A molinillo whisk is a specialised Mexican whisk that makes the milk more frothy than a regular whisk, giving the hot chocolate a lot more foam and aeration. If you want to make real Mexican hot chocolate the molinillo whisk is a must, whilst it's possible that you could get the same results with a regular whisk if you were willing to work the milk for longer.
The tool itself was originally invented by Spanish colonists in Mexico in the 1700’s. It was used for the preparation of a ‘hot chocolate’ drink that was inspired by the Aztecs, who made the chocolate from roasted beans.
Due to the design of the tool, it would cause the chocolate to become significantly thicker (the more chocolate the better right)? Today, due to the emulsifiers in chocolate, there is no risk of it separating. Instead, you can enjoy the benefits of a rich, creamy hot chocolate in the comfort of your own home.
While the tool itself has undergone several European adaptations, the original can still be purchased and used to create a frothy hot chocolate. On the other hand, a regular whisk is mainly good for mixing and combining ingredients together whereas the molinillo is specifically for creating froth.
A downfall to the molinillo whisk is that due to being made from wood it can be more difficult to clean in comparison to a stainless steel whisk. It makes use of a somewhat complex design, which can cause little bits of chocolate to build up in certain areas. However, with a soak in hot water, you should be able to remove all of the chocolate from the tool.
When comparing the molinillo whisk to a regular one, it could be argued that your hot chocolate preferences will determine which is your favourite. if you prefer a hot chocolate without froth, then a regular whisk may be your best option. However, If you prefer a rich, frothy hot chocolate then the molinillo whisk is for you.