Our take on this hug in a mug has coconut milk and brown sugar. It may not be traditional but this recipe is built to celebrate the delicate flavor of heritage blue corn masa or “Masa Maiz Azul”.
What is Atole?
Atole (AH-TOL-LEH) is a pre-Colombian beverage originally made by the ancient Nahuatl or indigenous peoples of Mexico. It was originally made from nixtamalized corn masa and water, sweetened with piloncillo (an unrefined sugar) and served hot.
What is the Difference Between Atole and Champurrado?
The difference between Atole and Champurrado is simply that Champurrado is Atole that has been flavored with cacao or chocolate.
All Champurrado is Atole but not all Atole is Champurrado.
Variations such as Atole de Fresa, Atole de Piña, or Atole de Nuez are mixed with milk and flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, nuts, chiles, chocolate, or a variety of fruit. The world of Atole is vast and beautiful my friend!
For our very, VERY GOOD recipe you will need:
Blue Corn Masa
Legit nixtamalized corn masa made from heirloom corn and alkaline water. This is one of the wonders of the food world people. Great for the obvious tortillas but you can do sooo much more with it—tamales, pupusas, tostadas, heck even pizza probably. This is an essential pantry staple in any household if you as us.
We have A LOT of opinions on coconut milk; but mostly it’s that not all coconut milk is created equal. Aside from widely varying fat content causing confusion between products marked “milk” or “cream” or even “concentrate”; the flavor or certain coconut milks can be anywhere from skunky to downright watery.
You’ll want to hunt down some nice, fatty coconut milk for this recipe. Aroy D is our absolute favorite coconut milk on the market and since our discovery, we are willing to travel far and wide for the “good stuff”. I don’t know what they put in the water in Thailand, but nothing beats Aroy D if you ask me.
Brown Sugar or Piloncillo
Piloncillo is an unrefined sugar from Mexico and is the quintessential flavor in so many Mexican beverages. Atole is no different— HOWEVER— for this recipe we unashamedly use dark brown sugar for its slightly milder flavor. We really wanted the delicate flavor of the corn to be the star of this drink.
This is optional but we think a little dash of vanilla with a pinch of salt really serve to accentuate all the flavors of this beverage and take it to the next level.
Some Ingredient Recs:
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Some Equipment Recs:
- 1/2 c coconut milk (aroy d)
- 1/2 c water
- 1 tablespoons blue corn masa harina
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bring to a simmer and whisk until fully incorporated
Fine strain into a clay copita if you’ve got one
Not like it needs it, but i’m not gonna say this wouldn’t be good with an ounce of mezcal in it…