Need a little extra holiday cheer this Christmas? Three words: spiked hot chocolate. Las Vegas may not exactly be a winter wonderland, but the Strip makes for a surprisingly great place for strolling and sipping hot cocoa with a little extra something in it. The High Roller Ferris wheel lights up red and green, Christmas carols play as the Bellagio Fountains dance, and every casino lobby is outfitted with tinsel and fake snow. With the right winter chill in the air – and believe it or not, it does actually get quite frosty in the desert – nothing says holiday spirit quite like, well, holiday spirits.
Whether you like it piping hot or prepared the traditional way and then served chilled or frozen, hot chocolate is always better with a little booze in it. Here’s where to order it in Las Vegas:
The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
No, hell hasn’t literally frozen over; that’s really an ice skating rink on the Strip. Each winter, the Cosmopolitan turns its Boulevard Pool into an ice skating rink complete with falling snow, campfires, Christmas movies on the big screen, and yes, spiked hot chocolate. Make a fire pit reservation (the winter version of reserving a booth at a nightclub), and order The Griswold, made with hot chocolate, coconut vodka, mint and vanilla.
Park on Fremont
East Fremont’s Park on Fremont is known for its lush garden back patio that’s decorated with quirky artwork and neon. The space also features a roaring fire, perfect for cooler winter days and evenings. Grab a fireside spot and sip a Dirty Girl Scout, made with hot chocolate, vanilla vodka, crème de cacao and peppermint schnapps.
Mt. Charleston Lodge
Not to knock all of the artificial snow decorating Las Vegas, but sometimes you just want to see the real thing. Head up to Mt. Charleston, and your wish for a forest blanketed in white will come true. Enjoy the alpine scenery at Mt. Charleston Lodge, where the restaurant serves a wide range of spiked hot drinks, including hot chocolate with a choice of peppermint schnapps, Fireball whiskey, butterscotch schnapps, peach schnapps or coconut rum.
Miracle on Spring Mountain
From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, The Sand Dollar Saloon transforms into Miracle on Spring Mountain, a holiday pop-up bar outfitted with twinkling lights, twerking Santa’s and cocktails that will make you want to rock around the Christmas tree. Try the Christmas Carol Barrel, made with iced hot chocolate, tequila, coffee liqueur and cocoa nib-infused orange and cognac liqueur.
True to its name, Sugar Factory is a destination for all things sweet. Indulge in burgers with donuts instead of buns, pancakes loaded with chocolate chip cookie pieces, and sundaes big enough to serve groups of 12. Naturally, drinks are dessert-focused too. In addition to a wide range of chocolate martinis, you can order classic hot chocolate with dark chocolate shavings or s’mores hot chocolate with graham cracker pieces on top. Ask for it spiked, or opt for a mochaccino made with amaretto liqueur.