December 1, 2023

Hot chocolate recipes from around the world

As travelers, we love indulging in the local culture wherever we go. We’ve been using our DetourOn planner to pretend like we’re in other countries, but it doesn’t replace being there. Since we can’t physically experience the world right now, we’ve decided to bring a part of it into our home instead. Each night we follow a hot chocolate recipe from a different country. Then we sip it while watching a movie from that country. It’s been really fun (and tasty) so we decided to share our favorite hot chocolate recipes and movies with you. We hope you find as much enjoyment in this as we do!
Note: Some of the movie suggestions are rated R.

Skip to the recipe of your choice:
American hot chocolate
Belgian hot chocolate
Colombian hot chocolate
French hot chocolate
Indian hot chocolate
Israeli hot chocolate
Mexican hot chocolate
Ukrainian hot chocolate
Viennese hot chocolate

American hot chocolate

This is a good starting point for the beginner hot chocolate maker. American hot chocolate may be first in our list because we’re writing it in alphabetical order, but it’s also a great way to ease into the hot chocolate making process. In time, this will allow you to gradually hone your skills and develop your taste buds. For this reason, we have decided to share with you two American hot chocolate styles. Both are quick and simple to master.  

Swiss Miss packet ingredients – makes 1 serving

  • 1 Swiss Miss packet (whichever you’d like)
  • 1 cup water, add more to taste
  • ⅛ cup milk (any type, optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Hershey’s syrup (optional)

Directions: heat up water to desired temperature, stir in Swiss Miss packet, add milk (optional), top with whipped cream and syrup (optional).

Pair your American Swiss Miss hot chocolate with Stagecoach. Watch it on Tubi or Amazon Prime.  

Hershey’s syrup ingredients – makes 1 serving

Directions: heat up milk to desired temperature, stir in Hershey’s syrup. Top with whipped cream (optional).

Pair your American Hershey’s syrup hot chocolate with Easy Rider. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Belgian hot chocolate 

This is the perfect hot chocolate to follow the American nights. Similar to the Americans, the Belge simply add chocolate to their warm milk. There is, however, one huge difference! The element that sets the Belgian hot chocolate apart is the chocolate itself. It must be Belgian style! This gives the milk a much richer taste and texture. The secret we’ve found for Belgian hot chocolate specifically is combining dark and milk chocolates.
Hint: Both have to be BELGIAN chocolates! 

Many recipes, such as the one below, recommend adding salt and cinnamon to your hot chocolate. You can choose to take it or leave it. The important thing is that you use the two different chocolate types.

Ingredients – makes 4-6 servings

Directions: Heat the chocolate, salt, and ⅓ of the milk. Once completely melted, stir in the rest of the milk. Add cinnamon. Whisk until smooth. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
See the full recipe at

Pair your Belgian hot chocolate with Man Bites Dog. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Colombian hot chocolate

We’re stepping it up a notch now with hot chocolate making abilities and flavors. To make Colombian hot chocolate in the traditional way, you need the proper tools, namely olleta (aluminum pot) and molinillo (wooden beater). You also need the proper Colombian ingredients, namely a hot chocolate bar and a ball of mild cheese. Yes, cheese.
Hint: Colombians DO NOT make their hot chocolate with powder, and they DO NOT use fancy cheese. Once again, yes, cheese.

It’s okay if you don’t have the traditional Colombian tools or ingredients. Neither do we. In fact, we adapted the below recipe to the typical American kitchen. We’re happy to report that we were still able to make a comparable drink at home. If you get really into this hot chocolate hobby, you may want to consider purchasing your own olleta and molinillo.

Ingredients – makes 2 servings

  • 1 qt milk or water
  • 6 tbsp Colombian hot chocolate bar (or the cheapest sweet chocolate you can find in your grocery store)
  • 1 ball of Colombian Paipa cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes (queso fresco, mozzarella, or halloumi could also work)

Directions: Heat up the milk, stir in the chocolate powder, and beat the mixture until frothy. Remove from heat for a moment, then return to the heat and beat again until frothy and thick. Place a few cheese cubes in the bottom of an empty cup. Pour your milk and chocolate mixture over it.

Pair your Colombian hot chocolate with The Wind Journeys. Watch it on Tubi or Amazon Prime.

French hot chocolate

Similar to the Belgian hot chocolate, the French hot chocolate also requires melting good quality chocolate in milk. Contrary to Belgian hot chocolate, the French ingredients can come from anywhere in the world. However, you must use whole milk in order to make it traditional! 

Ingredients – makes 4 servings

Directions: Heat up the milk. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Add brown sugar to taste. Return to heat and continue stirring until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.
Check out this recipe for a few more optional ingredients and an interesting history of chocolate in France.

