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What is chilate and how can you prepare it at home

27 mayo, 2021

In this heat it looks like a very refreshing drink, like the chilate! This is a typical Mexican drink that is enjoyed cold and its flavor is truly incredible.

Today we invite you to learn more about this drink and we also share a recipe for you to prepare at home with all its traditional flavor.

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Chilate: from Guerrero to Mexico and the world

If one day you visit the municipality of Ayutla de los Libres, in the State of Guerrero, you will find this refreshing drink, ideal for the climate of the place.

Chilate is of pre-Hispanic origin, and its name comes from Nahuatl chilatl, which means “chili drink”, but which, curiously, does not contain chili, as many believe.

At first, chilate was prepared only with cocoa, corn, water and honey, and was consumed only by people of the nobility, as well as other drinks with cocoa, such as tejate.

According to historical data, Nezahualcóyotl used to drink up to 80 cups of cocoa a week, which were sent by different maidens.

However, during colonial times, chilate had a reformulation in its ingredients, starting to use cinnamon and brown sugar to sweeten it, and also rice, which began to replace corn with the aim of making the liquid more texture.

Of course, the prevailing ingredient was cocoa.

Currently, chilate is prepared with cocoa, cinnamon, rice, brown sugar, ice and water, and it is one of the favorite drinks for hot days, especially in indigenous communities.

In fact, this drink is popular among farmers, because in addition to refreshing them, it gives them energy for their long working hours, so it is recommended to relieve fatigue.

In addition, it is a traditional drink that is prepared in festivals such as the Day of the Dead and other regional celebrations.

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Cocoa nibs

Cocoa beans are the main ingredient in chilate. (Photo: Getty Images)

Prepare it at home


  • 500 g of white rice
  • 1 piece of brown sugar ground
  • 500 g of whole or ground cocoa
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Water
  • Ice to accompany

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  1. Soak the rice together with the cinnamon for 30 minutes. Reservation.
  2. In a frying pan, toast the cocoa beans until the shell is detached and peel them. Add them to the water with the rice and cinnamon for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove half of the water from the soak and blend or process until a kind of paste remains.
  4. Strain the pasta into a pitcher that holds about 2 liters of water.
  5. In the jug, add the piloncillo and dissolve. Rectify the sweetness (it should not be too sweet or bitter) and add the ice.

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