Mexico is a country with many different regions that each produce different types of beverages. From alcoholic to non-alcoholic, these traditional beverages in Mexico vary both regionally and seasonally. The flavours of ingredients such as agave, corn and hibiscus give many drinks a unique taste that cannot be found in other countries.
When drinking in Mexico, learning some traditional toasts is important. The most common way to toast is to simply say “salud” which means “health.” A fun toast to remember for a group is “Arriba, Abajo, Al Centro, Pa’ Dentro” which means “up, down, to the center, and bottoms up.” When drinking in Mexico, be sure to do it safely. Here are some Mexican drinks to try.
- Mexican Drinks
- Mexican Alcoholic Drinks
- Mexican Drinks (Non-Alcoholic)
Mexican Alcoholic Drinks
Tequila is the most famous of all Mexican drinks.
It is exported to countries all over the world and consists of three types – añejo, blanco, and reposado.
Tequila is only produced from the blue agave plant, which takes several years to mature before jimadors harvest it by hand.
They take the heart of the agave and cook it, then process, distil and store the finished product in a barrel.
The town of Tequila and the surrounding areas in the state of Jalisco produce most of the exported tequila.
Visitors to this region can take a tequila train from Guadalajara to Tequila and experience the culture around making this fun alcohol.
Both Jose Cuervo and Herradura offer all-day tequila train tours to visitors.
In Mexico, tequila is a common sipping drink served before dinner and after.
Every fiesta and celebration includes tequila.
If you enjoy tequila, you should visit Mexico because the best tequilas are not exported.
Mezcal is an alcoholic beverage produced from an agave plant, similar to tequila.
However, tequila comes from blue agave, while mezcal comes from many other types of agave (also called maguey).
Mezcal has a smoky flavour that is retained throughout the distillation process.
Most mezcal is produced in the state of Oaxaca and typically only exported to the United States and Japan.
People usually drink it as a shot with a slice of lime and some gusano salt (salt combined with dried pieces of the maguey worm).
Pulque is a milky-coloured, alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of an agave or maguey plant.
The Mexican people have consumed this fermented beverage since pre-Hispanic colonisation.
Several hundred years ago, consumption of this beverage was restricted, but nowadays, you can find this drink offered throughout central Mexico, primarily in the states of Tlaxcala and Hidalgo.
Pulque is a traditional Mexican drink of historical importance, but the consumption of this beverage has declined during the last several decades.
To boost tourism, the state of Tlaxcala created a Pulque Route throughout the countryside that visitors can explore.
The historic haciendas and pulquerias along this route educate visitors about the history and culture surrounding this drink and offer pulque in various flavours.
A Carajillo is the perfect after-dinner drink for coffee lovers.
It’s a sweet, alcoholic drink to order instead of dessert when dining at a nice restaurant.
Carajillo is popular in many Spanish-speaking countries, and each country prepares it slightly differently.
In Mexico, this beverage is typically a simple cocktail of fresh-brewed coffee and Licor 43, a sweet, Spanish liqueur with citrus and vanilla overtones.
It is usually served over ice and provides the right amount of sweetness to offset a large, traditional Mexican dinner.
A Paloma is a fizzy, alcoholic cocktail served over ice.
It is a refreshing combination of tequila, a grapefruit soda such as Fresca or Squirt and fresh-squeezed lime.
This beverage is the perfect balance between sweet and sour, making it an excellent choice for summer picnics.
One of the best-made Palomas can be found on the Jose Cuervo Train Tour. Bartenders on this trip whip these up on the way to and from Tequila.
You can also enjoy palomas as a frozen drink, although it is less common in Mexico.
For more drinks around the world read:
- 20 Italian Cocktails and Other Drinks
- 20 Japanese Cocktails and Other Drinks
- 21 Spanish Cocktails and Other Drinks
- 25 American Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 Greek Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 German Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 Turkish Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 Polish Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 Jamaican Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 Mexican Drinks and Cocktails
- 20 Indian Drinks
The margarita is a world-famous alcoholic cocktail that can be served frozen or on the rocks.
Each restaurant and bar makes its own version of the margarita, but traditional margaritas are always made with tequila and a lime-flavoured juice or sour mix.
According to popular legend, the margarita was first invented in 1938 by Carlos Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria in Tijuana, Mexico.
