Ok, Seriously. What's A Dirty Hot Chocolate?

by Kevin Newsum December 12, 2018

I think we all end up in the same place. It's easy to get hung up on the "Dirty" part of the Dirty Hot Chocolate, and if we're taking this particular train of thought even further, what we're really trying to find is a way to make the comforting and somewhat decadent (hot chocolate) even (gasp) more decadent. Because the answer to the question "how much more delicious should we make something?" is always "More Delicious."

The first record of chocolate flavored beverages arrived with the Mayans around 500 BC.  While their version, concocted from grounded cocoa seedsswam with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers, you wouldn't really call it extravagant (but you might call it bitter and cold, as that's what it was). Spanish explorers imported cocoa to Spain in the 1500s, and eventually, audiences warmed to the idea of chocolate served hot and sweetened (and without all of those chili peppers happening). By the 1600s chocolate had made its way to France, and the Industrial Revolution later paved the way to mass consumption for all. 

And so, we present a few thoughts on the Dirty Hot Chocolate. 

Worth noting: some versions of the Dirty Hot Chocolate are called Dirty because they have booze in them. We've seen exotic concoctions featuring tequila and agave nectar, others, some bringing red wine to the party; other, more traditional takes where amaretto is the answer to the oft-asked question "hey, what's going on here?" Kahlua is often a co-conspirator. Vodka too. 

So the Dirty Hot Chocolate could be dirty because it's a "harder" version of what you're used to.

Moving on. 

A significant aspect of what makes the Dirty Hot Chocolate mesmerizing is the decadence itself, that luxurious sip that doesn't require high octane additives to pack a punch and create a memorable by way of cozy drinking experience. That said, this cup is definitely not shy.  Welcome to Flavortown...population You. 

How To Make A Dirty Hot Chocolate


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1 bottle Steamm Espresso 
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% or so chopped)
  • Giant bowl of whipped cream (for serving)


    1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, until small bubbles appear around the edges. Do not allow the mixture to boil. 
    2. Remove from saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted, returning the sauce to low heat if needed for the chocolate to melt completely. Stir in Steamm Espresso. Serve warm, topped with lots of whipped cream.


Kevin Newsum
Kevin Newsum


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