Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with Tequila

I have admittedly gone a bit nuts with tequila and warm drinks. This one might be the best yet and for me it seems perfect for sharing it with those you love…warm, chocolate, bit of fire…am I right? I concocted it last Friday night and knew it was a winner so asked some friends over Saturday night to share a mug with me. I now know the response to expect when I mention what I’m making if it’s a warm drink where I include the addition of tequila. To a person, the notion is foreign; even sounds almost bad. That’s how ubiquitous our association of tequila and citrus is…we think it has a citrus taste all the time so it sure doesn’t sound compatible with hot chocolate to most folks.

So…to imagine this drink; you have to disassociate the two. Remove the citrus component and think of tequila by itself; it certainly has a bite to it and it’s that bite that makes it perfect with warm drinks. It’s another level of warmth. The flavor of tequila is not as prevalent as is a very subtle burn…I think you can feel it almost more than taste it. Not a fiery burn but a nice warm tingle that serves to elevate both coffee and hot chocolate drinks substantially. I LOVE it…and so have my friends and family that braved through their notion and discovered a whole new world of warm, tequila based cocktails with me.


I crafted this cocktail with some surefire winners. Maestro Dobel Tequila is a Single Estate, 100% Agave tequila. The crystal clear spirit comes packaged in a heavily embossed bottle that’s simply beautiful. I’ve long lauded the superior quality of a Reposado tequila and this one is no exception.

Dobel Tequila is one of the United States’ fastest growing ultra-premium tequilas; recognized for its superior smoothness and iconic packaging which includes a stopper and a modern twist on a vintage apothecary-style bottle; a heavily embossed design that’s inspired by vintage laboratory glassware used by the Maestro Tequileros (master distillers) in the early part of the last century.

It’s clean tasting, super clear and if you’re not familiar with Reposado tequila, a great one to try. Aged for one year or less, that time is enough to smooth out some of tequila’s rough edges…the difference is evident in all of my cocktails but even more so in this sweet treat. You must try it…and when you do? Gold will be passé, I promise.


I’ve long been a fan of Scharffen Berger chocolates; I can’t deny I was thrilled when they sent me a package of assorted products as a gift; enough that I was able to share some with friends even! I used their Bittersweet chocolate bar for the hot chocolate which made it ultra rich and thick and beyond what you would think of most hot chocolate concoctions; we really almost needed a spoon!


My friend Terry was so right when he called this dessert; it is super rich chocolate milk combined with cajeta (goat milk caramel), tequila, whipped cream and finished with some Maldon salt flakes. So good. So warm. So you must make it!

I made the caramel a few weeks ago and shared the recipe last week. I used goat milk so it’s called cajeta but use Dulce de Leche or any good caramel sauce; perhaps one you’ve made yourself? This was such a treat; make one for your love sure, but hey…if you’re celebrating the ‘V’ Day alone…certainly make one for yourself!

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 cocktails

A decadent blend of rich hot chocolate and caramel served with tequila, whipped cream and a touch of salt.


  • 2 cups milk (at least 2%)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Half of a vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp of vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 5 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp cane, demera or brown sugar
  • 3 oz caramel sauce
  • 3 oz reposado or anejo tequila
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel for garnish
  • Maldon sea salt


  1. Pour milk into medium saucepan and heat until steaming.
  2. Remove from heat and add the cinnamon stick, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa and sugar. Turn off heat and let steep for fifteen minutes; allowing time for chocolate to melt.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick, whisk mixture and return to low heat; continue whisking until hot and frothy.
  4. Add caramel sauce and whisk until incorporated and warmed.
  5. Pour the caramel hot chocolate into 2 large mugs.
  6. To each mug, add 1.5 oz of tequila.
  7. Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with salt.