It feels incomplete if you visit Mexico without enjoying the traditional drink of the “Sombrero country.”
Because besides enjoying Tequila combined with Tacos, there are also various other drinks from this American continent country.
So, what are those?
Here are 21 Unique & popular Mexican Drinks you should try.
21. Café de olla
Cafe de olla is a traditional Mexican coffee drink. The name Cafe de olla comes from serving the drink, which uses olla or a clay pot that makes its taste unique. Cafe de olla is a common drink among rural Mexico residents.
This historical drink has a lot of relation with the early days of the Mexican Revolution in 1910. At that time, the soldaderas or adelitas, or known as the Mexican liberation army, prepared Cafe de olla with cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, coffee, and chocolate.
Cafe de olla is then made by roasting it in a clay pot. Then served as an energy booster for the Mexican liberation soldiers at that time. Cafe de olla is a favorite drink of Emiliano Zapata, leader of the Mexican Revolutionary.
Today, the tradition of drinking Cafe de olla is not only popular in Mexican society. Even now, Cafe de olla is very popular in the United States. Most of Cafe de olla is made using coffee beans from the Oaxaca or Veracruz in Mexico.
The taste of Cafe de olla is smooth, thick, and rich in chocolate flavor. Its original form uses roasted cocoa as an ingredient in Cafe de olla. Also, the use of piloncillo or raw sugar cane can make coffee feel good inside the stomach.
Kahlua is a coffee-flavored alcoholic beverage originating from Veracruz, Mexico.
The drink contains rum, sugar, and one hundred percent Arabica coffee. Kahlua is a Nahuatl language spoken pre-Spanish, meaning “the home of the Acolhua people.”
Pedro Domecq, the founder of Kahlua, started producing the drink in 1936. In 1994 the Kahlua company started to merge with Allied Lyons. Then in 2008, Kahlua merged with Vin & Sprit, the largest liquor distributor in the world.
Since 2004, Kahlua’s alcohol is 20%, while previously, it contained 26.5%. Besides, in 2002, Kahlua also launched an exclusive version called “Kahlua Especial” with a 36% alcohol content.
Kahlua is made from arabica coffee beans that are grown in Veracruz, Mexico. So it contains caffeine in it. According to the manufacturer, about 25% of the amount can be found in the same coffee volume or about 10 mg per 100 mL.
There are many rewards that Kahlua has earned. The San Francisco World Spirit award won a silver medal in 2005 and 2007 and a bronze medal in 2009. The Beverage Testing Institute also gave Kahlua a score of 85.
Rompope is a drink made with eggs, milk, and vanilla flavoring. Rompope is a traditional, flavorful drink famous in Mesoamerica, especially Mexico. Its name comes from the word rompon, which is given to the Spanish egg punch in Mexico.
Rompope is still part of the Spanish ponche de huevo or egg punch family. The word rom in Rompope can also refer to rum or any type of alcoholic drink since the Spanish version of the drink uses the main ingredient of rum.
The origin of Rompope is believed from monasteries in the town of Publa, Mekisko, in the 17th century. According to the story, Sister Edugives only allowed nuns to drink homemade Rompope, and there is a secret recipe known only to Edugives.
Besides using eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla flavoring, and added rum, several other ingredients are often mixed into Rompope, such as hazelnut, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, and pine nuts, strawberries, and other local ingredients. Rompope is served cold or warm.
Rompope has now been commercialized throughout Mexico. Despite the many trademarks that Rompope produces, Mexicans often still choose to make them independently. Rompope is also usually enjoyed during certain celebrations.
Chilate is a traditional Mexican drink made from chocolate, cinnamon, rice, and brown sugar.
Chilate is also closely related to the mixture of Afro-Mexican culture. This can be seen clearly from the use of rice in its raw material.
Chilate is a culinary delicacy originating from the Costa Chic region in Guerrero, Mexico, which is indeed famous for being a place for Afro-Mexican people. Rice cultivation was brought along with the arrival of slaves from Africa to Mexico in the 16th century.
The chocolate flavor of the Chilate also symbolizes the original Guerrero culture. For the natives of Mexico, especially the Aztecs, chocolate was a drink rather than food. So Chillate has a lot in common with xocolātl or bitter water in Aztec cuisine.
One of the evolutions of the chocolate drink lies in its taste. Cinnamon in Chilate gives a spicy taste, besides the use of brown sugar makes it less bitter. Chilate is so distinctive because it combines different culinary cultures.