Pair your French hot chocolate with Chocolat. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Indian hot chocolate

OK, honestly, when I was in India I did not have a single cup of hot chocolate. However, I did have a BUNCH of masala chai. As a result, I’m including a recipe here for a great masala chai. Feel free to add cocoa powder to turn it into a fabulous hot chocolate. 

Ingredients – makes 2 servings


Lightly crush the cardamom, cloves, star anise and peppercorns, and place in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Add ginger, cinnamon and black tea. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let seep for at least 10 minutes, then add milk and bring to a simmer once more, then turn off the heat. Add sugar to taste. Strain into a glass.
See the full receipt at

Pair your Indian hot chocolate with Jodhaa Akbar. Watch it on Netflix.

Israeli hot chocolate

Similar to the Belgian and French hot chocolates, the Israeli hot chocolate also requires simply melting chocolate in milk. Once again, the catch for this one is the chocolate. It must be mekupelet, the Israeli chocolate log. Some grocery stores in big cities around the world carry this chocolate in the kosher section. Otherwise, order it online

Ingredients – makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup whole milk or any other milk of choice
  • 1 mekupelet

Directions: Heat up the milk, drop the chocolate log inside, and stir. The chocolate will not melt completely, but just enough to flavor the milk. You’ll get the added pleasure of biting into a chunk of the log.

Side track: Sachlav is another traditional hot drink in Israel, available only in winter. In the rest of the Middle East, it is also known as sahlab, salep, or saloop, depending which country you’re in. Aside for tea and coffee, you should try this drink when you visit any of the Middle Eastern countries.

You can certainly try making sachlav at home, but be aware that it is quite different from anything you’ve ever tried before. First, it’s a chocolateless drink. Second, its texture is close to pudding. Third, its main ingredient is rosewater, which is very difficult to find in regular supermarkets in the Western world. Finally, if you’ve never tasted rosewater, be prepared for sachlav to be an acquired taste for you. This is a great sachlav recipe.

Pair your Israeli hot chocolate with A Borrowed Identity. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Mexican hot chocolate

A bit of spice in your hot chocolate never hurt anyone. The traditional way of making Mexican hot chocolate is very similar to the Colombian way, using olleta and molinillo. There are, however, a couple of twists on the flavor. To spice it up a bit, Mexicans add cinnamon to their hot chocolate, and sometimes also chili powder.

The simplest recipe for Mexican hot chocolate is to melt special Mexican hot chocolate tablets in milk, and add cinnamon. But we’ve found a recipe from scratch that really warms the heart. Literally, it burns!

Ingredients – makes 2 servings

Directions: Heat up the milk, add all the ingredients, stir over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then whisk (preferably with a molinillo) for about 10 minutes to give the drink a frothy texture.

Pair your Mexican hot chocolate with Y Tu Mama Tambien. Watch it on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Ukrainian hot chocolate

This is a classic Ukranian drink. It is as different as any of the other hot chocolates mentioned in this article. In fact, it may be the most unique hot chocolate that we have tasted anywhere else in the world. The feature that makes it so unique is the addition of corn flour and butter. This results in more of a pudding texture than a drink. You can sip on it slowly or eat it up with a spoon. Also, serve it in a small cup. This is because it’s very rich!

We found the recipe below to be extremely satisfying, but you don’t have to use all the ingredients. To make a truly Ukrainian hot chocolate, all you need is the cocoa powder, sugar, corn flour, and butter. The rest is just flavor fluff.

Ingredients – makes 2 servings

Directions: Heat up the milk. Stir in the sugar, cocoa, vanillin, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the chocolate until completely melted, then stir in the corn flour. Continue stirring until your mix comes to a boil, then stir in the butter until completely melted. 
See the full recipe at

Pair your Ukranian hot chocolate with the popular Ukranian TV show Servant of the People. Streaming on Netflix, the show stars the current president of Ukraine, before he became president.

Viennese hot chocolate

Similar to the Ukrainian hot chocolate, the Viennese hot chocolate is almost pudding-thick. Instead of flour, however, the Austrians use an egg yolk to thicken the mixture. They sometimes also add their alcohol of choice. 

Since this is the final hot chocolate on our list, we recommend that you experiment with more ingredients on the evenings ahead. Add brandy. Replace the cocoa powder with bittersweet chocolate. Use your newly acquired spices and taste buds to make your own flavors.

Ingredients – makes 2 servings

Directions: Over medium-low heat, mix together the milk, cocoa, and sugar until barely simmering. Turn heat to low. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of the mix and the egg yolk, then add it to the rest of the mix. Stir continuously over low heat until thickened.
See the full recipe at

Pair your Viennese hot chocolate with Museum Hours. Watch it on Amazon Prime.


We hope you enjoy these recipes (and movies). Have you had special hot chocolates in other countries? Please share your favorite recipes with us in the comments below.