For A Cozy, Boozy Nighttime Treat, Try Abuelita's Surprise

There's a new nighttime ritual in my house, where I'm hunkering down with my retired parents for the remainder of the holiday season. Each night, about an hour before I head to bed, I make three cups of Abuelita hot chocolate with a hearty splash of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. I present these to my parents, who are almost always watching television in front of a roaring fire, and I drink my own while reading a book. It's the coziest way to end a day and I don't see any reason why I can't continue this practice throughout the cold and dark winter ahead.

Is the addition of Fireball tacky? Maybe? But as my mom said recently while sniffing a mug of frothy cocoa and Fireball, "It smells like cookies!" Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your taste, Fireball is the only way to go when it comes to spiking Mexican hot cocoa. It melds with the rich dark chocolate and cinnamon flavor of Abuelita and renders the warm goodnight I now rely on. Here's the recipe I use.

Abuelita’s Surprise

Yields 24 fluid ounces (3-4 servings)

  • 1 cup heavy cream*
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablet of Abuelita
  • 3-4 oz. Fireball
  • Bring the cream and milk to a low boil. Break the tablet of chocolate into four pieces and add it to the milk as it warms, stirring occasionally. When the milk begins to foam and bubble, you can reduce the heat. Stir the pot and run a spoon along the bottom of the pot to make sure the chocolate has melted into the liquid. Divide the cocoa between three or four small mugs and top off with Fireball to taste.


    *If you don't have heavy cream, use half and half or light cream. Try bumping up the ratio of cream to milk (use 1.5 cups of half and half or light cream with 1.5 cups of whole milk) to maintain the same creamy consistency in the cocoa.