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Easy Chocolate Liqueur Recipe

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

chocolate liqueurin a bottle on a dining table

This recipe is part of my small family recipes collection. It comes from my dad’s part of the family and it must be at least 50-60 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.

Note: 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.

Chocolate liquor does not contain alcohol and is made by grinding the nibs of the cocoa beans. It is actually a thick paste  that liquefies when heated. Chocolate liquor has also cocoa butter in it. It is also called unsweetened baking chocolate.

cocoa powder, dark chocolate and cocoa nibs

There is also another meaning of the word liquor, which is unsweetened distilled alcoholic beverage like vodka, gin, brandy, whiskey, tequila etc, but we are not going to talk about that today.

Chocolate liqueur(the one we are making today), on the other hand, does contain alcohol and it is sweetened.

It is an alcoholic base (typically vodka) to which some form of chocolate or chocolate flavor has been added.

Other flavors may also be present, but the recipe from today will be a simple recipe with no other added ingredients besides sugar, cocoa, water and alcohol.

So many cocoa/chocolate liqueur recipes out there carry 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.

This is also a recipe that might be suitable for the ones who try to avoid dairy in general, but they also want to enjoy the product.

If you never made liqueur before, the process is a very simple one. It is like canning but much easier. 

However, 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.

You will notice that after about 10 days, the liqueur will separate and become cloudy. Wait few more days and it is time to filter it.

Many recipes out there are using coffee filters to filter the chocolate liqueur.

I, personally, was not very successful with the paper filters, but I used a cheese cloth and that worked beautifully.

The liqueur is quite thick, so the coffee paper filters did not work for me.

After you are done filtering, place again the closed bottles in a dark, cool place and wait for about a month.

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

cocoa liqueur in a bottle and a glass filled with the drink

Use quality cocoa powder, it will make a difference in the taste of the final product.


Yield: 1 liter

Easy Chocolate Liqueur Recipe

Easy Cocoa Liqueur Recipe1 1

This easy chocolate liqueur recipe is an old family treasure that is made with cocoa powder. Perfect gift for the holidays and inexpensive.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 14 days
Total Time 14 days 20 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups/500 g granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups/600 ml water
  • 7 tablespoons/50 g raw unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups/400 ml alcohol(vodka)


  1. Mix the sugar with water and cocoa and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cocoa is dissolved and the mixture thickens up slightly.
  3. Remove from the stove and cool at room temperature.
  4. Add the alcohol to the mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into bottles and cover tightly.
  6. Keep in a cool, dark place for about 14 days and shake the bottles vigorously everyday.
  7. Strain liqueur through a cheese cloth or a wet coffee filter. The residue will be very thick so change filter halfway through.
  8. Pour in clean bottles and cover tightly. Let it age for at least a month in a cool, dark place.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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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! 😂

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