The selection of this bebida is to celebrate the first person to find this blog through Google!  You searched for achocote, and unfortunately you didn’t find what you were looking for here.  No more!  Random Googler, this drink’s for you!

Achocote is a bit of an enigma.  The best I could find in English comes from the non-alcoholic drinks list; “in Hidalgo, water flavored with corn and unrefined brown sugar.”  I started searching around for “recetas” (recipes in Spanish), and didn’t turn up any better information.  However, behind some academic pay-wall was this recipe [PDF], along with a recipe for palanquetas (a nut/amaranth brittle candy), which I was able to retrieve using their free trial. The recipe comes from “Maryann Rodriguez, chef professor at the Mexican Institute of Gastronomy.”

The copy on the recipe is a bit poor, and worse using Google Translate.  The milk/masa ratio seemed very off, and what I initially got was a very thick paste.  Either the ratio in the original recipe is incorrect, or one is intended to mix this paste with water similar to what the Tarahumara do with pinole. I went with the incorrect ratio and adjusted the consistency with milk.  I was pleased with the end result, but I can’t be 100% certain what I have is authentic.  Onward!


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup prepared masa for tortillas (if using masa harina flour (eg. MaSeCa), reconstitute 1/2 cup flour with 1/3 cup water and mix to even consistency)
  • 1/2 large piloncillo cone, finely chopped (or 4 tbsp brown sugar)


  1. In sauce pan over medium-low heat, combine milk and prepared masa.
  2. When milk/masa mixture is warm, add brown sugar and stir as sugar melts.
  3. Once ingredients are fully incorporated, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Serve over ice and enjoy.

This is a simple drink and similar to atole in consistency and flavor.  Unlike atole, which I believe is only served hot, drinking this cold is reminiscent of eggnog.  It’s also surprisingly refreshing, albeit a bit on the heavy side.


2 comments to Achocote

  • Are you in cahoots with the Masa manufacturers? Last 3 beverages posted here contained masa flour… 🙂

    • Evan S.

      Hey, take it up with the Aztecs!

      But you’re right, even I was realizing while making the achocote that I need to branch out. Take a look at the list and feel free to make a suggestion.

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