Mexican Hot Chocolate

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PREP TIME 10 min

Cocktail Type


Great for




Mexican hot chocolates with marshmallow garnish

On first thought, Mexican cocktails remind us of sunshine and fruity flavours that are perfect for the beach. But it’s not all heat and humidity, and it’s important not to forget Mexico’s colder winters in the mountains when warmly spiced drinks come into their own. When the weather cools, and you are looking for Warm Winter cocktails, try this intensely rich and warmly spiced tequila hot chocolate. An ancient recipe, Mexicans have been enjoying hot chocolates like this one in the snowy mountains for thousands of years, even dating back to the Aztecs. Clearly, they were onto a good thing!  

 We’ve got options to make it dairy-free, vegan-friendly or as a mocktail, so you can rely on this Mexican Hot Chocolate cocktail to make a great dessert in a mug. Whichever way you serve it, it is a real crowd-pleaser.  



For a dairy-free version, use almond or oat milk.


Avoiding refined sugar? Reach for coconut sugar or sweetener.


Can’t find Mexican chocolate? Just choose bittersweet.



1 Person

45 Ml

1.5 Oz

1.5 Parts

Espolòn Tequila Reposado
cups milk
Mexican chocolate, broken into chunks
tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
tablespoon granulated cane sugar
teaspoon cinnamon (Ceylon, if you can get your hands on it)
cup heavy cream, whipped
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of fine sea salt



Warm the milk gently in a medium heavy saucepan


Add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar, stirring until the chocolate melts


Season with the spices and salt


Remove from the heat, and whisk in the tequila


Pour into a large mug and top with whipped cream


Dust with extra cinnamon and cayenne pepper

Why you’ll love the Mexican Hot Chocolate cocktail

Velvety smooth Mexican chocolate swirled into cinnamon spiced milk with a good measure of reposado tequila, (Espolòn is our fave) will warm the bones on any chilly evening with friends— especially when the only plan is catching up with your latest TV binge while snuggling under cozy blankets. Mexican cocktails like this one are perfect to make in a batch for a movie night with the gang or festive season gatherings.

Why is this alcoholic Mexican hot chocolate recipe unique?

A more luxe version than your usual powdered hot chocolate, using Mexican or bittersweet chocolate rather than a powder makes this drink thicker and more textured. On top of that, Mexican chocolate is made with cacao nibs, cinnamon, and a hint of sugar, making it way less sugary compared to regular store-bought chocolate. This allows you to control the sweetness. Typically, this tequila hot chocolate is also spiced with cinnamon and cayenne, making it stand out from the crowd.

Stay warm with your fingers wrapped firmly around a mug of this Mexican hot chocolate with tequila – and peruse the tempting array of other Mexican cocktails you can easily learn how to make.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cocktail variations

If you need a vegan, dairy-free, or sugar-free variation, we’ve got you covered! This tequila hot chocolate really suits everyone. As a bonus, this alcoholic Mexican hot chocolate recipe is naturally gluten-free.

For a dairy-free version, use almond or oat milk. Avoiding refined sugar? Reach for coconut sugar or sweetener. On that note, check your cocoa powder—it often has a lot of sugar included.

Can’t find Mexican chocolate? Just choose bittersweet. A bar of unsweetened chocolate is packed with the best source of antioxidants. If you’re nervous about the bitterness, just add a dash more sugar or honey. Look out for Ceylon cinnamon over cassia varieties; it’s finer and tastes sweeter.

If you crave an extra-rich boozy Mexican hot chocolate, then choose an aged tequila rather than a blanco. Reposada and añejo amplify the richness with their warm caramel and vanilla notes. To up the ante when serving, sprinkle your whipped cream with a dusting of cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You can even add a pinch of edible gold lustre dust for extra sparkle (find it in the home baking section of the supermarket). If you’re in a naughty mood, ditch the cream and top it with toasted marshmallows. Look out for the vegan mallows, they’re also good!

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Mexican chocolate is a purer form of chocolate. It is much less processed compared to regular chocolate and is made with cacao nibs and spiced with cinnamon and chilli, offering more complex flavours. The texture is slightly grainier compared to regular chocolate. Smooth mainstream chocolates with higher fat content can hide buckets of sugar. This less-sweetened chocolate is a better-for-you option, jam-packed with flavour and antioxidants.

You can absolutely make Mexican hot chocolate in a slow cooker, which is especially good when you are hosting a crowd. Make this boozy Mexican hot chocolate in bulk and get it simmering away before your guests arrive.

You can easily substitute Mexican chocolate for any bittersweet or dark chocolate. Mexican chocolate is made with cocoa nibs, which can be on the bitter side, so go with your own personal preference.

Usually, this cheeky tequila hot chocolate is topped with a swirl of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, cayenne, or nutmeg, but you can push up the indulgence even more and add toasted marshmallows.

A well-known brand of traditional Mexican chocolate is Ibarra, which has been produced in Mexico since 1925. Other popular brands include Abuelita, Hernan, and Taza.

This gorgeous crafted wooden gadget is called a molinillo [moh-lee-NEE-yoh]. Found in kitchens all over central America, it’s a centuries-old, handmade tool designed specifically to froth hot Mexican cocktails like tequila hot chocolate and more traditional non-alcoholic drinks like Champurrado and Atole. Simply rub your hands together while holding the handle between your palms, rotating the direction back and forth to froth. Easy!