Mexican Hot Chocolate, Oaxaca Style

On Day of the Dead, drinks such as Mexican hot chocolate are placed on altars in order to lure the spirits of loved ones back to the living world.

These are all various forms of Mexican chocolate from Oaxaca that I’ve made and purchased.

Mexican hot chocolate is unique in that the tablets used to make this frothy drink combine pure roasted cocoa, granulated sugar, cinnamon sticks, and sometimes almonds. The chocolate tablets are dissolved in hot water or milk, and then the mixture is made frothy with a molinillo (wooden whisk). In Oaxaca, I learned that this form of hot chocolate is only prepared with milk for occasions such as weddings and funerals (and for tourists!), otherwise it is made with water, which is just as delicious.

FUN FACT: Some people also believe that if a young woman makes hot chocolate that is not frothy, this is indicative of her lack of kitchen skills. While a molinillo and olla de barro (clay pot) are the preferred kitchen utensils used to prepare hot chocolate, a regular wire whisk and a saucepan are fine substitutes. In fact, I know people who get a frothy consistency by mixing it in a blender on a high setting.

3 cups water or milk
4 ounces Mexican chocolate

In a small saucepan, bring water or milk to a simmer over medium heat.

Add chocolate and break into smaller chunks and stir until chocolate is completely dissolved.

Whisk briskly with a molinillo (wooden whisk) until mixture is smooth and frothy and serve hot.

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Categories: Aguas Frescas and Drinks, Day of the Dead, Featured Recipes

6 Comments on “Mexican Hot Chocolate, Oaxaca Style”

  1. November 8, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    Wow! I had no idea that in Oaxaca it is only prepared with milk on special occasions! It looks amazing in that pretty little talavera mug.

  2. December 11, 2015 at 6:28 am #

    I never would’ve thought of making it with water, but I bet the flavors might come through even more than with milk. But I also like to eat the tablets just like they are so maybe I’m not the best judge. 🙂 Yum!!

    • December 14, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

      As long as you add enough chocolate, it’s still very rich. I always asked for mine with water in order to feel like a local.:)


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