Welcome to a tongue-in-cheek, but sometimes super serious column documenting adventures with spirits and cocktails when out and about or from the comfort of my own home. Let's discover new things together!

It's only recently dipped to fall temperatures, but crisp weather signifies the beginning hot chocolate season. I have all the variations -- the cheap instant packages, the kind you make with real melted chocolate, and the gourmet stuff that my husband says I bastardize by making with soy or almond milk. 

Here's the deal: It doesn't even matter which type of hot cocoa I use because after a (generous) splash of Ancho Reyes: The Original Ancho Chile Liqueur -- a.k.a. spicy alcohol made from ancho chili peppers -- they all taste similar. And, by that, I mean awesome. 

The liqueur is sweet, but maintains a moderate heat, making it ideal for mixing with chocolate. For those of you who still say you can tell the difference between cocoa powder and real chocolate, by the second mug, you won't care anyway.

There are a lot of other things you can do with this unique spirit; head to the website for more cocktail recipes.

Coco Caliente (via Ancho Reyes)

  • 2 parts Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
  • 5 parts hot chocolate

Combine Ancho Reyes and homemade hot chocolate in a footed glass. Garnish with grated cinnamon.

Note: Don't be intimidated if you don't have all the fancy stuff. I modified the recipe slightly by using a hot chocolate mix, a mug and equal parts liqueur and hot chocolate. Then I bundled up on the couch to watch Netflix and write this post. I'd say it was a success.

Booze News Insider Rachel Hart believes in the importance of expanding one’s happy hour and nightcap repertoire beyond a glass of wine (although, she’ll happily take one). She loves to discover creative quality spirits and cocktails and hopes you’ll go on the journey with her.

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