Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 03/19/2014
Cafe Con Leche, Horchata, Cafe De Olla, Atole, Champurrada, Hot Chocolate There are a number of traditional Mexican hot beverages. Common ingredients include coffee, milk, chocolate, Mexican brown sugar, nuts, canella (cinnamon) and even masa harina. Each drink is described below.
Mexico is famous for their hot chocolate; a drink that dates back to the Aztecs. The chocolate is dark, sweet, and grainy compared to European chocolate. Typically the chocolate is flavored with cinnamon and sometimes almonds or vanilla. The chocolate may be formed into disks or bars.
To make hot chocolate, water or milk is placed in a jarro (a clay pitcher) and pieces of chocolate are stirred into the liquid until the chocolate is melted. Then the mixture is frothed with a molinillo (stirring stick) then poured into earthenware mugs. Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe
An earthy mixture of Viennese-like-roast coffee, cinnamon, anise seeds, and piloncillo (Mexican dark brown sugar). This beverage would be prepared in an earthenware pot with the piloncillo and spices. Today it may not be made in the earthenware pot but would still be served in thick earthenware mugs. Cafe de Olla Recipe
Champurrado is a special hot chocolate thickened with masa and flavored with piloncillo and aniseeds. This is hot chocolate more in the style of what the Aztecs would drink.
To make this drink, water is blended with the masa flour then placed in a saucepan. Then the milk and chocolate are added to the pan along with the piloncillo, and aniseed if used. The mixture is brought to a simmer while whisking it constantly to help incorporate the ingredients. Once blended and heated through you can strain it for a smoother mixture (or not) then serve in large mugs.
Atole - is a warm almost porridge-like drink made thick with masa. The chocolate version is Champurrado, other versions are flavored with fruits or nuts.
Cafe Con Leche is simply coffee, milk, cinnamon, and sugar frequently served with breakfast.
Horchata is a refreshing cold drink made of rice, almonds, cinnamon (canella), lime zest and sugar. This drink is rumored to be a cure for a hangover and is frequently served at breakfast time. Even though the drink has a milky appearance it is completely dairy-free.