Trying various Mexico drinks may not be something that is at the forefront of your mind when planning a trip to Mexico. However, traveling is all about having new experiences and trying different things, and trying Mexico drinks is part of that.
If you consider yourself something of a foodie traveler or a tequila/mezcal connoisseur then this may be something that is even more interesting to you. You will likely sample a bunch of different Mexico drinks during your time in the country without having to make a conscious effort to do so.
48 Tasty Mexico Drinks to Try
Things like creamy homemade horchata topped with cinnamon or an ultra-strong but tasty mezcal sampled at an independent producer site can be as much of a highlight to a trip to Mexico as seeing Mayan ruins like Mayapan. Well not quite, but almost.
Traditional Soft Mexico Drinks
Horchata is a delicious, creamy, refreshing drink that is made from rice. It has a consistency similar to milk and is served cold, and poured over ice.
Horchata is typically flavored with cinnamon, giving it a sweet flavor that is comparable to Turkish salep. This drink is enjoyed across Latin America and is believed to have been introduced into Mexican food and drink culture from Spain.
Fascinatingly, delicious horchata has a history dating back thousands of years. The Spanish would drink horchata made with nuts (horchata de chufa), particularly in Valencia and the southern parts of the country.
When it was introduced to Mexico, locals started making it with rice instead. It is believed that horchata originated in North Africa around 2400 B.C.
Even the Romans would drink it. They affectionately referred to it as hordeata. You will find horchata served at most restaurants, taquerias, and food stalls in Mexico. There are bottled, branded versions sold in some stores and eateries but the best horchata is that which is homemade.
There is such a significant difference in quality between the two types. You cannot even compare them.
Tepache is a unique Mexico drink with a flavor that is quite unlike anything else that you will have tried in Mexico or elsewhere. The drink has been a part of Mexican culture for thousands of years – dating back to the pre-Hispanic era.
Today, it is made by fermenting the peel and the rind of pineapples and then sweetening them with brown sugar and cinnamon. Historically though, tepache was made with corn.
In the pre-Hispanic days, tepache was known as tepalti. This was a fitting name; tepalti literally translates to “corn drink¨ in Nahuatl.
Tepache is such an integral part of Mexico’s history and food culture that the Ancient Mayans would even use it in their ceremonial rituals! When modern tepache is made, it is then fermented for several days before being served cold.
Obviously, the fermentation of fruit leads to the creation of some alcohol. But tepache is still a non-alcoholic drink (unless you want to add something into it to make a tepache cocktail!)
You will find variations on the traditional tepache recipe all over the country. In Oaxaca, you will find countless variations and it seems as though every restaurant owner makes tepache in a different way.
Sometimes, different fruits are used instead of pineapple. In Durango, some people add agave distillates.
Agua frescas make a fruity, refreshing drink to enjoy in Mexico on hot days – aka, almost every day in most parts! This is not pure fruit juice.
Instead, agua frescas are made by blending fruit with water, fresh lime, and a dash of sugar. You will find countless variations of agua frescas all over the country.
Some of the most popular versions are agua fresca made with pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, peach, strawberry, cucumber, watermelon, and lemon. It is also very easy to prepare these Mexico drinks yourself if you want to implement some Latin flavor into your home kitchen!
Like other Mexico drinks, agua fresca has roots stemming back thousands of years. It is said that the drink was actually created by the Aztecs with fruits that they gathered along the waterways of the Tenochtitlán.
They added ice from the dormant volcanoes Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl. Quite a way to prepare a chilled ancient beverage, eh?
Homemade limonada is a staple in many Mexican households and you will find it served in most restaurants. The recipe is simple: fresh lime juice paired with syrup to sweeten, cold water, and ice.
It is important to note that Mexican limonada is prepared with fresh limes, not lemons. American-style lemons are actually quite tricky to find in Mexico.
In Mexico, limes and lemons are both called limones. Limonada is a refreshing drink to enjoy alone or in accompaniment to your meal. Sometimes cucumber, mint, or other herbs are added for a little extra flavor.
Like Mexican limonada? Chances are you will love mangonada.
This drink goes by many different names in Mexico. You will also see it sold as Chamoyada, Mangoneada, and Chamango but they are all the same thing.
