This simple 5-ingredient French Hot Chocolate Recipe, AKA Drinking Chocolate, is a Parisian favorite and a must-make for the holidays!

Easy French Hot Chocolate Recipe (Drinking Chocolate) lifted on spoon

Why You’ll Love This French Hot Chocolate Recipe

Several months ago I had the opportunity to spend a week in Paris with a few friends. Traveling with a group of sweet-tooths, and noticed that hot chocolate is a thing in Paris.

It’s everywhere.

Cafes. Bakeries. Sandwich shops. Chocolatiers. Tea shops. If you need a warm luxurious mug of French Hot Chocolate while in Paris, you can find one within a block or two, no doubt.

And if you have ever had a cup of hot chocolate from France, you are in luck. It will change your whole perspective on what good hot chocolate is. Good hot chocolate is made with real, quality chocolate, cream, and a little brown sugar for good measure. This hot chocolate recipe is for real chocolate lovers only!

Chocolat Chaud - French Hot Chocolate Recipe (Drinking Chocolate) in small mug

Drinking Chocolate

Luxury is the prominent feeling when experiencing French Hot Chocolate for the first time.

It’s not thin and cocoa powder based, like most American hot chocolates.

The Parisian variation, known as Chocolat Chaud, is most definitely a dense Drinking Chocolate. Thinner than chocolate fondue or liquid ganache… Yet not by much.

How to Make French Hot Chocolate Recipe (Drinking Chocolate) |

Ingredients You Need

My French Hot Chocolate Recipe requires only five simple ingredients:

  • Good quality semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Brown sugar
  • A little vanilla extract

I tried using only milk, only half & half, and then only heavy cream, but found this combination of both whole milk and heavy cream provides just the right consistency to rival any mugful I tasted in Paris.

Best Chocolate Chaud - French Hot Chocolate Recipe (Drinking Chocolate) pouring into mug

The key is to gently simmer and stir the ingredients until not a single unmelted speck of chocolate is present. The mixture must simmer until entirely smooth. Then it will thicken just a touch to the perfect velvety texture.

Amazing French Drinking Chocolate Recipe (Chocolat Chaud) |

This French Hot Chocolate Recipe is the perfect after-dinner drink for your holiday feast.

Sip it by the fire for a romantic ending of a day (hopefully) filled with love and laughter.

Glorious French Drinking Chocolate Recipe (Chocolat Chaud) empty mug

Looking for More Decadent Drinks? Be Sure to Also Try:

French Hot Chocolate Recipe |
Print Recipe
4.92 stars (24 reviews)
Leave a Review »

French Hot Chocolate Recipe

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
French Hot Chocolate Recipe (Chocolat Chaud) Rich, dark, and silky, this Parisian style Drinking Chocolate is a thick, gourmet hot chocolate that is hard to put down!
Servings: 6


  • 8 ounces quality chocolate bars, semisweet or bittersweet
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a sauce pot. Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the milk, cream, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Stir until the chocolate comes to a low simmer and the drinking chocolate is completely smooth and slightly thickened.
  • The drinking chocolate should be substantially thicker than classic hot chocolate, but not as thick as chocolate fondue. If it is too thin, simmer a little longer. If it is too thick, add another 1/4 cup milk. Ladle into mugs and enjoy immediately.



Serving: 4ounces, Calories: 346kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 43mg, Potassium: 323mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 425IU, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 2.4mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: French
Author: Sommer Collier
Making this recipe?Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Share This Recipe With Friends!