Atol de Elote

This cinnamon- and vanilla-scented corn beverage is doled out warm in Guatemalan markets.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    40 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on July 29, 2023

Atol de elote is a sweet corn beverage frequently doled out warm in Guatemalan markets. Seasoned with cinnamon or vanilla, fresh corn kernels are pulverized on a grinding stone or metate to achieve the drink's silky, creamy consistency. (In a pinch, a blender gets the job done, too.)

This recipe ran alongside Chris Bagley's 2017 story, "Guatemala's Ancient Food Traditions."


  • 3 fresh corn cobs, shucked (about 1¾ lb.)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 12 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 14 tsp. ground cinnamon or vanilla extract, or more
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt


Step 1

Using a large chefs knife, slice the kernels from the corn cobs, reserving the kernels (about 2 cups) and their juices (discard the cobs). Set a few kernels aside for garnish if desired.

Step 2

Transfer the corn kernels to a blender and pulse until coarsely ground. Add 2 cups water, the milk, sugar, and cinnamon or vanilla, and blend on high until very smooth.

Step 3

To a medium pot over medium-low heat, add the corn mixture, bring to a low boil, then stir in the salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the atol de elote is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and ladle into heatproof cups or mugs. Garnish with any reserved corn kernels and a bit more cinnamon if desired.

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