How to Turn Up the Heat on Hot Chocolate

We’re still in the middle of the winter season, which means there’s still plenty of time to warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Some hot chocolate aficionados enjoy adding whole milk, while others opt for coffee creamer or heavy cream. You don’t have to be a kid to love whipped cream or marshmallows on top of your hot chocolate, but you do need to be a grownup to spike your hot cocoa with bourbon, tequila, mezcal or spiced rum.

Some foodies suggest using a sweeter chocolate with 65-percent cacao or less if you’re making hot chocolate.

You can also use cocoa powder to make it easy. If you really want to kick things up a notch, try mixing in some green Chartreuse with your hot chocolate. The recipe takes unsweetened cocoa powder, a little bit of salt, and some whole milk. While whisking, you bring it to a boil, then take it off the heat and add in a few ounces of chopped, sweet Mexican chocolate. Pour it in a mug with a little green Chartreuse and tequila. Here’s where the recipe gets a bit interesting for hot pepper fans. You then add in a little hot sauce, to your preference. For garnishment, you can sprinkle on some dried and crushed ancho chiles.

It turns out this popular pepper isn’t just used in Mexican food

It can also be used in drinks. Anchos are the dried version of almost ripe poblano peppers, which rank on the mild side in terms of Scoville heat units on the hot pepper scale. Anchos are just one way you can spice up your meal, and it seems your drink, too. Like anything else, the amount of dried pepper and hot sauce you use is really up to your own personal taste, but a dash of hot sauce and a pinch of dried peppers in your hot chocolate will probably do it. 

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