Chilate is usually served cold, and this drink is a specialty of the Guerrero region. Chilate comes from another part of Mexico, namely Oaxaca, but it’s not the same dish because Chilate from Oaxaca is a broth type dish made from chicken.
Another Cerveza Preparada that is popular in Mexico is Clamato beer.
Made from the strong taste of Michelada with other ingredients such as clam broth, making Clamato a spicy and refreshing Mexican cocktail.
Clamato beer was originally found in the Baja, California.
The story begins in the Acueducto bar in the Lucerne hotel, Mexicali, where tomato juice is mixed with ice-cold and cooked red abalone scallop broth. The broth is used to cure hangovers.
Therefore, Clamato beer has become its own attraction and is popularly known as matacrudas or drunken killers.
In 1935 Clamato began to be produced commercially, then in 1940 began to be made a trademark of Clamato beer, which was produced canned.
Clamato is one of the most controversial preparada Cerveza or ready-to-serve beers. Mainly because of the use of shellfish and shrimp in the recipe. Other ingredients used are lime, chili, sauce, beer, and other spices.
Clamato beer has a distinctive salty taste and aroma, and other names are Clamato co Cervaza, Clamato con Chela, Clamato Michelada, and Michelada con Clamato. Clamato itself comes from clam and tomato, so it is called Clamato.
16. Mexican Atole
Atole or ātōlli in Nahuatl language is a traditional drink made from corn or masa, typical Mesoamerican corn flour.
Atole is made from a mixture of masa, water, cane sugar called piloncillo, cinnamon, and vanilla, and a mixture of fruit or chocolate.
Atole is made by roasting masa on a frying pan and then adding boiled water and cinnamon sticks. The result has a texture that varies from pulp to liquid. Atole can also be made from rice, wheat, or oatmeal.
The history of Atole relates to the culture of the Mexican people before pre-Spain. Atole is a drink that is served to guests as a form of hospitality. In fact, creating atole is a requirement for women before they can be married.
There are various flavors of Atole, chocolate flavor, or what is often referred to as Champurrado. Also, there is Atole de pinole, which feels original, Atole de Almendra, which tastes almonds, Atole de frijol, which has a taste of nuts, and other variants.
Although atole tastes mostly sweet, not all of it because some are salty. The atole is usually related to Dia de Muertos and Los Pasados celebrations in Mexico. Atole is also served as a breakfast menu because it can provide energy for the body.
Pulque or Octili is a traditional Mexican alcoholic drink made from fermenting the maguey or agave plant’s sap.
The white pulque resembles milk with a thick texture and a sour taste like yeast. Pulque comes from the Nahuatl language.
Pulque’s real name is iztāc octli, which means white pulque. Its origins can be attributed to various stories and myths, especially about Mayahuel, the goddess Maguey. In the past, Pulque was only drunk by certain people at certain events.
Pulque was included in a ritual drink and was usually drunk by priests and sacrifices to the gods. However, after the conquest, Pulque lost its sacred character when the Spanish settlers started drinking it.
Currently, most pulque is consumed in bars called pulquerias. In the early 2nd-century, most of these bars were located in Mexico City. Pulque is traditionally served from a large pitcher-like vat on ice and served in a special glass.
Recent research found that Pulque contains high carbohydrates and several nutrients. In addition to preserving Pulque, there is a special festival called “Pulque Route” at a hacienda or plantation located in the Tlaxcala area.
14. Mexican Wine
Mexican wine is a typical Mexican wine that is quite popular and started when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century in the New World or the American continent.
Mexico is the oldest producer of wine on the American continent, which is quite productive.
Despite being banned from winemaking in 1699 and during the Mexican Revolution, production is now increasing. There are three main wine-producing regions in Mexico, Baja California, Coahuila, and Zacatecas.
Mexico is actually a country that has no tradition of drinking wine because the consumption of beer, tequila, and mezcal is much more popular. However, currently, Mexican wine consumption has increased, especially in big cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Puebla.
One of the oldest wineries in Mexico and even in the Americas is Casa Madero. The winery, founded in 1597 under the name Hacienda San Lorenzo, is varied and won multiple awards.
A popular vineyard tour in Mexico is Ruta del Vino, Ensenada city, close to Tijuana. Fiesta de la Vendimia or Vintage Festival is also frequently held in Ensenada, featuring wine contests, winery tours, and music concerts.
Licuado or better known by the Mexican people as Batidos, is a drink made from milk, fruit, and ice.
