Tis the Season for Mexican Hot Chocolate

Coffee, chocolate, chiles, and tequila what could be better? Maybe adding a Sugar Knife Marshmallow.


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Alexeis Filipello of The Lodge goes all out on the Mexican hot chocolate

Photo by Lori Eanes

During winter in the East Bay, our front yards may not be frosted with fresh snow, and our awnings may not glisten with icicles, but every December we welcome in the holiday season like champs. We usher it in by savoring the 53-degree chill and celebrating that we'll never need to scrape sheets of ice from our windshields. And now, thanks to the debut of Piedmont Avenue's newest drinking establishment, we can order Mexican Hot Chocolate and feel like we're in our own private ski chalet.

It's a pleasure to introduce The Lodge, a wood-paneled haven where taxidermied bucks and jackalopes deck the walls. Near a roaring fireplace, an antler chandelier oversees the bar. This is the place to come for holiday cheer. When owner Alexeis Filipello prepares you a piping hot Mexican Hot Chocolate complete with a charred Sugar Knife marshmallow, it's possible you'll think you've been transported to a resort at the North Pole. Plus, you can pair your drink with the house pork plate or a build-your-own grilled cheese.

Preparation of this wintery beverage is quite a performance. After Filipello fills a mug with an aromatic blend of coffee, agave, and ancho-chile chocolate syrup, she torches each marshmallow individually. What we love most about this drink is how spicy and rich the chocolate is," she said. "And the tequila is a great addition as the high you get from both the coffee and alcohol is really different than the usual coffee-whiskey drink. Really clean, and a little whacky.

If you order this liquid benevolence, get ready for warmth inside and out. The temperature of the coffee will heat your palate, the tequila will light your core aflame, and the right-at-home atmosphere where you get to enjoy your drink will ignite your happiness to festive heights. So, pull up a seat, stay for a while, and remember how excellent it is to live here.

 

Mexican Hot Chocolate

      .5 ounces Mexican chocolate syrup
      1.5 ounces Tequila Ocho Reposado
      .5 ounces St. George Nola Coffee Liquor
      6 ounces Roast Co Stags Blend Hot Coffee
      1 Sugar Knife Marshmallow
      1 Cinnamon Stick

 To make the Mexican chocolate syrup, Melt 2 Taza organic Mexican chocolate bricks with 1 cup agave, 1 cup of brown sugar, and the peel of 1 orange. Add 2 dashes ancho chili powder to 2 cups of water. Reduce heat to medium and leave uncovered for 27 minutes. For the drink, put all the ingredients in a Libby Irish coffee mug. Top with a fresh burnt marshmallow and a cinnamon stick, or use fresh lightly sugared cinnamon whipped cream.

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