Since then, mixologists have designed their own versions by experimenting with fruit and vegetable flavours.
In Mexico, margaritas with flavours like tamarind and prickly pear are very common.
Mexican bartenders often coat the rim of the glass with salt or tajin, adding a special burst of flavour with each sip.
Michelada is the name of a spicy and savoury alcoholic beverage popular in Mexico.
This beer cocktail is made with a light beer mixed with Clamato juice, Maggi sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
Tajin is often used to coat the rim of the glass.
Similar to the Bloody Mary in the United States, Micheladas is the classic hangover cure in Mexico.
This brunch cocktail pairs well with menudo, a flavoursome soup that provides a savoury pick-me-up the morning after a Mexican fiesta.
Raicilla is an alcoholic beverage distilled from agave, similar to tequila and mezcal.
Like mezcal specifically, raicilla is produced from several different species of agave.
This traditional drink originated in the southwest region of the state of Jalisco a few hundred years ago.
Raicilla has a complex flavour profile with a smoky taste similar to mezcal and some fruity, floral notes.
It can be colourless or yellowish, depending on the type of container used to mature the distilled product.
Mixologists use raicilla to create Mexican craft cocktails.
Tejuino is a Mexican beverage found in the states of Jalisco and Chihuahua.
This drink is made from corn dough, water, piloncillo and lime juice.
The dough and piloncillo sugar are boiled in water until it creates a thickened liquid, then allowed to ferment.
Once fermentation has started, the liquid is then ladled into a cup with ice and mixed with lime juice.
In some parts of Jalisco, like Guadalajara, the tejuino is served with a small scoop of lime sorbet.
While there is some alcohol in this beverage because of the fermentation process, it is a small amount and safe for children to consume.
Rompope is a drink similar to eggnog, made with egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and alcohol, typically rum.
This beverage likely originated from one of the many convents in Puebla during the 17th century at the start of the Spanish colonisation of Mexico.
Rompope is available year-round in Mexico but is usually consumed during Christmas parties and family celebrations.
This drink can be purchased commercially or made at home.
When making rompope, add nuts, spices, or fruits to enrich the taste.
Clericot is a wine cocktail served in restaurants throughout Mexico.
If you enjoy sangria, you would also enjoy clericot as it is similar to sangria because both cocktails contain wine.
However, clericot contains red wine mixed with a splash of lemon or lime soda.
Chopped fruits are added to this mix, typically grapes, apples, berries, and melon.
Young Mexican red wines are the best type to use when making clericot.
A variation of the traditional clericot uses a summer white wine prepared in the same way as the red.
This refreshing drink pairs well with steak, tacos, burritos, and pasta dishes.
Mexican Drinks (Non-Alcoholic)
Horchata is a creamy, non-alcoholic beverage made by blending white rice and almonds with sugar and cinnamon.
This traditional, milky, white drink is often served over ice at parties.
Children love this tasty drink and, together with Agua de Jamaica, provides the non-alcoholic beverage of choice at parties.
Horchata is popular because the milky nature of this drink helps to counteract the heat usually found in spicy Mexican foods like barbacoa tacos.
Rum pairs well with the creaminess of this drink if you want to turn horchata into a fun cocktail.
13- Agua de Jamaica
Agua de Jamaica, translated means hibiscus water, is a non-alcoholic beverage made from dried hibiscus flowers.
The hibiscus flowers are steeped in hot water to make a tea that becomes a deep red colour.
Lightly sweeten the drink by adding sugar, and then serve it over ice for a cool drink on a hot day.
Adding sparkling water turns the tea into a fizzy beverage.
Hibiscus tea contains no caffeine and almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C in one serving, making it a healthy and refreshing drink.
14- Aguas Frescas
Aguas Frescas, translated as fresh waters, are non-alcoholic beverages commonly found all over Mexico in restaurants and roadside taco stands.
This drink is made from any available ingredients, including cereals, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and seeds, and then lightly sweetened with sugar.
The most popular aguas frescas in Mexico are hibiscus tea and horchata, as mentioned above. But the flavour combinations for aguas frescas are seemingly endless.
Aguas frescas are commonly made with tamarind, melon, mango, cucumber, lime, guava and chia.
