If you don't have mezcal on hand, you can still make this spicy and delicious hot chocolate—try using aged rum or tequila.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
- Yield:makes 4 servings
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:15 minutes
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole dried ancho chile pod, split
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 5 ounces mezcal
- Chile powder, cocoa nib, and/or dark chocolate shavings for garnish
In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, 2 cinnamon sticks, ancho chile, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture. Simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Carefully drain and discard chile and cinnamon sticks
Return to pot and add mezcal. Heat through. Using a hand blender, a milk frother, or a whisk, beat chocolate until foamy, then divide into four glasses. Garnish with chile powder, cocoa nib (or chocolate shavings), and a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately