Canelazo is a traditional spiced hot drink from the highlands in Ecuador. The original canelazo recipe is made by boiling water with cinnamon and sugar or panela, and then it is mixed with a local sugar cane alcohol called punta or aguardiente. The climate in the Sierra or highlands of Ecuador is usually mild during the day, as long as the sun is out you will be fine wearing a t-shirt. However, it can get cold at night, especially when it rains, and most houses in the highlands don’t have gas or electric heaters – we have thick blankets called colchas. If you’re home at night you are typically fine, however during local festivities there are a lot of outdoor nightly activities, including shows, fairs or firework displays. Naranjillazo recipe Ecuadorian naranjillazo drink This is where hot canelazo comes in; if you are feeling the cold a drink of canelazo will definitely warm you up. One of my best memories of drinking canelazo was with a group of friends during the local fiestas. One night we took a ride on a chiva; this literally translates as a goat, however in this case it’s a rustic open bus. It was a very cold night, but thankfully they were serving canelazo on the chiva – that was probably the time where I appreciated it the most.

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