Because fruits and vegetables are available seasonally, the ingredients of this drink change throughout the year and new flavour combinations are created.
Mexican ponche is a traditional, non-alcoholic beverage served during the festive Christmas holidays.
This Christmas punch can be found throughout the country during the holidays, in both restaurants and homes.
Many ingredients are used to make ponche, including tejocote fruits, apples, guavas, prunes, tamarind, sugar cane, cinnamon sticks, hibiscus flowers, whole cloves, sugar and piloncillo.
Simmer these ingredients in a large pot of water and then serve it warm in a mug with some of the boiled fruits.
Red wine or spirits, like rum or brandy, can be added to ponche, which makes it taste less sweet.
Atole is a traditional, non-alcoholic beverage served warm in a mug.
This drink is made from corn dough, cinnamon, vanilla, and piloncillo sugar.
It can have a thick or thin consistency, depending on the amount of water used.
People serve atole at Day of the Dead festivities and Christmas parties.
This hot, rich, creamy drink provides a comforting warmth during the cooler temperatures of these holiday months.
17- Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican hot chocolate is different from the typical hot chocolate beverage.
This non-alcoholic beverage was invented thousands of years ago and drunk by the indigenous people that populated pre-Hispanic Mexico.
This drink uses cacao ground up into tiny pieces on a stone metate.
Sugar, cinnamon, and milk are the ingredients used to make a basic Mexican hot chocolate.
Adding chilli powder can create a unique flavour profile to this iconic beverage.
Champurrado is similar to atole and Mexican hot chocolate and is a creamy, rich, non-alcoholic beverage usually served hot.
The ingredients of this drink usually include corn dough, cacao, cinnamon, piloncillo sugar, and milk.
This thick, earthy beverage was created thousands of years ago and enjoyed by the pre-Hispanic peoples of Mexico.
Like atole, you’ll find champurrado served at Day of the Dead celebrations and Christmas parties.
In addition, champurrado paired with churros makes an excellent breakfast or afternoon snack.
19- Cafe de Olla
Mexico is famous for its coffee, particularly in the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz.
A coffee beverage that is famous throughout Mexico is called cafe de olla.
You can find this coffee everywhere in restaurants and many street food stalls.
This non-alcoholic coffee drink is made with ground coffee, piloncillo, cinnamon, and water and prepared in a clay pot.
These ingredients create a rich, flavourful coffee perfect for cool mornings.
Cafe de olla is usually served in a handmade clay mug.
The Mangonada is a brightly-coloured, non-alcoholic drink found all over Mexico in restaurants and at food stands on the street.
The beautiful yellow, orange, and red colours swirl together into a tasty and refreshing beverage.
Blended chunks of frozen mango, combined with mango juice, lime juice, and ice, form the base of this drink.
Chamoy sauce and tajin seasoning are swirled into the pureed mixture.
Mangonada is healthy and filling, full of vitamin C.
If you want to make this an alcoholic beverage, add vodka to the blender and enjoy.
For more adventures in Mexico, read:
- 20 Things To Do In Tijuana
- 20 Things To Do In Merida
- 20 Things To Do In Ensenada
- 20 Tulum Day Trips
- Where To Stay In Tulum
- 20 National Parks In Mexico
- 20 Day Trips From Mexico City
- 20 Day Trips From Cancun
- 20 Things To Do In Cancun With Kids
- 20 Things To Do In Mexico City At Night
- 20 Things To Do In La Paz
- 20 Things To Do In Monterrey Mexico
- 20 Things To Do In Acapulco
- 20 Things To Do In Chihuahua
- 20 Things To Do In Puerto Vallarta
- 20 Famous Landmarks in Mexico
- 20 Best Beaches in Mexico
- 20 Ways To Spend Christmas in Mexico
- 10 Things To Do In Baja California
- The Wonder of Chichen Itza
- When Is The Best Time To Visit Mexico?
- A Guide To Las Grutas De Tolantongo
- A Guide To Valle De Bravo
- 20 Best Cenotes In Mexico
- 20 Interesting Mexican Traditions
- 20 Mayan Ruins In Mexico
- 20 Things To Do In Veracruz
- 25 Things To Do In Guadalajara
- 20 Mexican Cocktails and Drinks
- 20 Things To Do In Mazatlan