Mexican Hot Chocolate


This, mis amigos, is not the first time I’m writing about hot Mexican drinks…  Mexican Hot ChocolateI was re-inspired by recent cold temperatures and this icy day, as well as  a trip to Casa Azul Bookstore, where I had the pleasure of not only meeting some local authors, and talking about a couple of my book babies (!), but also sipping some lovely Mexican hot chocolate.

What makes this hot chocolate version one of our Mexican neighbors? In this case it’s the touch of  cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Also, you can make prepare the dry ingredients ahead of time, and then just add by the tablespoon, along with your vanilla, to steaming milk. Perfect on a day like today, and with my mom’s Mexican Chocolate Cookies I wrote about last year about this time,

There are many versions of this drink, and I invite you to try this and create your own! In the meantime, ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy! 

Latin Twist: Mexican Hot Chocolate

Yield: About 2 servings

This Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe is so easily varied! If you are a spice fan, turn up the heat with more cayenne! And for grownups, a bit of Kahlúa is a fun addition!


  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for garnish, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper—or to taste
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Long cinnamon sticks for stirrers, optional
  • Whipped cream


  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper until well blended.
  2. Steam the milk, or heat it using a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the spices and vanilla and stir well.
  5. Pour into two warmed mugs or glasses for serving.
  6. Garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, and cinnamon.
  7. Serve!



About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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