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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

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Homemade Mexican Hot Chocolate

A frothy cup-full of ancient ingredients and traditions enjoyed by families just like yours, all over Mexico.

Our original Adventure Kitchen recipe is made from scratch, so it delivers all the flavor of Mexican hot chocolate with whole ingredients that are easy to find in any store.

Mexican Hot Chocolate, shown with a  molinillo

Mexican Hot Chocolate, shown with a molinillo


4 cups of milk (whole milk makes the best froth)

4 short cinnamon sticks or 2 long ones, smashed a little for maximum flavor

1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar

Pinch of coarse salt

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (if you can't find bittersweet chips, you can use semisweet and add less sugar)

Choosing Chocolate Chips

Read the label carefully to purchase the right kind for this recipe. 

Unsweetened – no sugar added (good for cooking)

Bittersweet – some sugar added (good for cooking, and used in this recipe!)

Semisweet – more sugar added (good for chocolate chip cookies and the like)

Sweet – tastes like candy (not for cooking)


Lid askew

Lid askew

1.   Put the milk and cinnamon sticks in a medium-sized pot and add the cinnamon sticks.

2.  Put the lid on askew (slightly crooked) and put the pot on the stove over medium-low heat until the milk is steaming hot but not boiling!

3.  Add the sugar and salt and mix them well into the milk.

Mixing the chocolate chips into the milk.

Mixing the chocolate chips into the milk.

4.  Add the chocolate chips and use a wire whisk to mix them thoroughly into the milk. Don't rush - this can take a few minutes!  Allow enough time for all the chocolate to melt into the milk. 

5.  When you think the chocolate has fully melted into the milk, you are ready to make the froth and serve!  According to Mexican tradition, the spirit of the drink is in the froth, and comes from the person who whipped it.  To give your spirit to the drink, be sure to whip it by hand (not in a blender).  Use a Mexican molinillo or a wire whisk to vigorously whip up the chocolate.  The traditional way to do this is to hold the handle between your hands and spin it quickly back and forth in the chocolate.  If using a wire whisk, you can also create froth by simply whisking vigorously back and forth.  Sing "bate, bate, chocolate!" while you whip up the froth (click for all the words)!


Some Mexican grandmothers have been known to add whipped egg white to Mexican Hot Chocolate to make lots of long-lasting froth to keep the children happy.


Using a  molinillo  to whip foam into Mexican Hot Chocolate

Using a molinillo to whip foam into Mexican Hot Chocolate

6.  Your Mexican Hot Chocolate is ready!  Ladle it into cups (leaving the cinnamon sticks behind) and use a spoon to add some froth to the top of each cup, so you can share your spirit with those you love. 

Have fun!