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Official sofi Award coverage2011's Gold Award WinnersView all of the 2011 finalists

Chuao Chocolatier - Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate

2011 Gold Award Winner: Outstanding Hot Beverage
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Chuao Chocolatier’s Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate as it’s known today took three years to perfect. “It was one of the first sipping hot chocolates launched in our line, back in 2002,” says Michael Antonorsi, who co-founded Chuao with his brother Richard.

A blend of cinnamon, pasilla chile and cayenne pepper—which gives the drink its spicy finish—mingles with a blend of premium 58 to 72 percent Venezuelan chocolate to make this gourmet just-add-water hot chocolate mix. “The pasilla chile has a mild and earthy flavor, while the cayenne gives it a nice kick,” Antonorsi explains. “They complement each other perfectly.”

Since hot chocolate is seasonal, Chuao offers other formulations with the Spicy Maya flavor profile, like gelato, bon bons, brownie mix and the Spicy Maya Bar, so you can indulge in the addicting taste year-round. “We might be an addictive coffee culture in the U.S., but my goal is to have people have ‘hot chocolate time,’” like in Europe, Antonorsi says, where the cocoa craze is more prevalent.—Nicole Potenza Denis

How to Enjoy It: Though Spicy Maya is first and foremost a hot beverage, it can serve as a base for indulgent mocha drinks or even drizzled over hot popcorn for a spicy snack.

MSRP: $15/12-ounce tin

Website: chuaochocolatier.com

See the related articles below to view the other finalists in this category

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