Vandaag's Dutch East Cocoa Recipe

Vandaag's Dutch East Cocoa Recipe

Photos: Alice Gao

This spiked spicy hot cocoa from Martim Smith-Mattsson of Vandaag can be served without alcohol for kids, too. Bols genever adds a malty backbone to the spiced hot chocolate, which makes use of cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger. At the restaurant, Smith-Mattsson uses a kaffir-maple whipped cream for a nod to Southeast Asia. He also makes use of an espresso machine to steam the milk, but any gentle method of heating will do just fine.

Note: To measure grams, Serious Eats' recommended kitchen scale is the Oxo Good Grips Scale with Pull Out Display.

  • Yield:makes enough mix for 20+ servings; drink recipe serves 1
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:15 minutes


  • For the spicy hot cocoa mix:
  • 110 grams Dutch cocoa
  • 150 grams granulated sugar
  • 30 grams powdered milk
  • 25 grams brown sugar, broken up well
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • For each drink:
  • 3.5 ounces whole milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon spicy hot cocoa mix
  • 1/2 ounce Drambuie
  • 3/4 ounce Bols Genever
  • For kaffir-maple whipped cream garnish (optional):
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. 1.

    If you want to garnish with kaffir-maple whipped cream, put maple syrup in a sealable jar with kaffir lime leaves and infuse for 24 hours. After infusing, remove lime leaves and add maple to heavy cream. Whip with an electric mixer or in an ISI Whip canister. Whipped cream can be stored, refrigerated, overnight.

  2. 2.

    To make spicy hot cocoa mix, add Dutch cocoa, sugar, powdered milk, brown sugar, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly mixed.

  3. 3.

    To make drink, heat milk and spicy hot cocoa mix in a medium saucepan, whisking constantly until very hot. Remove from heat, add Drambuie and Bols Genever. Serve in a mug with kaffir-maple whipped cream if desired.