Mangonada is as photogenic as it is delicious. You won’t be able to miss the street food carts that sell this beverage.
Mangonada is a vibrant orange and red swirly drink with chili salt around the rim. It is essentially something between a drink and a dessert and is made with fresh mango, sugar, lime juice, and chamoy.
Chamoy is a Mexican syrup that is made from pickled fruit and is commonly doused over slices of apple, mango, and other fruit. The origins of mangonada are hazy but it is quite a recent invention.
It is said that mangonada started being sold on the streets of Mexico city in the 1990s when chamoy became popular. It is essentially a mango slushie with a spicy kick.
Agua de Jamaica
Agua de Jamaica is a hibiscus tea. It is blood red in color and like horchata, the homemade versions are infinitely better than the bottled store-bought varieties.
Jamaica can be enjoyed hot or cold and has a distinctive, cranberry-like flavor. Despite the massive popularity of this drink in Mexico, Jamaica actually wasn’t invented here.
As the name suggests, it originates from the nearby Caribbean country of Jamaica. Confusingly, you don’t pronounce it as ¨Jamaica¨.
Remember that the letter J has an H sound in Spanish. Agua de Jamaica is actually pronounced as ¨Ha-may-cah¨. The hibiscus flowers were brought into Mexico during colonial times, locals started making the drink and the rest is history.
If you want a thick, sweet, sinful milkshake in Mexico, you want to order yourself a malteada. Like anywhere else in the world, these can be made with milk, ice cream, or a mixture of the two.
You will find malteadas served at cafes and ice cream/dessert parlors all over the country. However, in hip Mexico city, there are several hipster milkshake spots that you should add to your radar if you are going to be spending any amount of time in CDMX.
At L’Encanto de Lola (C. de la Amargura 14, San Ángel, Álvaro Obregón, CDMX), you can order cereal milkshakes prepared with your favorite childhood cereal. You can order up virtually every type of cereal shake you can think of – from Lucky Charms, to Fruit Loops.
La Michoacana is a dessert/ice cream chain that you will find all over Mexico. Despite being a chain, the quality is excellent and their chocolate milkshakes are unparalleled. In particular, their kinder, ferrero, chocolate brownie and cardamom milkshakes are to die for.
Batidos are a unique, fruity Mexican version of a standard milkshake. These Mexico drinks are essentially halfway between a milkshake and a smoothie.
They are not quite as unhealthy as having a chocolatey malteada made with ice cream and drenched in chocolate sauce. But equally, they are not quite as healthy as having a pure fruit smoothie.
Batidos are enjoyed all over Latin America and in some hispanic communities in the United States. They are made with milk and fresh fruits.
Virtually any fruit you can think of can be used to make batidos, as long as they are tropical, exotic, and exude all the magic and aromas of the Caribbean coast. Papaya, mango, pineapples and regional fruits are popular favorites.
Liquados (Fruit Smoothies)
If you want a standard healthy fruit smoothie in Mexico, you want to order yourself un licuado or un smudi. With such an abundance of fresh, tropical fruits, it is easy to find very good smoothie places in Mexico or buy excellent quality fruits at local markets to prepare them yourself.
You can keep it simple and order something like pure fresh orange juice (Naranja) or you can order a mixture of tropical fruits blended with ice and yogurt. The great thing is that smoothies are very cheap here due to the abundance and low cost of fruit.
Mexican Coca Cola
Mexicans are crazy about coca-cola. You will note that in virtually every town and city, the local bodegas (convenience stores) are usually painted white and red with the coca-cola logo or they display some form of coca-cola mural or another.
As a matter of fact, Mexico is the world’s highest consumer of this beverage. Statistics show that Mexico is the country with the world’s highest soft drinks consumption overall, with over 630 8-ounce servings per capita per year.
Depending on where you are from, you may notice a subtle difference in the flavor of coca-cola in Mexico versus that in your own country. In the United States, coca-cola has been made with high fructose corn syrup since 1980.
This is because manufacturers realized that they could make significant cost savings by switching to corn-based ingredients. In Mexico, Europe, and countless other parts of the world, sugar is still used in coca-cola. Many believe that this makes the drink both tastier and also more natural.
