Costa Rican Copos Recipe

Sugary and refreshing, copos are the Costa Rican snow cone and the perfect way to refresh on a hot day. Also known as piraguas, granizados and raspados, no matter what you call them they’re delicious!

Copos Recipe

Ingredients: (Single Serving)

  • 1 cup’s worth of shaved ice
  • 4 TBSP powdered milk
  • 2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup flavored syrup (sirope)
  • marshmallows for garnishing (optional)

Instructions:

Prepare enough shaved ice to fill your glass of choice, either manually or using a food processor. (I recommend placing a handful of ice cubes in a large Ziploc bag and then repeatedly crushing them with a rolling pin or meat hammer.) 

Place half of the shaved ice into the bottom of your glass and cover it with the powdered milk and half of the syrup. Give this mixture a light stir.

Scoop the remaining shaved ice on top, covering it with the rest of the syrup. Finally, drizzle the condensed milk over the top and garnish with a marshmallow if desired.

About This Copos: Costa Rica Recipe

Dentists everywhere, avert your eyes! Costa Rican shaved ice is not for the faint of heart or susceptible of cavity. 

Copos, which come from the Spanish word for “flake” (as in snowflake) typically consist of shaved ice or ice cream, syrup flavoring, powdered milk, and sweetened condensed milk. These sugary confections are absolutely heavenly and are sold all over Costa Rica’s streets and beaches. 

Perhaps the most recognizable copos vendor is Jorge Rodríguez, a Cartago-based copero and owner of Copos Chumi. For 25 years, he has been selling his signature copos right outside of the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles and they do not disappoint!

Although it’s hard to beat a genuine Costa Rican copo, we can still try and replicate it at home! This is a recipe for a single-serve copo. The ingredient quantities are definitely not set in stone– feel free to vary the amounts according to what tastes good!

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Substitutions

Some copos are made with vanilla ice cream as opposed to the powdered milk. Either way, you’re in for a creamy and delicious treat!

Costa Rican snow cone with red syrup in park in La Fortuna.

Variations

There are so many fantastic copo variations– all you have to do is switch up the syrup flavor and you have an entirely new creation! Bright red Kola syrup is the traditional flavoring, but grape, lemon, cherry, and even bubble gum are all popular options as well. 

Another super popular variation in Costa Rica is the Churchill- just add ice cream to this concoction and you have a Churchill!

Serving Suggestions

Serve your copo right away.  Marshmallows, maraschino cherries, and little umbrellas are always fun topping possibilities if you’re feeling inspired!

FAQ

What is a Churchill copo?

The Churchill copo hails from Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and is made with vanilla ice cream as opposed to shaved ice. It’s also accompanied by a cookie straw– yum!

What is another name for a copo?

Copos are sometimes referred to as “granizados” in certain parts of Latin America. 

Printable Recipe

Yield: 1 copo

Costa Rican Copos

Costa Rican Copos

Copos are sometimes referred to as "granizados" in certain parts of Latin America. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup's worth of shaved ice
  • 1 TBSP powdered milk
  • 2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup flavored syrup (sirope)
  • marshmallows for garnishing (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare enough shaved ice to fill your glass of choice, either manually or using a food processor. (I recommend placing a handful of ice cubes in a large Ziploc bag and then repeatedly crushing them with a rolling pin.) 
  2. Place half of the shaved ice into the bottom of your glass and cover it with the powdered milk and half of the syrup. Give this mixture a light stir.
  3. Scoop the remaining shaved ice on top, covering it with the rest of the syrup. Finally, drizzle the condensed milk over the top and garnish with a marshmallow if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 0gSugar: 92gProtein: 5g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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