Licuado is a bit like a smoothie but not too thick. Licuado is also often referred to as preparados, meaning prepared.
Licuados comes from Spanish, which means to be mixed or melted. This non-alcoholic drink is different from the typical Mexican agua frescas because Licuados is only made to order and is not made in bulk or packs.
Meanwhile, Licuados is also different from American-style smoothies because its ingredients are not fruit juice but milk. Even sometimes, Licuados is also combined with yogurt, and this is what makes it thinner.
Sometimes Licuados also refers to a milk-free variety of drinks, while those containing milk tend to be Batidos. The taste of Licuados varies depending on the type of fruit used as well as the name used.
For example, Batido de trigo is batido made from puffed wheat, then there is Licuado de plátano made from banana, Licuado de papaya from papaya, and others.
Licuado is commonly sold as street food in Licuado stores and fruit store or fruterias.
12. Prickly Pear Margaritas
Prickly Pear Margarita is a type of margarita that has attractive bright colors.
Prickly pear, as the main ingredient, is also commonly referred to as cactus pear or tuna fruit. The fruit comes from native plants that are widely grown in Mexico.
Prickly Pear Margarita comes from a restaurant in The Fort Morrison, 17 miles southwest of Denver, United States. Prickly pear is a fruit that grows wild in the desert and has been a staple of Native Americans for centuries.
Prickly pear comes in a variety of colors, from lime green, orange to dark red. However, this color is not an indicator of the ripeness of the fruit. Prickly Pear has skin covered in rough, small prickly bumps and similar to the cactus.
While the inside of the Picky pear fruit has an attractive bright color, soft texture, and taste that is not too sweet and a bit flowery, you could say Prickly pear tastes like a combination of watermelon and gum.
Prickly Pear Margarita is like any type of Margarita that uses a Tequila mixture and is served with salt on the edge of the glass. The taste tends to be a bit sour, so you can add sugar or corn syrup to enrich the taste.
11. Agua de Tamarindo
Agua de tamarindo, known as tamarindo, is a typical Mexican non-alcoholic drink or Agua Frescas.
Tamarindo is made from tamarind, sugar, and water. The taste tends to be sour-sweet, depending on how much sugar is added.
Tamarind plant originated from Africa, which then, since the 4th century BC, began to spread widely throughout the world, including Latin America.
During the 16th century, tamarind began to enter Mexico, which was then commonly used as one of the raw materials for agua frescas.
Agua de tamarindo has many different variations, but it is generally made by peeling the skin of the tamarind fruit and cooking it in boiling water. After that, then filtered through a sieve, then blended with water and sugar.
Agua de tamarindo is a simple non-alcoholic drink, usually sold as street food in Mexico.
Even Agua de tamarindo has now been produced commercially globally in packaging by well-known companies such as Jarritos and Nestle.
Tamarindo, which is produced commercially, is usually carbonated like soft drinks such as cola. Agua de tamarindo contains nutrients that are good for the body, such as high levels of vitamin B1 and B3 and vitamin C in small amounts.
Carajillo is an alcohol-infused coffee popular in Mexico.
Usually made from the brands Licor 43, Mezcal, and other coffee liquor types such as the Kahlua or Tia Maria brands. Carajillos are usually served in small glasses, either hot or cold.
Carajillo originally comes from Spain and is related to Cuba’s history when it was still part of the Spanish Empire. The coffee mixed with the rum is used for added strength or coraje, which then changes the word to carajillo.
There are many different ways to make a Carajillo, from simply pouring the espresso to making it from a mixture of lemon, sugar, cinnamon, and coffee. Carajillos in Mexico is usually made with espresso or other strong coffee mixed with Licor 43.
Unlike the Spanish version, the American and Mexican carajillo typically uses a coffee cup filled with heated sugar to caramel it. Next, add additional liquor, then add coffee and whipped cream as the ending.
Carajillo is a great drink to warm up the evening while relaxing. Carajillo is also known as a classic Mexican cocktail. It has a bitter taste of espresso but is softer and tends to be a bit strong, mainly because of the alcohol.
You may like: 21 Popular American Drinks You Should Know & Try
9. Mexican Ponche
Mexican ponche or ponche navideño Mexicano is a traditional hot drink that is popular during the Christmas holidays.
Mexican ponche is made with water, fresh or dried fruit such as tamarind, prunes, rosella, cinnamon, and sweetened with raw sugarcane or piloncillo.
