Meet your new warm-me-up treat, rose hot chocolate. A velvety hot chocolate with a lovely floral uplift from rose water. It's your favorite winter beverage but with a dash of fancy.
Top with some whipped cream, a few dried rose petals and you’ve got a mug of rose-kissed comfort. Quick to make. Delightful to sip.
Why you'll love this recipe
This hot cocoa is perfect for sweater weather. I can have it every single day (if waistline weren't a worry) and I'm certain you'll feel the same.
It's not just a beverage – it's a warm comforting hug that's great for unwinding, celebrating special moments or just pampering yourself.
Think of it as a delightful cross between your classic hot cocoa and a fragrant rose flavored tea – but it surpasses both!
I also add teeny tiny bit of instant coffee or espresso to intensify that chocolatey goodness.
Here are some helpful notes on ingredients you'll need. See the recipe card below for exact quantities.
- Milk – use whole milk for a creamy rich base. You can use low fat milk but your drink won't be the same. When feeling indulgent, you can use half and half.
- Chocolate – use semi sweet chocolate chips. Or a chocolate baking bar (break it up into pieces and measure by weight).
- Rose water – you can find it in Middle Eastern, Pakistani, Persian and Indian grocery stores. And the international aisle of some supermarkets and likely on Amazon. Ensure it's food-grade. Rose water is inexpensive, has a long shelf life and adds a delightful floral note to mocktails, cocktails and lemonades. I love it in my melon milk recipe.
- Vanilla extract – real extract is the best but artificial extract (aka essence) will work too.
- Instant coffee or espresso powder – to amplify the chocolate flavor. Although these two are not the same thing – you can use either.
- Sugar (optional) – the need for sugar depends on your preference and the sweetness of the chocolate you're using. Taste your drink before you add any.
- Dried rose petals (for topping) – while optional, these make for a lovely, visually appealing topping. You'll find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores or online. Ensure the petals are food-grade and free from any additives and pesticides.
- Whipped cream (optional) – for a creamy luxurious topping.
How to make rose hot chocolate
Follow these simple, photo-assisted instructions to prepare this rose-flavored hot cocoa. Check out recipe card below for a printable version that has quantities, instructions and notes in one place.
Step 1: Put milk in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir until it's hot, not boiling.
Step 2: Next turn down the heat to low and add chocolate chips.
Step 3: Also add rose water, vanilla extract and instant coffee/espresso. Stir until all the chocolate melts and the mixture looks smooth. Using a whisk will make it quicker, easier.
Step 4: Taste for sugar (be careful – it'll be hot), add some if needed. If the consistency looks too thin, simmer little longer. If too thick, add some milk. Remove from heat and pour into a cup. Top with whipped cream plus a sprinkle of some hand-crumbled dried rose petals. Serve.
- Unbalanced rose flavor: Rose water comes in varying flavor strengths. Always start with a smaller amount than recommended in recipe. If the taste in your drink is too subtle, add a bit more. If too strong, dilute by adding more milk and chocolate.
- Too thick consistency: Pour in some milk, but do so gradually so you don't thin out too much. Remember that it will thicken as it cools so adjust accordingly.
- Chocolate clumps: When adding chocolate, make sure to stir continuously until completely melted. Use a heat-resistant whisk for easier mixing.
- More or less sweet: The sweetness will depend on the sugar content in the chocolate you're using. Taste the beverage before serving. If too sweet, add some milk, if less, put sugar.
- Burnt taste: Heating milk at high temperature can cause it to scorch. Heat over medium-low heat and stir continuously. If the milk sticks to the bottom of the saucepan you won't be able to salvage the taste, so best to start over.
Substitutions and variations
- Rose water substitute: You can easily substitute rose water with food-grade rose extract/essence. For each tablespoon of rose water, use just 6 to 8 drops. A little goes a long way.
- Chocolate choices: While the recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips, you can experiment with dark or milk chocolate. I avoid cocoa powder – it affects the drink's texture negatively.
- Milk alternatives: If you prefer a non-dairy option, substitute whole milk with almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk or soy milk. These will affect the creaminess and overall flavor.
- Sweeteners: Sugar is optional in the recipe, but if there's a need to use sweetener, you can also opt for honey, maple syrup or agave nectar. Remember – each of these will impart a unique flavor.
- Alcoholic variations: For an adults-only version, add a splash of your favorite liqueur such as amaretto, Irish cream or hazelnut liqueur. Remember to enjoy responsibly.
What to serve it with
- Mini marshmallows – add a few on top for that classic touch.
- Shortbread cookies – their buttery and crumbly texture offers a delightful contrast.
- Savory pastries – the pairing of sweet and savory can be surprisingly good.
- Biscotti – dunk these into your hot cocoa.
- Muffins – always a great accompaniment to hot beverages.
- Croissants – the French-style of enjoying this treat.
Storage and reheating
- Storage: Cool your drink, then transfer to an airtight container (or cover the cup with plastic/cling wrap) and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Don't worry if it separates as it will be fine again when reheated.
- Reheating: Use a microwave-safe cup and microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir after each spurt. If reheating on stovetop, use a saucepan over low heat and stir constantly. Add a little milk (in both methods) to get back the right consistency.
Just so you know
- You can also prepare a single serving of this drink in the microwave. First in a microwave-safe mug, heat the milk for 90 seconds, split into three 30-second spurts. Stir between each. Then add chocolate chips, rose water, vanilla extract and instant coffee/espresso. Stir until the chocolate melts. Then microwave again for 30 seconds, stir, taste and adjust the sugar (if needed). Be cautious when tasting, it will be very hot. Keep a close eye when using microwave to prevent spills.
- Making more than the default quantity of this recipe? Use the "+" sign on the recipe card below to increase the servings. The ingredient quantities will adjust automatically.
- 1 cup (237 ml) whole milk
- ¼ cup (45 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips - or chocolate baking bar
- 1 tablespoon rose water - (Note A)
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon instant coffee - or espresso powder
- sugar to taste - optional (Note B)
- few dried rose petals - optional, for topping
- whipped cream - optional, for topping
- Pour milk into a saucepan, put on medium-low heat and keep stirring until it gets hot, not boiling.
- Then reduce the heat to low. Add chocolate, rose water, vanilla extract and instant coffee/espresso. Stir until the chocolate gets melted and the mixture looks smooth. Using a whisk will make it quicker, easier.
- Taste for sugar (be cautious – it'll be hot) and add some if needed.
- If the consistency looks too thin, simmer little longer. If too thick, add a little milk and stir again.
- Remove from heat and pour into a cup. Top with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of some hand-crumbled dried rose petals. Enjoy!
- Step-by-step photo instructions
- Recipe troubleshooting
- Substitutions and variations (full list)
- Serving ideas
The nutritional information provided here is calculated using a third-party nutrition calculator. These values are estimates, and we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed numbers. Please see our disclaimer page.