Hot cocoa is the perfect way to unwind after a long, cold day. Scratch that: Hot cocoa that has been generously spiked with tequila and ancho chile liqueur is the perfect way to unwind after a long, cold day. That’s better.
I Left My Heart in Jalisco is up to the task. This warm, spicy cocktail comes from William Batson, owner of The Bar Hops in Birmingham, Alabama and author of “Classic Cocktails for Classy People and Other Interesting Characters.” It updates the classic hot chocolate ingredients like whole milk and cocoa powder with a few extras, including demerara sugar, cayenne pepper, star anise, vanilla and salt. You could stop there and wrap your hands around a mug of this delicious, soothing drink. But Batson goes a step further, enlisting the one-two punch of reposado tequila and Ancho Reyes, a sweet and spicy liqueur made from ancho chiles.
The recipe makes enough for two people, so before you even begin gathering your ingredients, you should identify a good candidate to share the drink with. Then put a pot on the stove to heat the milk, chocolate and flavorful accoutrements before finally dosing the individual mugs with liquor.
- 12 ounces whole milk
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ounce demerara sugar
- 1 star anise pod
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split in half
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 1/2 ounces reposado tequila, split in two portions
- 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur, split in two portions
- Garnish: orange twist
- Garnish: cocoa powder
Add the milk, chocolate and cocoa powder to a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring until the chocolate melts.
Add the sugar, star anise, vanilla bean, cayenne pepper and salt, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes.
Strain the mixture into two mugs, then add 1 1/4 oz tequila and 1/4 oz Ancho Reyes to each.
Stir, and garnish the drinks with an orange twist and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.