Tequila and hot chocolate come together in one steaming mug with this tequila chocolate caliente recipe. It's a fun and unique way to transform chocolate caliente ("hot cocoa" in Spanish) into a spicy drink lover's delight.
The recipe plays off traditional Mexican hot chocolate. The difference is that we're going to spike it with an aged tequila infused with cinnamon and serrano peppers. This results in a wonderful spice that contrasts the warm, rich chocolate drink.
The recipe calls for Mexican table chocolate, which is melted into milk. You can, however, add the tequila to your favorite hot chocolate recipe or even use a simple hot cocoa mix. For the mix, you'll find that using milk rather than water creates a richer chocolate.
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 tablet Mexican table chocolate (about 1 ounce)
- 1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila (cinnamon-serrano infused)
- Garnish: cinnamon stick
- Garnish: chili pepper (whole)
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate after you see the first bubbles form.
- Stir continually until the chocolate melts, keeping the heat moderate. You do not want the milk to come to a boil.
- Add the tequila and whisk until a light froth is formed.
- Pour into a warmed mug and garnish with either a cinnamon stick or, for a little extra spice, a small, whole chili pepper.
Your Tequila Options
When it comes to the tequila for this recipe, you have two choices: buy or DIY. On the commercial side, it is possible to find an aged tequila that is infused, though they are rare. A brand such as Soltado Spicy Añejo is infused with serrano peppers and cinnamon.
Other brands may be available, though you're more likely to come across blanco tequilas infused with either cinnamon or some variety of chili peppers. These will work as well and you can always add the missing flavor through an infusion.
Homemade Tequila Infusion
On the DIY side, a cinnamon-serrano infusion is extremely easy. It takes much less time than other infusions because the flavors are naturally quite strong.
- To make it, fill an infusion jar with your favorite reposado (or añejo) tequila and add two cinnamon sticks. After one day, do a taste test to check the flavor and continue infusing if you'd like it to be a little stronger. It should take no more than two or three days.
- Once the cinnamon is where you like it, add one serrano pepper. This infusion should only take a few hours. Any longer and you risk burning the tequila, making it undrinkable. Test it often until it reaches your preferred level of spice.
- When the tequila has the ideal flavor blend for you, remove the cinnamon and pepper. Rebottle, label, and store as you would any other tequila.
Tip: Don't simply drop cinnamon sticks into a bottle of tequila. The sticks will soak up liquid and expand, making them impossible to remove through the often thin neck of a tequila bottle.
It's best to use a wide-mouthed jar instead.