Mexican hot chocolate and the American hot cocoa alternative are not the same drink. The hot cocoa you’re used to probably uses cocoa powder in place of cacao or chocolate—while the powdery stuff may get the job done for children, it’s far from an authentic, delicious experience. Read on to discover our tips for serving authentic Mexican hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate as we know it wouldn’t exist without Mexican culture. In 500 BC, the Mayans ground up cacao seeds and mixed them with water, cornmeal, and even chili peppers. To achieve a pleasant frothiness, they poured the drink back and forth from a pot to a cup—and they drank the beverage cold!
When the Spanish arrived in Mexico and learned how the Mayans enjoyed chocolate, they brought it back to Europe’s cooler climate with a twist: they served it hot. In the 1700s, the Molinillo, a hand-carved wooden whisk was added to the equation, making the frothing process much easier and more efficient. The thicker the foam, the better the chocolate.
The key to an authentic hot chocolate experience is the proper preparation. With our traditional Mexican hot chocolate, you’ll melt a tablet per cup of water on the stovetop over medium heat. If you’re after a creamier texture, use milk or condensed milk instead of water.
If you want to get as close to the real thing as possible, you’ll need a few accessories. First, use a clay hot chocolate jug or cup known as “Cantaritos,” to make the drink. The jug adds both function and aesthetic, not to mention the unique flavor that red clay lends to food.
To complete your tool kit, don’t forget a traditional Molinillo. These wooden whisks were created with one purpose: to mix and generate froth in hot chocolate. In Mexican culture, Molinillos are passed down from mother to daughter and are said to provide wisdom and power to the user.
Now that you know these tips for serving authentic Mexican hot chocolate, brew up a rich batch and get ready to wow your loved ones!