Canelazo (Spiced Cinnamon Rum Drink) Recipe

Canelazo spiced cinnamon rum drink recipe

 The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
322 Calories
0g Fat
67g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 322
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 62mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 62g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 20mg 101%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 182mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A canelazo will warm you up on a cold night high in the Andes—or a cold night anywhere, with a taste of South America. It's mostly associated with Ecuador, but it is also a favorite in the highlands of Colombia, Peru, and northern Argentina.

It's made from brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves, orange and lime juice, and the Colombian concoction known as aguardiente, or firewater. You might be thinking the ingredients sound a lot like a hot toddy, and you would be right. It's a hot toddy with a South American twist—the aguardiente.

Aguardiente is a broad term for high-alcohol-content beverages distilled from a variety of sources. The kind they drink in South America is made from cane sugar, so rum makes a great substitute if you can't find aguardiente. 

So what tastes good with a sweet and fruity but fiery drink like this? 

Lay out an array of interesting cheeses, including stilton with cherries or cranberries embedded in them, and serve with small toasts. Dates stuffed with cheese are a terrific party snack. You can stuff them with cream cheese and roll them in powdered sugar for a tasty sweet. Or wrap them in bacon and stuff them with cream cheese and almonds or blue cheese and pecans for a more savory take on this classic. Stuff them with mascarpone, goat cheese, and basil and wrap in prosciutto for an Italian version of this hors d'oeuvre.

Put out small jars of gourmet preserves and jam along with croissants and scones. Another option is a tray full of dried apricots, cranberries and apples, along with raisins and nuts. 

Cookies like shortbread, sugar, black-and-whites (sugar cookies frosted with half chocolate and half vanilla), Mexican wedding, hermits and pecan sandies all go well with spicy and fruity canelazos.


  • 3 cups water

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves

  • 4 to 6 cinnamon sticks

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 4 ounces aguardiente, or rum, more to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for canelazo spiced cinnamon rum
     The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  2. Bring the water, both kinds of sugar, lime juice, salt, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to a boil.

    Bring to boil
     The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  3. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange juice.

    Remove from heat
     The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  5. Add the aguardiente or rum, to taste.

    Add water
     The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  6. Reheat without boiling. If it boils, the alcohol will boil away.

    Spiced rum
     The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic
  7. Strain and serve hot.

     The Spruce / Zorica Lakonic