The Mexican ponche comes from the Spanish who brought it to America. Even if traced further, originally from India and better known as Pac. So that Ponche is the creation of a typical European punch recipe with indigenous Mexican recipes.
Mexican ponche, or in English means Mexican punch, is made from seasonal fruits such as guava, apple, pear, orange. It can also be made from traditional Mexican ingredients, like tejocotes or small yellow fruits similar to crabapples.
There are at least over 100 different Mexican ponche recipes. The ingredients are used differently depending on the region of origin. For example, pineapple is added in Mexico City, while in Colima, you add alcohol, and in Oaxaca, you use milk and eggs.
Mexican ponche or Christmas punch is a traditional drink that effectively prevents colds due to the high content of vitamins A, B, and C. However, it should be enjoyed in small portions because they contain lots of sugar.
Champurrado is a chocolate-based atole drink. Atole itself is a traditional corn-based drink served hot, and it’s typical of the Mesoamerican region. The name atole is also popular with other terms such as atolli and atoll de elote.
Chocolate has existed in Mexico for a long time, even before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Initially, chocolate originated from the Amazon and was cultivated by the Mayans and Aztecs.
Chocolate is usually drunk with grits or masa since 450 BC. Chocolate has long existed in Mexico, even before the arrival of the Spanish.
After that, during the Spanish conquest of America, they began to adopt one of the ancient Aztec era drink recipes made from water and Masa Harina or cornflour. They change it by adding sugar, milk, and chocolate.
Champurrado is different from the common hot chocolate because it is made from Masa Harina or cornflour. There are many types of recipes and techniques for making Champurrado, so the taste varies too. There is a watery texture that resembles porridge.
Champurrado is a drink related to Day of the Dead celebrations or Dia de Muertos and Los Pasodas. Also, usually, Champurrado is also served with churros in the morning as one of the breakfast menus or as a drink at night.
Chelada is a type of Cerveza Preparada or Mexican ready-to-serve beer made from Cerveza Clara, a light beer made in the pilsener style.
Some well-known beer brands that are often used as the base ingredient for Chelada are Modelo or Corona.
Chelada is one of the drinks close to Michelada. The difference in Chelada is usually the addition of a lime juice or enjoyed in cocktail style by adding salt to the edge of the glass.
The traditional Mexican drink Chelada takes its name from the Spanish word chela.
The word chela in Mexico and other Central American countries is a slang term for Cerveza or beer. Chela can also mean blonde or, more accurately, interpreted as a golden beer.
Traditionally, Chelada is not served with ice cubes. Therefore, as a replacement, it’s using lime juice to add freshness. Also, the salt used in Chelada is usually like a quality coarse rimming salt.
The taste produced by Chelada is sour due to the use of lime. Meanwhile, the added salt in it produces a balanced salinity. Overall the taste is fresh with a predominance of a sour taste.
6. Agua de Jamaica
Agua de jamaica is the name of a non-alcoholic drink that is a herbal tea.
The drink is made from red or magenta rosella or Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers. Agua de jamaica is usually drunk hot or cold.
Another nickname of Agua de jamaica is Agua de flor de jamaica or Rosa de jamaica.
The drink is popular in Mexico and parts of South America and the Caribbean region. Agua de jamaica is one of Mexico’s Aguas Frescas or non-alcoholic drinks.
The word “jamaica” in the name Agua de jamaica actually refers to the Mexican term for hibiscus or roselle flowers and not Jamaica. However, certain types of hibiscus originate from Jamaica and even most of West Africa.
As a type of Aguas Frescas, Agua de jamaica is usually found in taqueria or Mexican restaurants. A glass of Agua de jamaica usually contains a squeezed rosella essences brewed with rosella petals, spices, and sugar.
The taste of Agua de jamaica is sweet, like cranberry, refreshing, and has a sharp aroma.
Especially when mixed with spices such as cinnamon and ginger, the taste will be richer. Rosella flowers are also proven to reduce the potential for high blood pressure.
Mezcal is a typical Mexican alcoholic drink that is distilled and made from the agave plant.
The word Mezcal comes from the Nahuatl language, Mexicali, which means oven-cooked agave. Mezcal is mostly made in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.
The beginning of Mezcal’s appearance is predicted to coincide with the Spanish conquest of the American continent.
At that time, the Spaniards recognized a fermented drink from a native named Pulque, which was then experimented with to become Mezcal.
