Josie Ortega loves to keep Mexican Hot Chocolate mix in the pantry all winter, ready to enjoy with friends and familia!
Mexican Hot Chocolate History
I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and now that I’ve married into a Mexican family and share a last name with a taco company, it’s only right for me to embrace Mexican culture by regularly eating culturally appropriate desserts like churros, flan, and my favorite: Mexican hot chocolate.
Like the grandfather in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who heals all ailments with Windex and can trace any word back to a Greek root, my husband regularly educates all of us on Mexico’s many contributions to the world. There’s popcorn, chewing gum, and above all, chocolate! The Olmec people in Southern Mexico drank a fermented beverage derived from cocoa beans. Later, Mayans made a hot chocolate drink with spices and corn puree, and finally, Aztecs drank it cold. The Spanish exported chocolate to Europe in the 16th century, where sugar was added.
The rest is history!
Hot Chocolate Flavors
By all means, let’s keep the sugar! Then, returning to Mexican recipes will bring us the best of both worlds by adding cinnamon and cayenne.
I love the touch of heat and the complex cinnamon flavor profile that turns too-sweet hot cocoa into a more well-rounded experience.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (heaping)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (scant)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg (optional)
- Optional: To add vanilla flavor, sometimes I'll soak some chocolate chips in a spoon of vanilla extract, and throw them into the powder mix. Or you could add a drop or two of vanilla when heating milk.
- For one serving: heat one cup of whole milk in a saucepan on the stovetop. At any time, add two big spoonfuls of mix and whisk or stir to dissolve. Remove from heat as soon as milk simmers. Serve and enjoy! ¡Buen provecho!
Slow-cooker variation: substitute evaporated milk for one cup of the regular milk for a thicker drinking chocolate experience! Throw in a cinnamon stick for flavor and presentation, and even some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Heat on medium-low and whisk until ingredients are blended. Keep it on low heat to serve for a party.
Hot Chocolate Fiesta
I recommend quadrupling the recipe for a batch of Mexican hot chocolate to keep in a big mason jar all winter. Or, you could try adding cinnamon and a tad of chili powder to your regular hot chocolate mix. Another good option is the Abuelita or Taza brand of hot chocolate, probably available at your grocery store and certainly at your local tienda.