Phil's Winter Warmup: Spicy Hot Cocoa

By Kyrie Collins, Macaroni KID Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree Publisher February 2, 2024

The Aztecs invented a spicy chocolate drink called xocoatl. Instead of sweetening their chocolate with sugar, they added chilies for a spicy but bitter drink.

We think you can have sugar and spice and everything nice!

Named in honor of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who predicts annually whether we'll see an early spring or get six more weeks of wintry weather, our homemade hot cocoa recipe will make you feel toasty from the inside out!

It's sweet and creamy with a subtle kick to it thanks to spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, and just a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Phil's Winter Warmup Hot Cocoa
Makes four servings

  • 4 cups milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat until it simmers.

Remove from heat and pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips.

Serve and enjoy!