Spice Up El Invierno with 5 Latin Hot Chocolate Recipes

Spice Up El Invierno with 5 Latin Hot Chocolate Recipes

This winter, snuggle up with one of our 5 Latin American hot chocolate variations!

By: Lucy Lopez

Whether you’re enjoying the outdoors or having a relaxing night in, there’s nothing like a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm and cozy during the winter. It’s the perfect after-dinner treat to tickle your sweet tooth – but, of course, you can enjoy it any time of day!

I had no idea that Latin American cultures had so many variations on traditional hot chocolate – Did you? Let’s take a trip around the world of winter treats, starting in South America.

Peru: Tres Leches Hot Chocolate
Say goodbye to your run-of-the-mill chocolate powder packet and say hello to cocoa powder. Peru uses a rich recipe with three types of milk, Latin chocolate and cocoa powder.

2 1/4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups regular milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
100 grams Latin drinking-chocolate bar, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Bring 2 cups water and a cinnamon stick to a boil in a large pot over high heat, boil for 5 minutes
  2. Add 3 cups regular milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk to pot. Stir to combine, and allow to simmer for 2 minutes
  3. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and chopped chocolate pieces. Add 1 cup of regular hot milk to the bowl with the chocolates and set aside while it melts
  4. Stir chocolate mixture to dissolve the powder and pieces. Add this mixture to the pot and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes
  5. In a 1/4 cup of water, dissolve the cornstarch. Add to the pot and stir consistently
  6. Stir over low heat for 2 more minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve

Venezuela: Spiced Hot Chocolate
This chocolate caliente recipe is great for those who want that winter spice we all know and love. With a bit of fresh orange zest, this recipe will give you a freshness never thought to be a part of traditional hot chocolate.

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 star anise seeds, whole
5 allspice berries, whole
Zest of one orange


  1. Combine brown sugar and milk in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring as the sugar dissolves and until the milk starts to bubble around the edges of the pan
  2. Lower heat and cook on stovetop for 10 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for an additional 10 minutes. Strain into another pot, begin to stir in semisweet chocolate
  4. Whisk over low heat until chocolate is completely melted
  5. Add in cinnamon sticks, spices and orange zest. Serve immediately

Argentina: El Submarino
The idea behind Argentina’s el submarino is for kids to have fun stirring in their own chocolate until it melts in steamed milk. By using dark chocolate, your little ones will have an antioxidant-rich but delicious treat!

1 cup skim or almond milk
1-ounce (70 percent) dark chocolate bar, broken in half


  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium until hot, stirring constantly. Make sure the milk is not boiling
  2. Once milk starts to steam, it’s ready! Carefully pour milk evenly into two heat-safe glass mugs. Drop in chocolate bar, stir and serve

Mexico: Hot Chocolate with a Pinch of Cayenne
Yes, you read that right. You’ll really be turning up the heat with this Mexican hot chocolate recipe. But be careful not to add too much!

6 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (12-ounce) bags semisweet chocolate chips
Small pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of cocoa powder


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract and nutmeg
  2. Begin to slowly add in chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Add in small pinch of cayenne pepper
  3. Cover and turn heat on low for 5 minutes. Serve with a light dusting of cocoa powder

Puerto Rico: Hot Chocolate con Queso
What's interesting about this Puerto Rican recipe is that you’re dropping cheese inside the hot chocolate. It that it feels like you're having a drink and a snack all in one. As someone who has tried this and at first thought it was the strangest thing, trust me – it's amazing!

Fun Fact: Many Colombians may recognize this unique recipe, as their hot cocoa variation also incorporates queso!

1 cup evaporated milk
1-ounce Latin or Puerto Rican chocolate, coarsely chopped
Small cubes of Gouda or mozzarella cheese


  1. In a small pan, simmer the milk. Make sure it does not boil!
  2. When it begins to steam, add the chunks of chocolate and whisk until dissolved
  3. Pour directly into mug and carefully drop in a few chunks of cheese.
  4. Optional: If you want to keep with the Puerto Rican tradition, serve with saltine crackers and butter

Cleanup Tip: No matter which of these hot chocolates you choose to enjoy, hand wash your dirty mugs with Dawn Dish Soap for a superior clean!

I hope these recipes inspire you to have some fun with this winter treat. Which of these chocolate caliente recipes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Lucía (Lucy) Lopez was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and lucky enough to have a second home on the pretty little island of Puerto Rico. With writing as her passion, she’s beyond excited to be a part of the Orgullosa community and getting to learn more about Hispanic cultures, other than her own, along the way.