Drinks Made From Cacao


Did you know that cacao beans were used as currency in pre-colonial Mesoamerica at one point? In fact, they held so much value in Mesoamerican cultures that the drink made from the beans, called ‘chocolhaa’ by the Mayans, was often used in a variety of ceremonies and events; such as marriages, funerals, healings, and so on.

According to the Inter-American Foundation, “the recent popularity of dark chocolate, with more cocoa and less sugar, in fact has a long tradition”; often having been something that warriors consumed for good health (Bermudez, 2018). The drink itself was bitter and more often than not mixed with different kinds of spices. Furthermore, some mixtures of this drink were considered ‘elite’ depending on its components and were only made for royalty or those of higher standing.

The simplest mix one could find however was simply cacao, water, and maize; which provided just enough refreshment and satisfaction for anyone who got their hands on cacao to be able to make and enjoy with pleasure. Some groups even differed on whether to drink it hot or cold! For further reading on this topic, please feel free to visit the Inter-American Foundation webpage, as well as the Mexicolore webpage (more centered on the Aztec civilization) which all go into more detailed information about this.