Bartender Lana Gailani of New York’s Seamstress wanted to create a festive hot cocktail that went beyond spiking a mug of hot chocolate with a slug of whatever spirit was close at hand, so she looked to three exotic C’s for inspiration: chai, chile and coconut. The result was the Warm-Hearted, a spicy-sweet-creamy crossover between chai tea and hot cocoa. It gets an extra kick of heat from fiery Patrón XO Incendio (a tequila-based liqueur infused with Criollo chocolate and arbol chile), while chai tea gives it that wintery spice, and coconut milk makes it extra decadent. For a show-stopping garnish, Gailani serves the drink with a spoon dipped in dark chocolate and a nostalgia-inducing roasted marshmallow. It’s a chocolate-and-chile lover’s dream that will warm you inside and out.
Patrón XO Incendio
1 oz silver tequila
2.25 tsp Patrón XO Incendio
1.5 oz whole milk
1.5 oz coconut milk
.25 oz galangal syrup
1/8 tsp powdered chai masala
large marshmallow, for garnish
dark chocolate-dipped spoon, for garnish
- Combine all ingredients except for garnishes in a saucepan and whisk together. Heat gently until steaming.
- Carefully pour the cocoa into a mug, and garnish with a large marshmallow.
- Toast the marshmallow with a torch or over a fire, drop it into the mug, and serve the cozy cocktail with the chocolate-dipped spoon for swirling.
1 fresh galangal root
.25 cup water
.25 cup sugar
- Make simple syrup from water and sugar.
- Wash galangal root and cut into half-inch pieces, skin on.
- Place galangal pieces into blender and cover with simple syrup.
- Blend on high for 30 seconds, then strain with a fine mesh strainer.
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Spoon
2 oz dark chocolate (2 squares)
1 tsp loose leaf chai tea
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, break up chocolate into small pieces and place in microwave on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, stir and repeat heating in shorter intervals (15-20 seconds) stirring in between until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Dip the bowl of a plastic teaspoon into melted dark chocolate and tap off the excess.
- Dust with loose leaf chai tea, and set spoon on parchment paper to dry.
- Chill in the refrigerator until firm.