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LATAM holiday drink
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Culture

9 Classic LATAM Beverages to Celebrate the Holiday Season 


To get into the Christmas spirit we’re highlighting some of the most popular holiday beverages that originated throughout Latin America. Enjoy un pedacito de Mexico with a classic cup of champurrado or imagine you’re near the fireplace on a snowy winter’s night with some coquito. From heart-warming cinnamon flavors and boozy eggnog to crowd-pleasing punches and creamy drinks that double as desserts, here are nine traditional LATAM drinks guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit.

Coquito

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You can’t celebrate the holidays without this creamy Puerto Rican cocktail. Every  family has their own unique way of making coquito but the classic recipe calls for vanilla, coconut milk, coconut cream, rum, and spices. Don Q rum is a popular traditional option or you can go without the alcohol – either way is a delicious option.

Ponche Navideño

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Ponche Navideño traditional Mexican drink dates back to the 1600s, when Spaniards brought punch to Mexico and mixed it with native Mexican fruits. While there’s no one set recipe for ponche navideño, we can almost certainly guarantee you’ll be full of holiday cheer after sipping on this concoction of cinnamon, sugar cane, apples, raisins, and tejocote. We love this recipe from Mexico in my Kitchen.

Rompope

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Throwing a holiday party this year? Impress your guests with this rich and creamy drink from Mexico that’s enjoyed throughout LATAM. What differentiates rompope from traditional eggnog is that rompope uses only egg yolks and adds almonds for a nutty flavor. It’s believed that nuns in Puebla, Mexico came up with the recipe that includes milk, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, egg yolks, rum or brandy, vanilla extract, and baking soda.  Check out RompopeCasero Tia Anita for a homemade version.

Crema de Vie

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There are endless variations to eggnog and the Cuban version is particularly decadent. For their version, the creme de vie, or “cream of life,” you’ll need cinnamon, condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla, and rum. You’ll need to chill this delicious beverage for at least an hour in the fridge before serving. Check out this recipe from My Big Fat Cuban Family.

Ponche Crema

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 Venezuelans are known to enjoy ponche crema during the holidays, a decadent beverage made with condensed milk and brandy.To create this recipe at home, all you need is milk, condensed milk, eggs, rum, and cloves. You can try this recipe from Dariela Cruz from Mami Talks.

Canelazo

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This rich combination of cinnamon, sugar, and fruit juice is just as cozy as a warm cobija on a cold winter’s night. Canelazo is a hot alcoholic beverage from Ecuador that’s enjoyed during the colder months and incorporated into traditional Christmas celebration throughout countries like Peru and Colombia. It can also be enjoyed without alcohol.

Atol de Elote

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If you love corn, you’ll love atole de elote, a rich beverage made with real corn. This classic drink that combines yellow corn, milk, cinnamon, sugar, and corn starch, producing a sweet and comforting flavor. The Spaniards actually adapted this recipe from the Mayans, who revered corn. You’ll find atole de elote in countries including Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador. You can learn how to make it through a virtual cooking class through SalviSoul.

Champurrado

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Champurrado is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for cold winter nights. This sweet and rich flavored Mexican recipe combines cinnamon, Mexican chocolate, piloncillo, anise, corn masa, and milk.  If you’re craving a sweet drink that’s satisfying this is it thanks to the addition of chocolate. Make a large amount and serve it at your annual posada!  We love this recipe from Isabel Eats.

Cola de Mono

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This flavorful beverage dates back to the 1900s in Chile. Then-President Pedro Montt attended a party and as  the night went on, they ran out of wine and he added aguardiente to a pitcher of coffee and milk. That mixture is now known as the Cola de Mono, believed to be a derivation from his name. Check out this recipe from Mi Diario de Cocina Chilena.