But today, here is a cold chocolate drink with a small hit of booze. In this drink, the smokiness of the whiskey is a nice counterpoint to the bitter chocolate. Even though the temperature of the drink is cold, it ends with spicy heat, which I find to be a super fun contrast.
Another source of inspiration for this drink comes from xocolatl (“bitter water”), an hot chocolate drink of early Mesoamerican cultures that is probably the great, great, great, great grandfather of modern hot chocolate. Xocolatl is made from ground cacao beans that were mixed with some ground seeds and/or grains and chilis. Hot or cold water would be poured over the mix, making a beverage out of it. This drink is reportedly an acquired taste for outsiders, as it is very bitter. (It was the European colonizers who eventually added fat [dairy] and sugar to the drink.)
(Man, this post just got a little sad.)
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (the kind you bake with, not the Swiss Mix kind)
- 2 tsp malted milk powder
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 red Thai chili
- 1 clove
- 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup cold milk
- 1 oz whiskey (or 1 1/2 if you want it boozier, or omit for the kids)
- red pepper flakes (for looks!)
- In a mortar, grind red chili with clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, releasing the flavors with a pestle.
- In the mortar or a cocktail shaker, add the chili and spices with milk, whiskey, sugar, malt powder, and cocoa powder. Shake or stir well.
- Pour into a serving glass and sprinkle some pepper flakes over the top.