Chocolate Blog: Celebrating a Famous Mexican Custom

Chocolate Blog: Celebrating a Famous Mexican Custom

At 80Noir HQ, we delve deeply into the cultural experiences and history of chocolate. Today, on the Day of the Dead, we focus on a special occasion when the veil between life and death is believed to be very thin, and people honour their departed loved ones.

To properly celebrate the Day of the Dead, families prepare scrumptious chocolate beverages and create altars (ofrendas) adorned with candles, flowers (particularly marigolds), food, drinks, and personal mementos of deceased relatives.

These offerings assist spirits in returning to the realm of the living for a brief visit during this significant holiday. A traditional method involves preparing Mexican hot chocolate with a special tool called a Molinillo.

Using a Molinillo for making hot chocolate on the Day of the Dead holds profound cultural importance. This traditional Mexican kitchen tool symbolizes not only an authentic preparation method for the rich and frothy beverage but also serves as a connection to ancestral customs and traditions. As loved ones gather to pay tribute to their departed family members, making and sharing hot chocolate with a Molinillo becomes an act of honouring and preserving cultural heritage. Furthermore, it fosters family bonding as generations work together to whisk the perfect hot chocolate and share their treasured culinary knowledge.

The Molinillo is a conventional wooden whisk with centuries of use in Mexico for frothing hot chocolate and other beverages. Initially introduced by Spanish colonizers inspired by European culinary culture, it was adapted to embrace local traditions and ingredients. With its slender handle, intricately carved cylindrical shaft, and rounded bottom, the Molinillo is designed to achieve the ideal frothy texture in a cup of hot chocolate.

To use a molinillo, follow these simple steps:

  1. Heat milk or water in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature.
  2. While the liquid warms up, grate or drop in dark chocolate beads.
  3. Add the chocolate into the heated milk (or water) and stir continuously until fully melted and combined.
  4. Hold the molinillo between your palms and submerge its rounded base into the hot chocolate mixture.
  5. Rub your palms together at medium speed while holding the molinillo so that it produces frothy bubbles.

 For the best Mexican hot chocolate recipe, combine the following ingredients:


  1. In a large saucepan, combine milk (or water), dark chocolate, cinnamon, and chili powder.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat until steaming but not boiling.
  3. Immerse your molinillo stirrer in the mixture and start whirling it between your palms to melt the chocolate completely and create frothiness.
  4. Continue stirring using the molinillo until desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Pour into individual cups and serve immediately.

With practice and dedication, you'll master using a molinillo to make traditional frothy Mexican hot chocolate, adding warmth and richness to your special moments.

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