A funny anecdote: When I was younger and still living at home in California, one wintry evening I walked into the kitchen to find my grandma to ask her, “Quieres ser abuelita?” which loosely translates to “Wanna make/be grandma?”. You’re probably scratching your head thinking what in high heavens does that mean but what I was trying to ask my grandma is if she could make Abuelita, the brand of Mexican hot chocolate we’d always use to drink on holidays. And if you think you’re confused, she was even more confused because she thought I was asking her if she wanted to be an abuelita, i.e., surprise I’m pregnant! And then I was totally confused because for one, I was only 15 and totally not thinking of having babies and for two, I was only 15. Period. In the end I got my hot chocolate and I continued to live my exuberant, drama-filled life as a fifteen year old sans baby. Hurrah.
My family would always, always drink Mexican hot chocolate for Thanksgiving and Christmas, making huge vats of it on the stove for all to enjoy. Their original version never included alcohol but mine does because well, quite frankly I’m a lush and I feel compelled to pour a little of the good stuff whenever possible. As if you didn’t already know.
This recipe is mega strong and not for the timid. Read: don’t make this if you’re weaksauce, drink hot chocolate with water [gags], and/or don’t like to drink delicious things. And I call this a recipe but truly, it’s so simple you could do this with one eye open and your hands tied under your butt and it’d still come out pretty good. Try it and send me the video, I like when things go viral.
- 1 – 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 – 3.15 ounce mexican chocolate tablet, chopped roughly
- 2 caps worth cointreau orange liqueur
- freshly grated orange zest, for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- first, make the whipped cream. using a stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment, start whipping the heavy cream on medium speed. after about a minute, increase to high. once you see that it starts to thicken a bit, add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, using a spatula to scrape down the sides occasionally. continue whipping until you’ve reached desired consistency– i like mine slightly loose. be careful not to over-whip; you want whipped cream, not butter. when it’s ready, stash in the fridge.
- to make the hot chocolate, grab a small sauce pot and set over the stove. fill with entire can of evaporated milk and turn on the flame to medium. let this warm up slowly and once it starts to simmer add in the chopped up mexican hot chocolate; stir and babysit for a while, about 5-7 minutes or until the chocolate has dissolved considerably. a whisk helps greatly to encourage the process. once it’s piping hot, take off the heat and stir in the 2 very generously filled capfuls of cointreau. this is not for the faint of heart.
- grab the biggest mug you got and fill with your luxe hot chocolate. dollop with whipped cream and garnish with orange zest. drink and get boozy.
you can pretty much find mexican hot chocolate tablets in any large supermarket with an ethnic food aisle but if you’re out of luck, grab some online. i use nestle’s abuelita brand– it’s what my family always had.
// More boozy concoctions: