Try it at Home – Our Cinnamon and Chilli Hot Chocolate Recipe

At Olcote we love letting our guests, past, present and future, experience a taste of Sri Lanka by showcasing some of our favourite recipes.

Recently, we shared our healthy and delicious Coconut Smoothie Recipe. Packed full of nutrients, wholesome ingredients and healthy fats, coconut smoothies are one of our favourite ways to start the day. Enjoying a morning coconut drink is something our guests love and a tradition they’ve taken home with them in the past.

Something a little different, a bit spicier and more indulgent is our Sri Lankan Style – Cinnamon and Chilli Hot Chocolate. Made with cinnamon, chillis and dark chocolate, it’s all the tastes of Sri Lanka in one deliciously heart-warming drink.


Sri Lanka is known the world over for our lush tea fields and rich history in exporting tea. However, a lot less known is Sri Lanka’s proud history of producing cinnamon. Around the world, cinnamon is hugely popular and seen as the taste of Christmas. But did you know that at one point 90% of the world’s cinnamon came from the small island of Sri Lanka?

That figure has slightly reduced in recent years but Sri Lanka is still one of the chief exporters of cinnamon worldwide. The people of Sri Lanka use cinnamon a great deal. It is used in baking, cooking, soups and stews. It is added to teas and other hot drinks, confectionery, salads and sauces. Around the world cinnamon is regarded as one of the most versatile spices of them all.

So, in reality, any time you use cinnamon you are experiencing a taste of Sri Lanka, quite a nice thought really. This hot chocolate creation however is about much more than cinnamon. The added kick of spice from the chillis is completely different to the traditional take on hot chocolate. An ode to the way we like things here in Sri Lanka – hot and spicy!

  • When you use the word “healthy”, the first thing that comes to mind wouldn’t necessarily be hot chocolate. However, with this Cinnamon and Chilli Hot Chocolate we use some rich ingredients that provide your body with a healthy boost.
  • Dark Chocolate – A quality dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, iron, magnesium and fiber. In our creation we use dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. The closer it is to 100%, the closer it is to being in its pure, natural form. Be warned however, the higher the cocoa content, the richer the taste. This can be quite bitter for some people. Our advice is to start low and work your way up gradually.
  • Chilli – Chillies have been known to improve cognitive function, clear congestion, contribute to red blood cell formation and reduce blood pressure. A powerful little ingredient.
  • Cinnamon – The traditional spice of Sri Lanka contains large amounts of polyphenol antioxidants which double as having great anti-inflammatory qualities. Cinnamon is also shown to increase insulin sensitivity and helps to lower blood-sugar levels.

Now that we know all about the goodness, here’s how to make it.

  • 100g Dark Chocolate (We use at least 70% cocoa)
  • 300ml Almond Milk (Can use other milk alternatives such as oat or rice milk)
  • ½ Long Red Chilli (Sliced length-ways, seeds removed)
  • ½ Tsp of Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick (For decoration and extra flavour)
  1. Break the dark chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a saucepan with all other ingredients. Leave the cinnamon stick aside for now
  2. Heat your ingredients gently on a stove. Slowly stir until milk is hot and chocolate has melted.
  3. When nearly ready, remove the chilli from the pot and discard.
  4. Pour your blend into a cup. Add a cinnamon stick for decoration.
  5. That’s it, now enjoy the many tastes of Sri Lanka in one deliciously chocolatey drink!