4 cups whole milk
3 3-inch-long cinnamon sticks, broken in half
30 whole cloves
1 teaspoon aniseed
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
5 tablespoons coffee liqueur
Bring milk and spices to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar; whisk until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Cover; let steep 45 minutes.
Bring hot chocolate just to simmer. Mix in liqueur.
Strain into 4 mugs.
In Mexico City, you can still get drinks like this contemporary version of the Aztec cacahuatl. This recipe calls for semisweet chocolate; try a Mexican chocolate such as cinnamon-flavored Ibarra from Guadalajara if you can. If using Ibarra, omit the cinnamon sticks and brown sugar.
Serves 4 generously
Janice W. Thomas
Savory Spoon Cooking School