In Mexico, there´s a whole culture around drinks, both alcoholic and anti-alcoholic. Drinking “just water” is not really one of their concepts and the only thing their traditional anti-alcoholic drink called “agua” (translated, this simply means “water”) actually has in common with pure water, is the ingredient.
There´s a big number of Mexican beers, of which “Corona” is the only one that´s actually well-known in Europe as well and their whole tradition around Tequila and Mezqual will make you rethink your possible reluctance to drink them.
So here´s a quick guide to the drinks you will definitely encounter at some point and I think you´ll like.
Agua de Horchata: Basically what we know as “rice milk”, mixed with sugar.
Agua de Jamaica: Hibiskus, cooked in water and mixed with sugar. An all-time favorite!
Agua de Lima: Water, lime and sugar. I think you understood the principle of “aguas” by now, it’s nearly always the ingredient that gives it the name mixed with water and sugar. You’ll find all kinds of them, the ones above are just the ones I think you shouldn’t miss!
TIP: Even if you don´t find it on the menu, most restaurants serve aguas. You can order the ones I just mentioned basically everywhere for cheap.
Cafe de Olla: Something I think you should really try on this list. Very simple, very good: black coffee with cinnamon, I love it!
Atole: A corn-based, sweet, viscous drink, usually served warm and often enjoyed with Tamales. Not really tasty, I think, but great to warm up!
What would a Mexican drinks guide be without Tequila? Well, not Mexican, I guess.
Tequila is made of “Agave Azul”, a special type of agave, and can only be sold as Tequila if it’s coming from one of these five Mexican states: Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit or Tamaulipas.
I highly recommend visiting the small town of Tequila in Jalisco, where this national drink is said to come from. I´m talking about how to get there here.
Even if you don’t usually drink or like Tequila, in Mexico you should give it a try. It’s very different from the Tequila we are served in Europe and I think here you’ll like it.
Pretty similar to Tequila, Mezcal is not that well-known internationally, but especially in the south of Mexico it’s often even preferred to Tequila. It’s also made from Agave, but not necessarily from Agave Azul. Because it’s cooked differently than Tequila, it has a smoky taste Tequila doesn’t have and in some places you get it with a worm or scorpion in it. They say it makes it taste better, but it’s actually the reason it took me a while to get friends with Mezcal. So, maybe make your first try one without animals.
While you probably all heard of “Corona” before, Mexico has a lot more homemade brands, among them the most common ones “Tecate” and “XX” (pronounced “Dos Equis”). In general, Mexican beer is a lot lighter than what we’re used to in Europe and most brands even have light versions of their already light beers that are quite commonly sold in bars as well. I personally liked that, but some (Germans) deprecatingly called it “water with taste”.
Something you either love or hate. It´s beer mixed with tomato juice, often topped with tajin, seafood and other weird stuff you usually wouldn’t mix with beer. They serve it in huge portions, often in glasses of 750ml – 1l. Mexicans love it and I know some foreigners who spent a lot of time in the country or are really into the culture who like it as well. I think you just need to get used to it.
I told myself my goal is to like Michelada when I leave Mexico. I semi-achieved it, I would say: I can drink it without getting nausea now.
You´re missing the proper food to your drinks? Here is your gapless guide to Mexican street food!
What do you think about the drinks? Let me know in the comments!