I’ve done it before with tortes, cakes and cookies, and given the heat, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Labor Day than lounging around with a refreshing, mexican-spiced ice blended drink.
The drink is a simple mixture of coffee, milk, ice and a chocolate/spice blend, which includes sugar, cocoa, ground chocolate and small amounts of vanilla, ancho chile powder and almond. It’s certainly a little bit more exotic than the usual offerings at Starbucks! Now, while I’m always in favor of homemade versions of products (especially mixes) you can buy elsewhere, and usually make ice blended coffee drinks from scratch at home, I actually used a mix for this drink. The Mocafe Azteca D’oro Mexican Spiced Ground Chocolate powder is a favorite of mine. I first encountered it in a cafe in Berkeley where they used it as the standard flavoring for mochas and ice blended drinks similar to this one. The spice mix is right on target and it goes well with both hot and cold drinks, dissolving easily both in mugs of steaming coffee and blenders of milk and ice.
I recommend keeping an eye out for the Mexican Spiced Chocolate mix the next time you’re in the market (I’ve found it at most Whole Foods markets), or for the hotter ancho chile-version, if you want something even spicier. If you can’t find it, you can still make your own version at home using the ingredients from the mix as a guideline. You can buy ground ancho chilies online, but can substitute a pinch of another ground pepper (for a similar kick but a different flavor) if you can’t get it elsewhere
Mexican Spiced Ice Blended
Fill up one large cup (16 oz.) with ice and pour strong, cool coffee (add a shot of espresso if you have it) over ice to fill 3/4 of the cup. Top coffee with cold milk or, if you’re feeling very indulgent, with light cream. Pour this into a blender.
Add 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 3-4 tbsp sugar (or to taste), 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, a drop of almond extract, and 1/8 tsp powdered ancho chile (or a pinch of cayenne pepper). Blend until very smooth. Taste, and add more sugar, coffee or milk as necessary until desired flavor and consistency is reached.
Whipped cream topping optional.
Makes 2 servings.