Chocolate Azteca

Aztec Hot Chocolate

The purpose of La Casa de La Cruz Verde is to acquaint visitors with the history of chocolate and to allow them to indulge in Cuban-grown and -processed chocolate in the form of beverages and hand-dipped bonbons. Joining the rest of the chocoholics, Marty and I sat at small marble tables and sipped slightly spicy “Aztec” hot chocolate, and frosty and refreshing cold chocolate. The Aztecs of central Mexico added spices to their chocolate and drank it unsweetened, and this is the museum’s version of that ancient beverage. Sugar is served separately for those of us who like it sweet.


  • 1 (1-ounce) square pure unsweetened dark chocolate (see Sources)
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper or ground hot chile
  • cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sugar to taste


In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper. Whisk in the milk, cornstarch mixture, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is hot, frothy, and thickened. Pour into cups and sweeten to taste with sugar.