…from the Perspectives’ Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? We’re falling toward Fall and heading for Halloween and Thanksgiving. It’s time to take the chill out of summer cocktails and imbibe one of the most thoroughly grown-up hot chocolate cocktails ever tasted.
This mezcal, ancho chile, cinnamon and bittersweet chocolate blend creates an aromatic flavor balance that is lightly sweet chocolate and smoky heat. It’s made with both cocoa powder and melted chocolate, so it’s more luxurious and chocolaty than the powdery kid stuff—and with a jigger of mezcal, it packs a pretty good wallop, too.
It’s the perfect cocktail for an evening on the patio. After dinner, it can be nice to get up from the table, stretch your legs, and hover around the stove for a little hot chocolate-making.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Guittard cocoa powder)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
6 cinnamon sticks, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
5 ounces mezcal
Garnish with whipped cream, chile powder, dark chocolate shavings (or marshmallow)
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, milk, 2 of the cinnamon sticks, cayenne and bittersweet chocolate chips.
2. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is hot.
3. Lower the heat and simmer the cocoa, whisking occasionally, until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
4. Carefully strain and discard the cinnamon sticks.
5. Return the chocolate to the pot, add the mezcal and whisk the liquid over medium heat until hot.
6. Divide the drink among four warmed mugs.
7. Garnish with whipped cream, chile powder, chocolate shavings, and cinnamon sticks.
8. Serve immediately.
ChefSecret: Heat the serving mugs with hot water before filling with hot chocolate. Add the mezcal late in the recipe, so if your guests are abstaining, it’s easy to just leave it out. The spicy hot cocoa makes a nice little sip of dessert all by itself.
Quip of the Day: “My tolerance for idiots is extremely low these days. I used to have some immunity built up, but obviously it’s kind of like Covid, there's always a new strain out there."
Do you have a question or comment? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. All recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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