Pina Con Chaya
A unique and particularly refreshing agua fresca to look out for when you are traveling in the Yucatan is pina con chaya. The chaya plant is essentially the Mexican answer to spinach.
It is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in vitamins and nutrients – the perfect addition to your beverage on a hot summer’s day. To make pina con chaya then, fresh chunks of pineapple and orange are blended with water and ice.
Honey or sugar can be added to sweeten if preferred. Chaya is also said to contain some health benefits, too.
The plant is used across Mexico and wider Central America to treat a broad range of conditions. It is said to reduce inflammation, aid diabetes, lower cholesterol, and high blood pressure, reduce fever, and aid gastrointestinal disorders.
Jarritos is a brand of super-sweet, candy-like soda that was created by Don Francisco Hill in the 1950s. There are eleven fruity flavors to choose from but particularly tasty and popular are the Jamaica (hibiscus) flavor and the tamarind (a tropical fruit).
Hill, originally from Mexico City, created the fizzy beverages with the intention of creating a soda that didn’t lose the fruity flavor and refreshing feeling you get when you sip an agua fresca. The name Jarritos comes from an old Mexican tradition that consisted of drinking water in jars made of clay.
This explains the brand’s logo which depicts a pile of clay jars on the drink label. You can buy a bottle of Jarritos for between 8-and 21 pesos, depending on the size.
Mundet soda can be found in Oxxo, Walmart, and basically all supermarkets and convenience stores across Mexico. The brand was founded in 1902 by Arturo Mundet, a Catalan businessman who relocated to Mexico City from Spain.
Similar to Jarritos, Mundet soda was inspired by Mexico’s beloved agua frescas. The drink comes in just two flavors: Sidral ( red apple) and Manzana Verde (green apple). You will often find that Mixologists in bars across the country use mundet sodas
Alcoholic Mexico Drinks
If experiencing the nightlife or simply sitting by the beach with a chilled alcoholic beverage in hand is something you hope to do in Mexico, you will be pleased with the selection of alcoholic drinks in Mexico. You can not only find some of your favorite liquors, beers, and classic drinks from around the world but there are also a lot of unique alcoholic Mexican drinks too.
There is no alcoholic beverage more quintessentially Mexican than the michelada. To foreigners, the drink might sound utterly bizarre and disgusting.
However, if you do treat yourself to the experience of trying a michelada, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
A michelada is made by mixing tomato juice with beer and a selection of salsas. The variations between micheladas are vast.
You may find that the exact flavor and recipe vary not only from state to state and city to city but from one bar to another. Typically you are handed a glass filled with tomato juice and salsa.
This is usually Maggi sauce, salsa Valentina, and Worcestershire sauce but variations do exist. Then, you pour your beer into the glass, mix, and drink.
While michelada is the country-wide name of the beverage, the drink is referred to by different names in different areas. For instance, in the Yucatan, they call this ojo rojo (red eye).
Mezcal is a wonderful Mexico alcohol that, for some reason, hasn’t gained the same international recognition and acclaim that its sister drink, tequila, has. Mezcal is any spirit that is distilled from the agave plant.
So, technically speaking, tequila is a form of mezcal. Tequila can only be made from the Blue Weber agave (agave tequilana or simply blue agave.
On the other hand, mezcal can be made from various types of agave. It is processed differently and it is not typically aged.
Mezcal is produced in a number of Mexican states. However, Oaxaca is widely regarded as being the home of mezcal and some of the best blends are made by independent producers in this region.
The proper way to serve and enjoy mezcal is to serve it neat in little glasses called veladoras. It is sipped and savored, not downed in one like a tequila slammer.
The taste is usually quite smoky but the tastes vary a lot depending on the brand. Mezcal is typically much stronger than tequila – often with an alcoholic proof of over 45%!
If you can, try to tour a mezcal plant in Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca. A bottle of Mezcal also makes a great souvenir from your trip to Mexico for your loved ones back at home.
Tequila is essentially the national drink of Mexico. This is the country’s most famous alcoholic beverage and when you travel to Mexico, you will notice that there are a seemingly infinite number of local tequila labels.
