The Coziest Breakfast Drink

The Coziest Breakfast Drink

When temperatures drop, we’re more than ready to swap our typical agua fresca (made with heirloom hibiscus of course) for a drink that’s warming, cozy, and filling. Cue atole.

Atole (a masa-based beverage resembling a porridge) is a staple across Mexico and is the result of liquefying masa, traditionally with water, though milk may also be used. It is nutritious, feels like winter’s answer to a smoothie, and easy to customize.

Atole’s texture and flavor vary according to region, season, personal preference, and supply (thin atoles are common when corn inventory is scarce). The base recipe is 1 part masa harina to 5 parts water, heated to a boil then lowered and whisked continuously until the masa is evenly incorporated and smooth. At this point, you can introduce any spices or flavors (we love chef Carlos Salgado’s recipe for a coffee atole made with milk and cream in MASA, the book). Enjoy hot, served in your favorite mug.

According to MASA:

"The word atole is derived from the Nahuatl word atolli. Plain atole is a staple of Yucatán, Tabasco, and Oaxaca and is the result of liquefying masa, traditionally with water, though milk may also be used. Given the true simplicity of this dish, it’s not hard to imagine it being among the earliest Mesoamerican culinary staples; it is nutritious, highly caloric, and easy to flavor in myriad ways. In its simplest form, atole is masa and water, combined and brought to a simmer. That said, not all atoles are necessarily masa based; rice and wheat, for example, are sometimes substituted."

There are countless regional variations of the drink, like chileatole, a savory preparation made with chiles and salt, and pozol, Tabasco's contribution that relies on a base of fermented masa. But one of our all-time favorite types of atole for cold winter days is champurrado, a warm chocolate and masa drink often flavored with spices like cinnamon. We've given Champurrado the packaged treatment for days when you need a quick fix. Our Heirloom White Corn Masa Harina joins Dandelion single-origin dark chocolate, cane sugar, cinnamon, and salt for a delicious pick-me-up. Don't forget a concha or churro for dunking!


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