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Is mezcal hot chocolate this winter’s hippest drink?

The earthiness of mezcal makes it the perfect match for a spiked hot chocolate, say agave experts.

Yesterday’s clock change signified not only an extra hour of sleep, but also the official start of warm festive drink season. Beware crazed hordes of Pumpkin Spice Latte fans clamouring for their fix.

This year, there’s a new contender in town as experts say mezcal is a perfect match for a spiked hot chocolate, and people are starting to take notice.

“Both hot chocolate and mezcal are culturally significant drinks in Mexico that are defined by their terroir,” Ben Schroder, founder of artisanal mezcal brand Pensador told the drinks business.

“The earthy, savoury, mineral-rich tones of mezcal are ideal for drawing out the fruity notes of quality cacao. Mezcal also tastes phenomenal when stirred into hot milk, with a spoonful of sugar and a twist of orange.”

Pensador, which produces its mezcal in Miahuatlán, Southern Oaxaca, is pioneering the boozy brew in the UK market by bringing out a mezcal hot chocolate kit in November. The set, priced at £41.50, includes a bottle of Pensador Espadin and a tin of Cool Chile Hot Chocolate for consumers to mix together at home.

“Mezcal hot chocolate marries together two of Mexico’s most ancient traditions,” Schroder told db. “Hot chocolate in Mexico can date back to 500 BC to the Mayan civilisation where it was actually drunk cold. In modern day Mexico, it’s a warm, semi-sweet drink, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and often a pinch of cayenne. The stone-ground Tabasqueño cacao beans used in our kit’s hot chocolate powder are sourced in the Selva Zoque, and pair perfectly with the earthy, aromatic mezcal,” revealed Schroder.

With Diageo set to invest more than US$500 million in Tequila production in Mexico and the likes of Lost Explorer Mezcal planting three agave plants for every agave it distils, it seems as though the meteoric ascension of Mezcal won’t be stopping any time soon.

Fancy making your own mezcal hot chocolate from scratch? Add 4-6 tablespoons of smoky mezcal to one litre of whole milk, and stir over a low heat, adding 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a generous pinch of both ground cinnamon and chili/cayenne powder and 100ml of single cream. Add sugar to taste.

It’ll make fireworks night go off with a bang.

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