Before I make hot chocolate, I first like to make a batch of chocolate syrup so that I can quickly whip up hot chocolate over a week or two (although I could gulp down several cups in one sitting and polish all the syrup off, this tastes so, so good). Making the syrup first does require (very minimal) extra work up front but it pays off later.
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.
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)
- Combine cocoa and water in a saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until the cocoa dissolves.
- Add sugar and salt and whisk until dissolved. Bring to a low, rolling boil. Boil for three minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
- Add vanilla extract.
- 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)
- Whisk ingredients together in a pot. Heat. Drink. Enjoy.