With the heat of summer in full swing, I thought it would be fun to share these Frozen Hot Chocolate drinks, a recipe that both the adults and kids can enjoy. This is a riff on the famous treat created by New York’s Serendipity.
The frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity is a childhood favorite of native New Yorkers and visitors alike. The refreshing, icy, chocolatey, frozen concoction is the perfect antidote for steamy, humid summer days. I love that you don’t have to worry about getting all the ice chopped to perfection – just enough to give you chunky pieces. Be sure to blend the chocolate mixture long enough to fully dissolve the cocoa powder!
Serendipity serves their frozen hot chocolate in a large, round footed bowl with two or more straws to make it easy to share between friends. I decided to make mine more portable and into single servings, but you can make them any way you like!
You can make an adult version of this frozen hot chocolate with vodka – very refreshing and indulgent on hot days – or use half and half for a non-alcoholic version. They are both delicious and popular with everyone in your crowd. You can easily make up both versions, just be sure they are well marked to indicate which is the boozy version!
If you are making the adult version, you can use as much or as little vodka as you like. In the heat I prefer a lighter cocktail.
I love that you can get this mostly made ahead and have it ready for a quick spin in the blender before serving. Anything that gives me less to do on the day of a party is a great thing! Just be sure to blend the chocolate mixture long enough to be certain the cocoa is fully dissolved. This takes longer than normal because when adding to a cold liquid, it is harder for ingredients to “melt” and become smooth.
This frozen hot chocolate is like a cross between an egg cream and a milkshake with chunks of ice in it. A little smooth, a little crunchy, pleasingly light, beautifully chocolatey, and totally satisfying.
Why do I need a strong blender?
When you are trying to chop ice, you need a strong blade and motor. If you’ll be making these frozen hot chocolate drinks or smoothies and other blended mixes regularly, I recommend a Vitamix. If you have an ordinary blender, buy a bag of crushed ice and your machine won’t have to work as hard.
Be sure you use unsweetened cocoa powder and not a hot cocoa mix in this recipe. Unsweetened cocoa will give you a much stronger chocolate flavor and just the right amount of sweetness with the added sugar.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Half and Half
- Vodka (optional)
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate syrup
- Crushed ice
- Whipped cream (optional)
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe
Other Chocolate Recipes You May Enjoy
- Chocolate Martinis
- Mint Julep Sundae with Chocolate Bourbon Sauce
- Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundaes
- Fresh Cherry and Chocolate Chip Sundaes
- Chocolate Caramel Sundae Sauce
Enjoy these Frozen Hot Chocolate drinks, perfect for hot summer days. Have a wonderful week ahead and happy Chocolate Monday!
Be sure to check labels and if you have any question, contact the manufacturer. Be sure to use a potato-based vodka such as Chopin’s Potato Vodka.
Frozen Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups half and half
- 3 oz vodka,* such as Chopin Potato Vodka for an adult version (or leave out for non-alcoholic version)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp chocolate syrup (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or pure extract
- 3 cups crushed ice
- Chocolate syrup (gluten-free if needed)
- Whipped cream
- Make the Frozen Hot Chocolate: In the container of a large, heavy-duty blender, combine the half and half, vodka* (if using), cocoa, sugar, chocolate syrup, and vanilla. Pulse to blend the mixture, scraping down the
sides occasionally. Add the crushed ice to the blender and blend on High until just combined and fairly smooth. This is supposed to be a little crunchy with bits of ice in it, not thick and creamy like a milkshake.
- To Serve: Pour a little chocolate syrup around the inside of 2 chilled tall glasses or soda fountain glasses. Garnish with freshly whipped sweetened cream and drizzle the top with chocolate syrup if desired. Tuck a fresh mint sprig on one side and serve immediately with a straw and/or spoon.
*This amount of vodka is the equivalent of 2 jiggers, 1 jigger per serving. You can reduce this or leave it
out if you prefer.
The base mixture (everything except the ice and toppings) can be made in advance and held a couple of days in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, add the ice, blend together, pour into glasses, garnish and serve immediately.
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Originally published in 2016 and updated in July 2019.