How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate

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I have sweet memories of this Mexican Hot Chocolate from my stay at La Posada of Santa Fe several years ago. Each morning, I looked forward to starting my day with a mug of their delicious spiced hot chocolate. Dusted with chili powder and brewed with spices, this hot chocolate is a true treat, so I had to ask how to make mexican hot chocolate and after a few failed attempts, this recipe is where I arrived.

tray holding mexican hot cocoa and two tin cups surrounded by ingredients to learn how to make mexican hot cocoa on blue table

The combination of herbs and spices may seem an odd match with cocoa, however these spicy and savory ingredients bring out flavor in chocolate. Ever notice how creative gourmet chocolate bars have gotten lately? We’ve seen many that are made with interesting spices, sea salt, vanilla, and citrus. Above all, these ingredients support and enhance the flavor of cocoa.

Looking for ideas on how to make and what to serve with Mexican Hot Chocolate?

Try these Ginger Cookies or Chai Tea CookiesMuriel’s Gingerbread is also a perfect complement to this sweet and savory drink. Also amazing, these Cranberry Orange Biscotti by Namley Marly are delicious with cocoa.

Mexican Hot Chocolate with Honey

South American civilizations started cultivating the cacao tree and used the ground cacao beans for a chocolate drink. To cover up its bitter flavor, they added ingredients like vanilla and chili pepper to the mixture. Chocolate travelled to Europe, and became a rare favorite of nobility. Here, it was still enjoyed as a bitter drink, and slowly transformed into a sweet confection. Modern hot chocolate arrived in the 17th century, although it remained a drink for the wealthy for hundreds of years.

Clay Gordon

Spice up this Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

Thank goodness that chocolate is no longer a rare luxury item. We don’t know what we’d do without it! You’ll enjoy this recipe just the way it is, however we always encourage you to mix up our recipes to make them yours. Here’s how to make this Mexican Hot Chocolate yours:

  • Swap out the dairy with non-dairy alternatives: homemade almond milk, coconut milk and cashew milk work.
  • Serve with our Lavender Marshmallows
  • Add ground cayenne powder or chopped chillis to the mix
  • Serve with cinnamon sticks
Overhead image of cinnamon, cocoa, hot peppers, cardamom, star anise and pewter tray with three cups of mexican hot cocoa on blue table learning how to make mexican hot cocoa
tray holding mexican hot cocoa and two tin cups surrounded by ingredients to learn how to make mexican hot cocoa on blue table

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Course: Drinks
Servings: 6
Calories: 263kcal

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  • 3/4 c water
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c Waxing Kara Honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon ground
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom ground
  • 1 tbsp. instant espresso
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate the best quality possible, grated
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 dash chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cocoa nibs as garnish


  • Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and add to the boiling water.
  • Add honey, cinnamon, cardamom, espresso, and a pinch of salt.
  • Simmer for 1 minute and add the bittersweet chocolate.
  • Whisk until it gets thick.
  • Add milk and simmer 1 minute. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of chili powder and cocoa nibs as garnish.


Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1.2mg

About the Author


Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learned and continues to learn about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more.

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