Did you know that Mexican food is one of the top choices on food delivery apps in Canada? According to a study from DoorDash, burritos were the number one food ordered in Canada throughout 2020; and Mexican was the third most popular cuisine on the app. Mexican food is so popular that it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love a good burrito or chips and guacamole. But what about Mexican drinks?

If you love the unique flavours and combinations of Mexican cuisine, you might also enjoy a refreshing Mexican drink. This post explores nine Mexican drinks you should try – and is going beyond the drinks you are probably already familiar with, like tequila, margarita and Corona beer. Are you intrigued yet? Keep reading – it’s time you get acquainted with these exquisite beverages!

1. Paloma

Paloma (“dove” in Spanish), is a smooth, elegant cocktail with a flavour somewhere between sweet and tangy. It is made with tequila blanco (clear tequila that has been aged no longer than two months), grapefruit soda and a lime wedge garnish, and is served on the rocks. The soda can be replaced with lime or grapefruit juice for a more sour flavour. Paloma pairs well with spicy Mexican dishes.

2. Michelada

Michelada is a spicy beer-based cocktail, made with beer, lime juice, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, and lime or orange wedges as garnish. It is highly versatile and can be accommodated to suit many tastes. Some versions use Worcestershire sauce and chili peppers, and others use Clamato. Michelada is usually served on the rocks. 

3. Rompope

Did you know there was a Latin American version of eggnog? This drink is called Rompope, and while it is common in Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador and other Latin American countries, it is believed to have originated in Mexico, where it is still very popular. A traditionally festive drink, it is commonly consumed on special occasions. Rompope is made with rum, egg yolks, milk and sugar, with the rum sometimes being replaced with brandy. Common additions are nutmeg, cinnamon or vanilla flavouring. Rompope can be served in a variety of ways – on the rocks, heated, or lukewarm. 

4. Kahlúa

Kahlúa is a popular coffee liqueur that has originated in Veracruz, Mexico. It contains 100% arabica coffee (from beans grown in Veracruz), rum and sugar. The coffee flavour of Kahlúa is accompanied by notes of caramel and vanilla, and its sweetness makes it the perfect companion for desserts. The liqueur is either served neat with ice, or used in cocktails like White Russian, Black Russian, Moose Milk, and B52.

5. Mezcal

Mezcal is a drink similar to tequila: like tequila it is made from the agave plant, but it can be made from any type of agave plant except for blue agave. Mezcal has a typical smoky flavour, similar to scotch whisky. It is either served as a shot or used to make cocktails like Mezcal Margarita, Mezcal Mule, and Mezcal Negroni. On its own, it is often served with sliced oranges, lime, and a mixture called sal de gusano (Spanish for “worm salt”), made from ground chilis, sea salt, and crushed agave worms.

6. Pulque

Another agave-based Mexican drink is Pulque. This unique drink is made by fermenting agave sap. It has a thick, viscous consistency, a milk-like color, and a yeasty, sour flavour. The history of Pulque goes back thousands of years; it was considered a sacred drink, to be enjoyed only by the nobility. Because Pulque must be consumed shortly after its production, it has a limited distribution outside of Mexico City, and is easiest to find in pulquerias – taverns that specialize in serving Pulque. 

7. Bandera Mexicana

Bandera Mexicana is actually a combination of three drinks, and as its name suggests, is made to look like the Mexican flag (“bandera” is flag in Spanish). It consists of a shot of tequila, a shot of lime juice, and a shot of sangrita (a combination of tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, and chili); standing for the white, green and red of the Mexican flag. However, Bandera Mexicana can also refer to a shooter with three layers of red, green and white. 

We will conclude the list with two non-alcoholic Mexican drinks:

8. Horchata

Horchata is a popular “agua fresca” in Mexico. Aguas frescas (Spanish for “cool waters” or “fresh waters”) are refreshing non-alcoholic beverages, typically made with fruits, seeds, or grains blended with water and sugar. Horchata is made with rice, water, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. The flavour of horchata can be describe as sweet rice milk. The ingredients are blended together, and the mixture is then strained and chilled. Traditionally it is not made with dairy, but some recipes do include milk. Horchata is served with ice, and can be found in many Mexican restaurants.

9. Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican hot chocolate is different than the typical hot chocolate consumed in North America, but definitely worth a try! It is traditionally made with Mexican table chocolate (chocolate de mesa), which is made of cacao paste, sugar and cinnamon, and sometimes contains other ingredients like almonds, vanilla and various spices. To make the drink, the chocolate is dissolved into hot milk. It is usually served with sweet bread or a pastry, that can be dunked into the drink.

 

Do you think you will try any of these drinks soon? We highly recommend that you do. Salud!