Dîa de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates loved ones lost. It's a day filled with striking color, joy, reflection, and yes lots of chocolate! As a Mexican-owned business, small details that reflect our heritage can be found everywhere in our teas, beverages, and food from our use of guava, cajeta (Mexican caramel), tomatillo salsa, and more.
One key tradition of Dîa de los Muertos is to build home altars with memorabilia of past ancestors and loved ones. The altars are decorated with the favorite flowers, beverages, and food of the passed ancestor. One common beverage, propped up on thousands of altars every year (if not more), is Mexican hot chocolate.
To celebrate Dîa de los Muertos this year, we want to share with you Schastea's Mexican hot chocolate recipe! It’s a staple on our menu.
As early as 500 B.C., The Mayans drank chocolate made from ground-up cocoa seeds across Mesoamerica. The seeds were ground to a paste and then mixed with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and a few other ingredients as well. It wasn’t yet close to the modern hot chocolate we know today, but the appreciation for cocoa dates back far and was believed to be a food of the gods. The bitter beverage was then poured back and forth between two vessels until a creamy froth formed.
The history of hot chocolate takes many twists and turns, but following the Aztec take on the chocolate drink, in the early 1500s Spanish explorers brought cocoa beans and the idea to grind and drink them to Europe. It quickly became a popular drink for the Spanish upper class, but it wasn’t until the news spread to England in the 1700s that milk was added to the beverage and the drink became what we think of it as today.
Schasteâ Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe
The first step to a delicious cup of hot chocolate is (you guessed it) great chocolate. We source a traditional dairy-free chocolate from Mexico and it arrives in a large block that we grind down by hand and mix with cinnamon. From there, it’s as simple as selecting your preferred milk and you can make it vegan with oat milk or your alternative of choice. We recommend steaming milk to 200ºF. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate blend and add chili powder based on your preference (we only add chili if requested).
3 Tablespoons Schasteâ Mexican Hot Chocolate blend (available in bulk at the tearoom, for those wintery nights at home)
12oz milk (tastes great with oat and almond milk, too)
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Optional: Cajéta (Mexican caramel) to taste