Mexican cuisine is famous all over the world, and while you’re likely familiar with dishes like enchiladas and tacos, there are also delicious authentic Mexican drinks to pair with these meals. What are traditional Mexican drinks? While there are some that might quickly spring to mind, there are both alcoholic and non alcoholic Mexican drinks that are less commonly found outside of the country. If you’re on vacation and looking for new drinks to try in Mexico or if you’re just cooking at home, add these popular Mexican drinks to your meal for a better taste of the local culture.
Tequila: Tequila is by far one of the most popular Mexican drinks, but while most people might associate it with quick shots, there’s a rich and prestigious culture behind it. Like true French champagne, there are strict rules and regulations regarding tequila production. It must be made from the blue agave plant and produced in one of five states: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacan, Tamaulipas, or Nayarit. While there are many authentic Mexican drinks made from tequila, it’s important to learn about and taste the different varieties of it; blanco, reposado, añejo, and extra añejo, each with its own aging process.
Mezcal: Mezcal is tequila’s lesser-known cousin, but innovative mixologists are making it one of the unique Mexican alcoholic drinks on menus around the world. Mezcal can be made from a variety of agave plants, but what makes it truly distinct from tequila is the roasting process. For mezcal, the agave is roasted for several days in earthen pits over hot rock, giving the drink a distinct smoky taste.
Margaritas: Today, you can find all sorts of margaritas made with different fruits and syrups, and while blended margaritas have become iconic with beach vacations, the authentic Mexican drinks are a little different. For a simple and traditional margarita, mix blanco tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur together. Add a touch of simple syrup to balance it out, and pour it over ice into a salt-rimmed glass.
Mexican beers have become some of the most popular in the world, especially Corona, but micheladas are drinks to try in Mexico that you’re not as likely to find in other places. Made with beer, micheladas are similar to a Bloody Mary. They’re considered a hangover cure and are often drunk during the day, especially with seafood. If this is one of the Mexican alcoholic drinks you want to try, you can find premade mixes for it, but for an authentic experience that you can tweak to your personal taste, you’ll need clamato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce, and a classic Mexican beer.
After a Mexican dinner, you might need just one more drink before the night ends, and Carajillos are a sweeter digestif. These popular Mexican drinks are very simple to make. Simply pour a shot of Licor 43 into your coffee, and serve it hot or over ice.
The list of traditional Mexican drinks includes more than just liquors and cocktails. There are plenty of non alcoholic Mexican drinks that are just as refreshing and delicious. In fact, you can hardly go anywhere in Mexico without having the option of an agua fresca. These refreshing drinks to try in Mexico are made by blending fresh fruit with water, adding a little sugar, and serving ice cold. Popular flavors include lime, pineapple, strawberry, and jamaica, or hibiscus, which is made from brewing the plant’s leaves.
There are many regional versions of horchata, but Mexican horchata is the best. Made from rice, sugar, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, evaporated milk, and regular milk, it takes a while to prepare, but the results are sweet. Soak the rice, cinnamon, and almonds in water overnight to soften them. The next day, remove the ingredients from the water, and blend them with evaporated milk before straining the mixture. Water it down with additional milk or water.
During Christmas, Mexican homes are filled with the scent of ponche cooking on the stove. This punch takes an hour to simmer, giving your home time to fill with the aromatic scents of spices and fruits. In a large pot, boil water with piloncillo, cinnamon, sugar cane, raisins, and chopped fruits, like tejocotes, guavas, prunes, apples, and pears.
Whether you’re needing fresh cocktail ideas, refreshing fruit juices, or holiday drinks, find inspiration in Mexican cuisine. As you look up what traditional Mexican drinks are, you’ll find such a variety, giving you something new to try every time.