Indeed, there are scores of excellent tequilas produced locally that never get shipped internationally or make it north of the border. Tequila is made from the agave plant agave tequilana.
Most tequila is produced in the northern state of Jalisco, particularly in and around the little town of Tequila. The drink is essentially a product of designated origin.
This means that for something to be labeled as tequila, it must have been produced in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, or Tamaulipas. To produce tequila, the core of the agave tequilana plant is baked and juiced.
Then, this juice is fermented in barrels until it becomes alcohol. There are many excellent local brands of tequila that you can try in Mexico.
In particular, look out for El Tequileño and Siete Leguas D’Antaño extra añejo. Mexicans themselves speak very highly of these brands.
The Mezcalita is a simple mezcal cocktail made with orange juice, lime juice, and a sprinkling of chili salt around the rim. You will find these everywhere. The secret to the drink being so delicious is that it is prepared with freshly squeezed fruit.
Piña coladas are not actually Mexican. They were invented in Puerto Rico in 1954.
However, this is absolutely a cocktail that you need to order in Mexico. You will find them sold at virtually every bar and restaurant and the piña coladas served in Mexico and Latin America are a far cry from anything you have likely tried in your home country.
For starters, they are made with fresh, locally sourced pineapple and coconut cream. They are altogether creamy, fruity, delicious, and refreshing. Even if you do not drink a lot, you should try a virgin version.
You will find dozens of tequila cocktails on the drinks menus in Mexico – both classic and innovative new recipes However, one Mexico drink that will always be timeless is the tequila sunrise.
The tequila sunrise was not actually invented in Mexico. We have Gene Sulit of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona to thank for the drink.
Sulit combined tequila, soda water, lime juice, and liquor to create the drink in the 1930s. It was then remade and modified by bartenders in Sausalito, California in the 1970s and a favorite of many Rock Musicians who helped the drink grow in popularity.
But even though tequila sunrise is not Mexican, you have to try it in Mexico. Why?
Well, tequila is essentially the national drink of Mexico. Tequila-based cocktails prepared here are made with lesser-known, better quality, and artisanal tequilas than in the United States and elsewhere.
Besides, since tequila is a Mexican drink, the Mexicans have basically reclaimed this cocktail as their own and you will find it everywhere. If you are not sitting by the beach in El Cuyo or Isla Mujeres watching the sunrise after spending the night drinking tequila sunrises, did you even go to Mexico?
Sotol is a strong, Mexican liquor that has something of a grassy, green flavor. It can be confusing as the appearance of sotol and the way that it is bottled makes it easy to mistake it for tequila or mezcal.
However, sotol is a very different beverage and while mezcal and tequila are made from agave, sotol is made from a different shrub called a dasylirion wheeleri. Sotol is best enjoyed neat, although you will find it blended into cocktails in a number of bars in Mexico.
The name sotol stems from the Nahuatl word tzotolin meaning “palm with long and thin leaves. This name is often used to refer to both the drink and the plant.
Sotol is considered the state drink of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila. While mezcal is usually cooked in a pit to acquire its smoky taste, sotol piñas are generally roasted in above-ground ovens for several days
Then, they are crushed and the juice is fermented in open-air vats before being distilled in column or pot stills. Sotol brands to look out for in Mexico? Clande Sotol, Delincuente, Cinco Tragos and Lazadores.
After a couple of drinks at the bar, you might see sangrita written on a Mexican drinks menu and assume that there is a typo or that you have had a few too many. But you would be wrong.
Perhaps only tequila aficionados and those who have spent a fair amount of time in Mexico would know what a sangrita is. This drink is served as a chaser alongside high-end tequilas and makes the drinking experience even more enjoyable.
Sangrita recipes vary as much as michelada recipes do. Typically, you will be given a little shot glass of tomato juice filled with orange and lime.
Some places make their own variations – more or less tomato juice base for instance, or perhaps the addition of Worcestershire sauce. The idea is that you take a sip of tequila and then a sip of sangrita to cleanse your palate.
You take alternating sips between the two drinks. Neither should be drunk quickly like a shot.
Mezcal is very popular in Mexico. So, you shouldn’t be surprised to see cocktails prepared with mezcal just like you would expect to see cocktails made with tequila, gin, rum, or any other liqueur.
