Iced Spicy Drinking Chocolate Recipe

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Photo by Unsplash/Monika Grabkowska

From Chocolopolis

Level: Easy

Yield: 4 servings

This recipe comes from one of my favorite specialty shops in the country, Chocolopolis, in Seattle. Owner Lauren Adler’s collection of craft chocolate makes it a must-stop when I visit the Emerald City, and the crazy-good café offerings are just whipped cream on the drinking chocolate. I especially like this recipe, which adds heat to a traditional beverage for a nice surprise. The Aztecs took their chocolate with added spices like chiles and allspice and very little sugar. Lauren adapted that idea for a modern palate, adding milk and sugar, but you still get the idea.

Be sure to use chile flakes (large pieces of dried chiles), not powdered chiles. Flakes offer a lot of great flavor, and you can strain them out easily so the chocolate is not gritty. If you can’t find flakes, substitute half the amount of ground spices and strain the drink extra carefully. Be sure to use a smoky or earthy chocolate that can stand up to chiles, like single origins from Mexico, Papua New Guinea, or Venezuela.


  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (preferably 72 percent cocoa or darker), chopped
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ancho chile flakes
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons guajillo chile flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Combine the chocolate, milk, ancho and guajillo chile flakes, allspice, and cayenne in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir continuously to prevent burning or boiling the milk.
  2. When the chocolate is melted and steam begins to rise off the top, take the saucepan off the stove, cover, and set aside to steep for 20 minutes. If you’re short on time, you can reduce the amount of steeping time, but the flavor will be less intense.
  3. When the chocolate has finished steeping, place the saucepan back on the stovetop and heat over medium heat, stirring continuously, until steam begins to rise.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes, then pour over ice and enjoy!

More from Bean to Bar Chocolate:

Excerpted from Bean to Bar Chocolate by Megan Giller. Photography by © Jody Horton. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Author Megan Giller traces the journey from harvesting cacao pods to transforming them into finished bars with distinctive and complex flavors (including fruity, floral, nutty, and smoky). You’ll then go behind the scenes to learn why artisanal chocolate from America’s hottest makers is so special.

Giller teaches the nuanced art of pairing chocolate with beer, spirits, bread, cheese, and more, while master chefs highlight those irresistible combinations with recipes for decadent treats such as Ceylon Tea Fudge Sauce and Pop Rocks Chocolate Bark. Order from the our store or by calling 800-456-6018.

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