Atole is a beverage with ancient Aztec roots, often served as part of the Day of the Dead festivities and as a remedy for having taken a chill. With a kick of spice, a nourishing base of grain, and a soothing milkiness from dairy or coconut milk, atole is comfort food you can drink. With the addition of chocolate, atole becomes champurrado. Like its more well-known cousin horchata, and also like its savory brother from another mother, Congee, variations in the grain base are common enough in the places of origin to invite your own experimentation: try oat or rice flour if you seek an alternative to the corn. Without chocolate, this is a very soothing preparation; with chocolate, it is a treat with built-in sustenance. I suppose a splash of rum would not be wrong, if the circumstances seem to warrant it.
— Janet Reich Elsbach
Image: courtesy of Janet Reich Elsbach, from her blog, A Raisin + a Porpoise