Normally this time of year I'd be writing about wine spritzers or something refreshing. Certainly not hot chocolate. But it's been so cold here in Seattle I would swear it's winter. Mark Twain once said, "The coldest summer I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" Well, I'm sure he'd say the same about Seattle right now. Didn't we just have a heat wave?! So to take the chill off I cranked the heat up, threw an extra blanket on top of the already-down-quilted bed, and made a big mug of Mexican hot chocolate. Mexican hot chocolate makes Swiss Miss taste like pond water. Rich dark chocolate that's laced with cinnamon and coarse sugar, it's thick, frothy and warms you up like a hug from Granny. In fact, one of my favorite brands, Abuelita, means Little Grandma. Break one tablet into 4 cups of milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture frequently with a whisk until the chocolate is melted and frothy. Traditionally, Mexican chocolate is beaten to a froth with a whisk-like wooden implement called a molinillo. Since most of us don't own such an item you can pulse a small amount of the cocoa in a blender, then ladle on top of your beverage, much like a barista does with the foam of your latté. Drink immediately (you won't want to wait anyway). If you really need to take the edge off, add a splash of whiskey. A dash of chili powder is pretty good, too.
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