Warmly spiced and super rich, this Mexican hot chocolate has a subtle kick of heat to give every sip some extra personality. Served hot or chilled, it’s an easy recipe you can enjoy year-round.
Why You’ll Love This Mexican Hot Chocolate
Whether it’s cloudy or sunny outside, you’ll love that this hot chocolate recipe can be enjoyed year-round!
- Easy: No fancy ingredients or techniques required. If you have some Mexican chocolate and a couple of spices you’re ready to get started. Bonus: It only takes 15 minutes to make!
- Simple: All you need to do is keep an eye on the pot so that the milk doesn’t come to a boil.
- Healthy: With no funny ingredients or excess sugar, this recipe is much healthier than anything you can get at your local coffee shop.
- Make Ahead Friendly: Made up to 5 days in advance, this drink is ready to be reheated at any moment when you need a quick hug in a mug.
What Makes Mexican Hot Chocolate Different?
Mexican hot chocolate is a little spicier and less sweet than traditional hot chocolate. Common spices include ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper for some heat. The chocolatey richness doesn’t come from cocoa powder but from Mexican chocolate. Abuelita and Ibarra are the most popular brands.
Every sip is an earthy, spicy Mexican fiesta! For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Whole Milk: Low-fat milk works too, but will be much less creamy.
- Abuelita Chocolate: This recipe uses one Abuelita chocolate tablet, Ibarra brand is a great swap.
- Granulated Sugar: Feel free to use light brown sugar.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Cayenne Pepper
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate
With only 3 steps, it’s as easy as making chocolate milk! Just simmer and serve.
- Fill the pot. Heat the milk in a pot. Add the chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne once it begins to simmer.
- Simmer it. Let the mixture simmer until the chocolate is fully melted. Don’t let it come to a boil.
- Serve. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Serve and enjoy!
Tips & Variations
Although Abuelita chocolate is already spiced, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a couple of changes to the recipe to make the drink milder or more chocolatey.
- Reduce the Spice: Decrease the amount of cinnamon and cayenne pepper by half for a less spiced drink.
- Extra Chocolate-y: Add an extra 1/4 chocolate disk at a time until it’s chocolatey to taste.
- Strain: If the milk develops a film while it’s on the stove, strain it through a fine mesh sieve right before serving to make sure it’s completely smooth.
- Swap the Chocolate: Ibarra, Oso, and Don Gustavo are amazing brand swaps in this recipe. Wait until the chocolate has melted before adding the spices because each brand is spiced differently. You don’t want to accidentally overdo it!
- Chill: Wait until the drink comes down to room temperature before popping it into the fridge. Refrigerate it until fully cooled and then enjoy it like chocolate milk.
Treat this Mexican hot cocoa recipe like regular hot chocolate and add your favorite toppings. Here’s some inspiration:
- Mini Marshmallows
- Whipped Cream
- Cocoa Nibs
- Ground Cinnamon
- Cocoa Powder
Store leftover Mexican hot chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I usually store any leftovers in a large mason jar. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top, until warmed through.
More Mexican Drink Recipes
- Cucumber Agua Fresca
- Frozen Mango Margarita
- Mexican Candy Shot (Paleta Shot)
- Best Frozen Margarita
- Carajillo (Mexican Coffee Cocktail)
Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 Abuelita chocolate tablet
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When it gets to a low simmer, add the chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne.
- Simmer, stirring often, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is near a boil but does not boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Serve immediately.
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