Prefer it "unspiked? There are instructions in the green recipe card at the bottom.
❤️ Why you'll love it
- The best, most impressive spiked hot cocoa recipe
- A sweet treat for the whole family—easily omit the alcohol
- Real chocolate is more indulgent than the powdery hot cocoa mix stuff
Creamy hot chocolate is upgraded with rich Mexican flavors, guijillo chile-infused cream, and a splash of coconut vodka and white rum. It's a spicy, sweet, and comforting drink that makes you feel warm on a cold winter day—even if there's not a snowflake in sight!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream, whole milk, chocolate, pepper, and other ingredients (except alcohol/cinnamon) until bubbly.
- Add the rum and vodka to your favorite mug.
- Froth the hot chocolate mixture until foamy on top.
- Garnish the mug of hot chocolate with cinnamon.
Mexican hot chocolate, like most hot beverages, is best enjoyed as soon as you make it. However, if you have some leftover, you can keep it for another time.
Let the leftover hot chocolate (without alcohol) cool to room temperature, first, then pour it into an airtight container like a Mason jar. Refrigerate it for a few days.
Then, heat it up again in a small saucepan or in the microwave until hot. Stir in the alcohol, garnish, and enjoy your delicious treat.
Abuelita hot chocolate disks are best in this creamy homemade hot chocolate, but don't worry if you can't find them! Here are a few different ways to make your own Mexican chocolate substitute:
- Most authentic, with chocolate: 1.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Most authentic, with cocoa powder: 1-½ tablespoons unsweeetened cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, a pinch of cloves, a pinch of ginger, and a pinch of ground chipotle chile.
- Slightly sweeter: 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Even sweeter flavor: 1.5 ounces of milk chocolate, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Here are some more of my favorite ways to vary this Mexican hot chocolate cocktail recipe:
- Swap the white rum for spiced rum—it adds delicious flavor.
- Non-alcoholic version: leave out the vodka and rum. Instead, add a tablespoon of coconut syrup (like Torani) and a splash of vanilla extract or rum flavoring!
- You can use coconut cream in place of heavy cream. (However, don't use coconut milk—it's too thin.)
- If you want it spicier, add some cayenne pepper (not chili powder.)
- Make it in a slow cooker—a hot chocolate bar is great at a party on a cold day. Adjust the recipe to 12 servings. Put all the ingredients except the alcohol in the crock pot set on low for 2 hours. Stir often. Add the alcohol and set the slow cooker on the "keep warm" setting, or serve the alcohol on the side along with toppings and plenty of mugs.
- Don't forget your toppings: chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, shaved chocolate, homemade marshmallows, mini marshmallows, caramel sauce, and fresh whipped cream are great options.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Make sure to add the alcohol at the end. Otherwise, over the heat, it'll evaporate and cook out—where's the fun in that?
- I prefer and recommend the Abuelita hot chocolate disks. The authentic Mexican chocolate tablets make the best, creamy hot cocoa with the perfect amount of spice and intense chocolate flavor.
- In a recipe where chocolate is one of the main ingredients, try to use a high-quality version! Good quality chocolate isn't loaded up with sugar, chemicals, and other fillers, so check the package when in doubt.
- Swap with caution! If you replace the whole milk with another variety, the Mexican hot chocolate will be less creamy and more watery.
- A pinch of salt prevents the hot chocolate from being too sweet. It also activates the salty taste buds of your tongue, making each sip of the hot chocolate taste more well-rounded and pleasing. It's food science!
- If you're unsure, a dash of salt is typically between ⅛ and 1/16 of a teaspoon. Just one good "dash" from the shaker should be enough.
- If you don't have a frother, use your blender! Just be careful when mixing hot liquids—cover the top with a thick towel to prevent any splashing.
It's smoo-o-o-th like butta'! My family tells me this is the best hot chocolate because it has such a good, chocolatey flavor. The melted chocolate makes it really thick and decadent.
Mexican chocolate is chocolate mixed with sugar and spices. It generally comes in 3.3-ounce rounds divided into wedges. Mexican chocolate is a bit gritty rather than creamy because of the spices and cocoa beans, but melted in a cup of hot milk and frothed 'til fluffy perfection, you'll still get the smooth texture of your favorite hot chocolate recipe.
Chop it up with a heavy knife, or just break it into smaller pieces. A food processor is a bit too high-powered to make chopped chocolate, so I don't recommend using one. It'll melt pretty quickly, anyway, so you don't have to worry about breaking it down too much.
If you're a Swiss Miss lover, you can make this creamy hot chocolate recipe with a packet, or with homemade hot cocoa powder. Follow the recipe variation for cocoa powder above. However, you'll want to reduce the amount of sugar based on the sweetness in the cocoa mix. Just be aware that your Mexican hot chocolate won't be as creamy or chocolatey this way.
This is a tricky one... while you can use non-dairy milk, it definitely won't be as creamy as with the good stuff. If you have to cut out dairy, but still want to try this delicious recipe, use the thickest whole milk and heavy cream alternatives possible—coconut cream is a good one, as is dairy-free heavy whipping cream.
📚 Related recipes
- This creamy, festive Chocolate Peppermint Martini is sweet, minty, and super easy as far as cocktails go—make an extra "for Santa!" *wink*
- Frozen Mudslide Cocktails taste of chocolate, toasted s'mores, and whipped cream—ideal when you want a decadent, delicious dessert drink but it's not chilly enough for a hot beverage!
- Great gifts and super fun to make, Irish Cream Hot Chocolate Bombs melt away in warm milk to reveal delicious hot cocoa powder. Get your camera ready and watch the magic happen!
- You might also like this Texas Mule Cocktail.
🍽️ Serve with...
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes (keep the theme going!)
- Boozy Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Apple Cheddar Ball Appetizer
📞 The last word
There's nothing better than a cozy cup of something hot on a chilly evening...
Especially if it's this frothy, creamy ultra-rich spiked hot cocoa! Try it with a cranberry bliss bar - the perfect holiday combo!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Spiked Mexican Hot ChocolatePrint Pin Recipe Save Go to Collections
- Break up the chocolate and set aside.
- Heat the milk, cream, brown sugar, salt, and guijillo chile on the stove in a heavy saucepan until bubbles form around the edge.
- Stir in the chocolate and whisk until melted and the mixture is thoroughly blended.
- Remove the chile and discard.
- Pour the mixture into a cup and use a frother to create a thick, frothy foam on top. If you don't have a frother just pulse the mixture in a blender for a few seconds. Be careful to hold the top down with a thick towel in case the steam builds up. You don't want to get burnt!
- Pour into a warmed coffee mug and gently stir in the vodka and rum.
- Dust with cinnamon and add a whole guijillo chile as garnish.
- Serve steaming hot.
- Marshmallows are good on ANY kind of hot chocolate and this Mexican version is no exception!
- A drizzle of cajeta or Dulce de Leche across the top is delicious.
- I like to add a whole guijillo chile to the cup. Not only does it add a little extra heat - I like how it looks.
- Grate some nutmeg over the top.
- Spoon on a dollop of whipped cream - and think about sprinkling it with graham cracker crumbs. Or Oreo crumbs.
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First published October 19, 2017. Last updated September 29, 2022 with better images and for editorial content.