You will find that mezcal is used to replace other liqueurs in classic cocktails. For instance, how about replacing the vodka in a Moscow Mule cocktail with tequila and mezcal and making a Mezcal Mule?
Alternatively, perhaps you would like a mezcal mojito or a mezcal negroni? A lot of places make their own unique mezcal cocktails too, often using fresh tropical fruits like guava, papaya, and pineapple.
Fresh Fruit Margaritas
The margarita is one of the world’s favorite classic cocktails. It is said to have been invented in Mexico but, as with many popular inventions, more than one person has come forward to claim that the margarita is their invention.
David Daniel “Danny” Negrete, the former manager of the Hotel Garci Crespo in Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico is often recognized as the person who graced the world with the invention of margaritas. The story goes that the drink is actually named after his girlfriend, Margarita, who liked salt in her drinks.
So, his gift to her was to make her her own cocktail and name it after her. Perhaps neither Negrete nor Margarita knew how successful the drink would become – a tipple of choice for thousands of people across the globe!
A traditional margarita is made with tequila, triple sec orange liqueur, and lime. The drink is usually then shaken and served in a margarita glass (coupette) with salt on the rim.
In Mexico, your rim is likely to be sprinkled with spicy chili salt. Better yet, you can also get frozen margaritas, and margaritas made with fresh tropical fruits. Think mango margaritas or lemon margaritas made by blending fresh fruits purchased from local markets earlier that same day.
Mexican Craft Beers
Mexico has long been known to be the Latin American country with the best mass-market beer options. However, if you are someone who seeks out independent breweries and enjoys sampling craft beers, you will be pleased to hear that a small, growing scene exists here.
Mexico has an emerging craft beer scene and the options available are increasing every year. Unfortunately, there are some factors that limit the sector’s growth.
Namely, the fact that hops are not grown in Mexico and have to be imported at premium prices, makes the production of some beers not worthwhile. Secondly, you rarely find independent/craft beers at convenience stores like Oxxo because Mexican convenience stores are owned by the mass beer companies creating something of a monopoly over beer sales…
Brewpubs are not really a thing in Mexico. However, there are a few places to add to your radar, particularly in Mexico City and in tourist areas.
Cru Cu (Cjon. de Romita 8, La Romita, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc) have a tiny craft brewery in one of the oldest sections of CDMXs Colonia Roma. A pale ale, a porter, and an American lager are among their offerings.
While in CDMX you should also check out Interstellar Brewery (Las Nueces 36, Delegación Santa María Totoltepec) and La Roma brewing (Av. Yucatan 84, local L Col, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc).
Branded Mexican Beers
Corona is arguably the most famous Mexican beer. However, the mass beer scene in Mexico goes way beyond that, and better yet, many Mexican beers are of excellent taste and quality.
A Dos Equis Amber or a Pacifico beer is already significantly better than an American mass-produced brew. The likes of Bohemian and Negra Modelo are better still.
Grupo Modelo and Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma are the two main producers of beer in Mexico. The former produces the likes of Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Superior, Indio, Bohemia and Noche Buena.
Meanwhile, Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma produces Corona, Corona Light, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Victoria, Estrella, Leon, Montejo and Pacifico. These beers are not just loved in Mexico, people across the world love them too.
In fact, Mexico ranks third in the global export of beer and Corona is one of the five most consumed beers in the world! Mexicans like to drink their beers as-is from the bottle, with a slice of lime, or as part of a michelada.
Pox is a centuries-old Mexico drink that the Ancient Mayans would use as part of their spiritual ceremonies. The drink, pronounced posh was used by spiritual healers, and witch doctors.
It was believed that drinking the liquor would perform something of an exorcism on the body and remove any unwanted spirits from within. The burning sensation felt when swallowing the alcohol (because it was so strong) was believed to be the evil leaving the body.
Similarly, the Ancient Maya would give their warriors pox to send them to the underworld and back. Whether they went to the underworld, or they just experienced the sensations of getting blackout drunk, is debatable.
Today, pox, also affectionately referred to as firewater, is produced in the mountains of Chiapas. It can only really be found in this region and up until recently, it was not permitted to sell or produce elsewhere.
