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Homemade Chocolate Liqueur Recipe

This is an old family recipe for a homemade chocolate liqueur made with cocoa powder. You can try to make this recipe before the holidays and use it as a great edible gift for family and friends. It does not require expensive ingredients either.

Chocolate liqueur in three glasses on table0

What is a chocolate liqueur?

Chocolate liqueur is a sweet and rich alcoholic beverage that has a chocolate flavor.

It is typically made by mixing cocoa powder or chocolate with a base spirit such as vodka, rum, or brandy and sweetened with sugar syrup.

Some recipes may also include cream or milk to give the liqueur a creamy texture.

The time it takes to make chocolate liqueur will depend on the recipe. Some recipes can be made in just a few hours, while others may take several weeks or even months to fully develop the flavors. 

It is important to note that the longer the liqueur is allowed to age, the smoother and more complex the flavor will become.

This recipe is part of my small family recipe collection. It comes from my dad’s part of the family, and it must be at least 60-70 years old, if not older than that.

It is an interesting and unique recipe as it is not made with dairy, like most recipes I saw out there. While I never tasted this liqueur as a child, I do remember my family making their own chocolate liqueur in the kitchen. It was considered a special treat.


Please notice that I wrote liqueur and not liquor. You might ask, what’s the difference between chocolate liquor and chocolate liqueur? The two are often pronounced the same, but they are not the same thing.

What is chocolate liquor?

Chocolate liquor (also known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass) is a pure chocolate product that is made by grinding roasted cocoa beans into a smooth liquid.

Chocolate liquor liquid0

It is the basis for all chocolate products and is made from 100% cocoa solids, without any added sugar or other ingredients.

Chocolate liquor is used as the main ingredient in the production of chocolate bars, chocolate confections, and other chocolate products.

It is also used in the production of cocoa powder and cacao butter, which are key ingredients in the baking and confectionery industries.

Cocoa powder chocolate cocoa nibs photo0
Cacao nibs, cocoa powder, chocolate

Why does this recipe work?

  • My recipe is dairy free: So many cocoa/chocolate liqueur recipes out there carry whole milk or cream among the ingredients. I like these recipes too, but I found the dairy to be a little bit too heavy for my taste. However, it is possible to make chocolate liqueur without dairy by using a dairy-free alternative such as almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk instead of cream. There are many vegan-friendly recipes available online that can guide you through the process.
  • This recipe is versatile: This recipe for homemade chocolate liqueur is worth making because it allows you to create a delicious and versatile drink that can be enjoyed on its own or used to enhance the flavor of cocktails and desserts.
  • Homemade is better tasting: By making the liqueur at home, you have complete control over the quality of the ingredients and can customize the recipe to suit your taste preferences. For example, you can choose high-quality cocoa powder to create a rich chocolate flavor, and you can experiment with different types of alcohol to create a unique flavor profile.
  • Fun and rewarding experience: Making your own liqueur can be a fun and rewarding experience that allows you to experiment with new flavors and techniques. It can also be a great way to impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. This a perfect recipe to make when you have chocolate lovers in your family!

If you are thinking that you will be able to drink the liqueur right away, you are here for a big disappointment.

The liqueur needs to sit in a dark, cool place for about 14 days and has to be shaken every day.

What ingredients do you need for this chocolate liqueur?

  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Use high-quality cocoa powder for a rich chocolate flavor. Look for a raw, unsweetened cocoa powder that has a high percentage of cocoa solids. I like Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
  • Alcohol: I used vodka but consider using a combination of vodka and brandy or rum to add complexity to the flavor.
  • Salt: To enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla bean or real vanilla extract (optional): For a subtle flavor note and extra flavor.

How to make this chocolate liqueur:

Step 1. Mix the ingredients except for the alcohol.

Step 2. Cook the ingredients on the stove until the sugar and cocoa are dissolved, and you obtain a smooth chocolate syrup.

Step 3. Cool the syrup.

Step 4. Add the alcohol. 

Step 5. Pour the mixture into clean bottles with tight-fitting lids and store them in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. Shake the bottles every day.

Step 6. After two weeks, strain the liqueur through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any sediment. 

