Ed’s Fireball Hot Cocoa Recipe

The hot chocolate recipe on the back of the cocoa container tastes like bland liquid candy.

This tastes the way hot cocoa should:


  • 1 generous cup milk (full-fat is where it’s at)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar (just do it)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (not chocolate drink mix)
  • 1/4 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp milk for mixing
  • few drops peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 oz Starbucks City Mug (got ’em cheap at a tag sale)


  • Microwave the generous cup o’ milk for 1 minute
  • Mix dry ingredients in the giant mug
  • Stir in just enough cold milk to make a thick mud (*)
  • Add peppermint drops using 1/4 tsp measure
  • Rinse 1/4 tsp measure with vanilla
  • Blend the extracts into the mud (*)
  • Stir in warm milk, scraping mud off the mug
  • Microwave for another 45 s or so
  • Stir to blend

What’s going on:

  • More cocoa = more flavor, pure & simple
  • Less sugar = more cocoa bite
  • Vietnamese cinnamon adds the aroma & zip of those old Atomic Fireballs
  • Vanilla smooths the taste
  • Peppermint reminds you it’s winter

Sipping a cup in the afternoon banishes the urge to power-nosh anything else until suppertime…

* Update: non-alkalized / non-Dutch-process cocoa doesn’t blend well. Mix up the mud, let it set for 15 minutes, blend again, pause for 5 minutes, then proceed. Wonderfully smooth with no powder bombs.