. london bakes says:

      @Amee – I have decreed that we can talk about it, therefore it is so!

      @Lindsay – Yes, I think hot chocolate is a perfectly appropriate vehicle for daytime drinking.

      @Emilia – Isn’t it just?! This definitely was the perfect therapy though.

    30. Stephanie says:

      Where did you get that mug? I need it! Also, I can’t wait to try this recipe. Sounds wonderful.

    31. london bakes says:

      @Stephanie – It’s from a UK department store called Marks and Spencer. I’ll put the link in the post. The mug and grater came as a set!

    32. Dizzy Lizzie says:

      You have outdone yourself with the photography for this post. Looks really warm and inviting.

    33. london bakes says:

      @Lizzie – That’s such a lovely thing to say, thank you!

    34. Allison says:

      What a great blog you have! I just stumbled upon it. Question – where did you get that great coffee mug?! I would love to get one like that. Did you order it online? So great!

      Happy Baking!

    35. london bakes says:

      @Allison – Thanks very much! I’ve put the link to where I bought the mug in the post. At the moment, it’s only available for delivery in the UK.

    36. Anonymous says:

      nice post!
      hey, i think the mug is out of stock. its not even available to add to cart
      boohoo lol

    37. london bakes says:

      @Melissa – Thank you!

      @Anon – Boo, I’ve just seen that it’s out of stock too :( Hopefully it will come back into stock soon. I noticed it was in the TV advert for M&S recently so it’s obviously popular!

    38. Emil says:

      Looks like the perfect hot chocolate for me. :-)

    39. Honey says:

      this looks amazinggggggggggg. i’m so tempted to make it tomorrow for lunch, but knowing me i’ll pass out during my working hours.

    40. Laurie says:

      I love the mug! Where can it be purchased from?

    41. london bakes says:

      @Laurie – I bought it from a UK store called Marks & Spencer last Christmas. I haven’t seen it this year but you can usually find similar mugs on ebay. Hope that helps :)

    42. Trish says:

      I have been searching the Marks and Spencer website hoping to find the mug, no luck there. The shape and larger capacity appeal to me and the words are adorable too. Now I’m feeling obsessed about finding it.
      I shopped M&S on trips to the UK, now I’m prevailing on friends there to help me find it. Any suggestions other than eBay?

      • kathryn says:

        I’m really sorry Trish – I bought it two years ago and haven’t seen it there this year. They do have a really adorable mug that looks like a woolly jumper and is a similar size. Otherwise, your best bet is probably ebay I’m afraid.

    43. Natalia says:

      Hi Kathryn!
      We loved this recipe so much that we posted it on our blog.
      Check it out:
      You’re #38

      Thanks for the amazing recipes.


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