Authentic Oaxacan Drinking Chocolate


This traditional drink has been around since pre-Columbian times, and is ubiquitous in southern Mexico still today. It is served on cold mornings for breakfast, with sweet breads dunked in. It is served when hosting guests, and at weddings. Many other regions have their own varieties of chocolate, adding vanilla or even chili powder. But the Oaxacan recipe calls for only raw sugar, premium cacao beans, Ceylon cinnamon, and just a few almonds. The result is a full flavored chocolate that lets the flavor of the cacao take center stage.

To prepare, heat 12-16 oz. milk of your choice or water in a saucepan, over medium heat.

Once the liquid is hot, add 1 stick of chocolate and simmer over low heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring frequently.

Stir and froth with a molinillo or whisk until the chocolate is fully incorporated. (Tradition says the frothier it is, the more love went into it.)

Optional: there is usually a concentration of chocolate left in the bottom of the pan. Many Mexicans consider these dregs to be the best part! But for a smoother, darker hot chocolate, pour most of the liquid into one or two cups, leaving about a quarter of the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Mash the remaining chocolate with the molinillo, whisk, or the back of a spoon until blended and add to your chocolate drink.

Serve and enjoy!
(makes 1 – 2 servings, depending on mug size)