Return the chocolate liqueur to the clean bottles and store them in a cool, dark place for at least a month to allow the flavors to develop.


Many recipes out there use coffee filters to filter the chocolate liqueur.
I, personally, was not very successful with the paper filters, but I used cheesecloth, and that worked beautifully.
The liqueur is quite thick, so the coffee paper filters did not work for me.

If you plan to have it ready for the holidays, you need to start making it some time in advance so it has enough time to age properly.

Serve it very cold from the fridge, straight-up or over ice. It makes a woderful after dinner dessert drink.

Amazon Store Front Collage
Chocolate liqueur in a glass0

This homemade liqueur is definitely a keeper and a great gift idea.

Enjoy your homemade chocolate liqueur as an after-dinner drink or as a delicious addition to cocktails and desserts!

More recipes to love:

Cherry Flavored Drinks & Cocktails & Smoothies

Romanian Homemade Chocolate

How To Make An Easy Trifle Dessert

Turkish Coffee

Cocoa Walnuts Banana Bread Recipe

Easy Chocolate Truffles

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Chocolate liqueur in a glass square photo0

Homemade Chocolate Liqueur Recipe

This homemade chocolate liqueur recipe is an old family treasure that is made with cocoa powder. It makes a perfect gift for the holidays and is very inexpensive to make.
4.58 from 21 votes
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Course: Beverages
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: chocolate liqueur, easy recipes, homemade liqueur
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 20 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 156kcal


  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 7 tablespoons raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups alcohol such as vodka or a combination of vodka and brandy or rum
  • 1 Pinch of salt optional
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and cocoa powder. If using, add a pinch of salt and the vanilla bean or extract.
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the cocoa powder has thoroughly mixed with the water to create a smooth syrup.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the mixture thickens up slightly.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, stir in the alcohol and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into clean bottles with tight-fitting lids. Store the bottles in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks, shaking the bottles vigorously every day to ensure that the flavors are well combined.
  • After two weeks, strain the liqueur through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any sediment.
  • Transfer the liqueur to clean bottles with tight-fitting lids and store them in a cool, dark place for at least a month to allow the flavors to develop.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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Recipe Rating


Sunday 28th of November 2021

so you did sort of answer my question but can you give me a reason? I've never seen a recipe that couldn't be modified. is it because the sugar somehow binds it together

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 28th of November 2021

Hi Carol, Sorry for not answering your question thoroughly.

As a rule, to make simple syrup for liqueurs, you just need equal weights of water and sugar heated together. My recipe has a little bit more water than sugar, and it is not as sweet as other recipes I saw out there. (In the metric system, I use 500 grams sugar with 600 ml water instead of 500-500.)

Liqueurs, by default, are supposed to be sweet and my recipe has the correct ratio of sugar and water. The syrup cooked with the bitter cocoa powder gets thick and smooth. If you remove part of the sugar, you will definitely change the texture and the taste of the final drink. If you try, let me know, I would be curious to see what you come up with.


Sunday 28th of November 2021

can you use less sugar

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 28th of November 2021

I would not recommend it.

Yvette Ackbarri

Saturday 30th of October 2021

Aloha! My batch did not thicken up. Not sure if I didn't cook on stove top long enough. What can I add to thicken recipe? Cornstarch or evaporated milk maybe? Any suggestions to salvage recipe? Mahalo nui loa!

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 31st of October 2021

Hi, I am not sure what happened, but please do not add cornstarch or evaporated milk. This will ruin it completely. If you used the right amount of ingredients and also the alcohol, allow it to sit for a while and it should be good for drinking.

Theo Verhoeven

Sunday 11th of July 2021

Good morning Boss,

Can I use brown or white rum in this recipe.

Yours sincerely,

Theo Verhoeven The Netherlands

The Bossy Kitchen

Sunday 11th of July 2021

Yes, you can use any of those.


Friday 5th of March 2021

I don't make liqueurs but wanted chocolate martinis at home and could not find chocolate liqueur at my area stores. I made this recipe and used it for the first time tonight.! I'm having a hard time not grabbing a straw to slurp down the chocolate martini I made! Yum! Thanks!

The Bossy Kitchen

Friday 5th of March 2021

I am so happy you like it! A straw would not be a bad idea! 😂