Pox has an interesting smoky flavor that could be compared to whiskey. In the bars that await down the passageways and cobbled streets of San Cristobal de las Casas, you will find plenty of places that serve it.
Pox cocktails can also be found here. The drink changes color and flavor with the addition of herbs and spices. Because of the importance of Pox in Mayan history and culture, many hope it does not become as mainstream as tequila or mezcal.
Raicilla is a distilled spirit that originates from the northern state of Jalisco. It could be considered as being the cousin of tequila and mezcal and is made from the lechuguilla agave and the raicillero agave.
Raicilla is a pretty strong tipple to try, with a phenomenal 63% ABV (126 proof). Raicilla has a subtle smokiness that is comparable to mezcal, but it is typically fruitier and more acidic in taste.
It is often enjoyed neat. However, along the Jalisco coast, orange juice, grapefruit, passion fruit, and mineral water to give it a tropical flavor.
Raicilla has often been likened to being the Mexican version of American moonshine. It was overlooked as an alcoholic drink for a while and met with suspicion from many Mexicans outside of the rural areas in which it was produced.
Paloma is a light and refreshing tequila cocktail. It is believed to have been created by Don Javier Delgado Corona, owner and bartender of La Capilla, in Tequila, Mexico.
However, little is known about the drink’s historical origins. Paloma is made by mixing tequila, lime juice, and a grapefruit-flavored soda. Then, of course, chili salt is placed around the rim.
Hot Mexico Drinks
If you have any coffee connoisseurs in your life, you might find that they are people that like coffee so much that they can compare and contrast the flavors of different beans from different global regions. For instance, they love the quality of Colombian coffee, the bright flavors of Kenyan coffee, and the diversity of beans from Guatemala.
When you ask people what their favorite coffee region is, you will seldom hear Mexico mentioned. This isn’t because Mexico cannot compete with the bigger, better-known coffee-growing regions, but because word hasn’t gotten out about it yet.
What may come as a surprise is the fact that Mexico is actually the largest organic coffee producer in the world. Most of this is enjoyed nationwide, however – Mexico consumes just over half of what they produce.
The most common way that coffee is prepared in Mexico is as a Cafe de Olla. To make it, coffee is boiled in a clay pot called an olla, alongside piloncillo (a cane sugar) and cinnamon (canela).
You can also order all of your favorite coffees here that you would expect to find back at home. For instance, cappuccinos, lattes, iced coffee, etc.
Chiapas is one of the biggest coffee-growing regions in the country, producing 44% of Mexico’s beans. If you visit charming San Cristobal de Las Casas or Palenque, you should consider doing a tour of the plantations along the coffee route.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
A lesser known fact about Mexico? Chocolate was actually invented here. The Aztec, Maya, and other indigenous communities of Latin America enjoyed hot chocolate for thousands of years before it was discovered by Europeans.
It makes sense then, that some of the best hot chocolate in the world can be found in Mexico. Mexican hot chocolate is made by grinding cacao, adding hot water or milk, sugar, and cinnamon.
This results in a thicker, more grainy texture than the hot chocolates you are likely to find elsewhere in the world. Most trips to Mexico are usually about relaxing on Yucatan beaches, visiting Mayan ruins like Mayapan, or hanging out in the Riviera Maya.
In hot temperatures, a steaming cup of hot chocolate is probably the last thing on your mind. But if you happen to be in Mexico in January or the winter months, particularly in the central or northern parts of the country, it is a nice thing to enjoy at the end of the day.
In Mexican regions like Veracruz, Tabasco, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, you are likely to find unique hot chocolate drinks, unlike anything you have ever tried before. Chocolate-atole, native to Oaxaca, is a regional favorite.
This fermented cacao drink takes six months to prepare. It is valued for its thick froth.
A Champurrado is a Mexican hot chocolate drink that differs from traditional Mexican hot chocolate. The difference is the use of masa harina (cornflour) in the recipe.
The drink is smooth, thick, chocolatey, and creamy. Cinnamon is often used to enhance the taste, but different natural flavorings are added in different parts of Mexico. Some areas even prefer to add a little spice to the drink to give it a kick.