Zero-Waste Mexican Hot Chocolate

frothy Mexican hot chocolate made with homemade almond milk

Before I make hot chocolate, I first like to make a batch of chocolate syrup so that I can enjoy several cups of hot chocolate over a week or two, not at once, although I could gulp down several cups in one sitting, this tastes so, so good. Making the syrup first does require (very minimal) extra work, depending on your perspective.

If you can stop at just one cup of this rich, slightly spicy hot chocolate, then you could skip making the syrup. You’d simply heat up a cup of milk, stir in some cocoa, sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla and spices, whisk for a few minutes, enjoy your hot drink on a cold afternoon and your hot chocolate making would come to an abrupt end.

But if you make a full batch (or double batch) of chocolate syrup first, then you can whip up a cup of Mexican hot chocolate on demand at any time—until your syrup runs out—which might be dangerous because this stuff tastes amazing.

For this post, I chose homemade almond milk for my milk. I heated up a cup, added a couple of tablespoons of chocolate syrup, stirred in the spices and took only a few pictures of my hot beverage because I wanted to drink it immediately.

homemade chocolate syrup in a glass jar
Quick, plastic-free chocolate syrup

Chocolate Syrup

To save you time clicking over to the chocolate syrup recipe, I’ve posted it again below. I’ve doubled the original so you’ll have enough to make about 10 cups of Mexican hot chocolate or simple hot chocolate without the spices or chocolate milk.

Yields a scant 1 ⅓ cup

  • ½ cup very good cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I make mine, very easy)
  1. Combine cocoa and water in a saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until the cocoa dissolves.
  2. Add sugar and salt and whisk until dissolved. Bring to a low, rolling boil. Boil for three minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Pro-tip! To make cleaning the pot easier and to get every last drop of syrup out of the pot, remove all but two tablespoons of syrup and make your first cup of hot chocolate now (recipe below). The hot milk will make quick work cleaning up the chocolatey pot.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Makes one cup. In this recipe, by a pinch, I mean 1/16th of a teaspoon at the most.

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (or less, depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Salt to taste (less than a pinch)
  1. Whisk ingredients together in a pot. Heat. Drink. Enjoy.
frothy Mexican hot chocolate made with homemade almond milk
If you have whole nutmeg, use it!
I wanted to eat a bowl of stove-top popcorn while I enjoyed my drink but couldn’t wait five minutes for the popcorn to pop

14 Replies to “Zero-Waste Mexican Hot Chocolate”

  1. Hi I love this idea, I’m wondering if you can add the nutmeg cinnamon and cayenne into the syrup batch first?

    1. Hi Francesca,
      hat should work. You’ll want more spice than what I’ve listed here. I thought about making the syrup that way but I left it out so my daughter can drink plain hot chocolate. But I’ll try it that way next time. Yum!
      ~ Anne Marie

      1. Fab thanks for tip!

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  3. Oh my gosh, I love Mexican Hot Chocolate…had it for the first time several years ago in one of my favorite small towns (Bisbee, AZ). I actually came up with a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Sourdough which turned out to be my best seller at the Farmer’s Market! You’ve inspired me to post the recipe for it! And to make this hot chocolate!

  4. Nice! I want to try the Mexican version with a little bit of dried ancho and guajillo cillis!

    1. OMG that sounds so good. I make homemade chili powder with those chilies. So good. Enjoy!

  5. Hi! Thank you for the recipe! I made it today and I can say it’s the BEST hot chocolate ever! Made mine with homemade almond milk.It was rich and creamy and just perfect for a cold autumn day.

    1. Hi Joshua. Thanks. I’m glad you liked it!
      ~ Anne Marie

  6. I can’t wait to try this! I love all your tips. Thank you!

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  8. I had a quick question, can this syrup be used to make cold, milk chocolate (like a substitute for Nesquik)? TIA!

    1. Sure! When we first starting making it, we mostly used it to make cold, milk chocolate. Enjoy!

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