Agave is a sacred plant in pre-Spanish Mexico and was commonly used for religious rituals by indigenous people.
Currently, Mezcal is still made from the core of an agave plant called pina. It’s different from Pulque, and Mezcal has a higher alcohol content.
One of the famous slogans related to the drink is “Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también,” meaning for all that is bad, mezcal, and for all that is good too. Mezcal is legendary, made with the same technique since 200 years ago.
Mezcal is usually consumed directly without being mixed. The taste is legendary, strong, and smoky. The Mexican state of Oaxaca even hosts an International Mezcal Festival every year. The festival, which has been held since 1997, is always busy with visitors.
Horchata is the name given to a type of vegetable milk drink or vegetarian milk.
Horchata is also aimed at all kinds of alternative milk drinks with the same taste or appearance in Mexican society.
Horchata is a grain or barley-based drink tradition that originated in the Mediterranean region.
Then in 1000 AD, it entered Spain and then was brought to the New World, America. The origin of Horchata can also be traced back to the 13th century in Valencia, Spain.
At that time, Horchata was better known as horchata de chufa. Horchata de chufa is made from soaked, ground, and sweetened chufa or yellow nuts. Horchata served with Mexican specialties are generally made from white rice.
This typical Mexican Horchata is better known as Horchata de Arroz. The basic ingredients are rice, cinnamon, or sometimes vanilla and Canela. There is also Horchata de Arroz, which uses Aztec marigold flowers in the Alvarado region.
Even though Horchata de Arroz is self-made, it is now widely available in ready-to-drink packages or powder form. Horchata is one of the typical Mexican drinks not based on alcohol or Aguas Frescas.
Paloma, which in Spanish means pigeon, is the name of a tequila-based cocktail drink.
Palomas are often made with a mixture of tequila, lemon juice, and grapefruit soda, such as the Fresca, Squirt, or Jarritos brands, and served with a garnish lime wedges.
Alternatively, grapefruit soda can also be replaced with fresh white or red grapefruit juice in Mexican, known as jugo de toronja. It can also be replaced by using Club soda either using sugar or without sugar and fresh lime juice.
Only a few people know about the history of the Paloma drink.
Some people believe that the drink was named La Paloma, a popular folk song in Mexico in the 1860s. Others say that it originated from the La Capilla bar in Tequila, Mexico.
A recent fact shows that Paloma didn’t exist before the advent of grapefruit soda.
There is an assumption that Paloma arose when people in Mexico in the 1940’s began experimenting with mixing tequila with a type of flavored soda.
Paloma’s taste is quite complex, and there is sweet, sour, slightly bitter, and salty taste.
Generally, Paloma is only made of two ingredients, namely tequila and grapefruit-flavored soda. A more complex variant, Cantarito, is added with lemon juice and orange juice.
Michelada is a Cerveza preparada or ready-to-eat beer made from beer, lemon juice, or various sauces usually made from chilies, spices, and tomato juice. Michelada is also usually served in a cocktail style, in a cold glass with a salt rim.
There are two popular versions of Michelada’s origins. One of the famous is from Michel Esper at Club Deportivo Potosino, San Luis Potosi, in the 1960s. Esper originally ordered a brew of beer and known by club members as “Michel’s lemonade.”
Over time, the name got shorter and became Michelada. Another origin of the name Michelada comes from a combination of syllables, mi chela helada. The phrase mi chela helada means my cold iced beer, in Mexican.
Michelada’s uniqueness lies in the original recipe, which contains chili powder on the edge of the glass that is ready to be served.
Also, many beverage companies now produce Michelada with spices, such as Mexican chipotle peppers.
The common michelada served in Mexico City is generally in beer, lime, salt, and hot sauce or chili slices.
Some additional ingredients include maggi sauce, soy sauce, tajin, Worcestershire sauce, ground chamoy, serrano peppers, Camaronazo, and Clamato.
Margarita is a cocktail made of tequila, triple sec Curacao, or liquor with an orange flavor, and lemon juice, and is often served with adding some salt.
Margaritas can be served in a shaken way and mixed with ice cubes or without ice.
In Spanish, Margarita is often called for Daisy, which is a popular Mexican and American drink remade by replacing brandy with cocktails.
Margarita became famous during the country’s alcohol ban, so people searched all the way to America’s borders.
There are many stories of Margarita’s origin and the first place where it was found. Some have noted that margaritas appeared in the Tijuana area around 1936.
Others say that margaritas were first served at a bar in the Juarez area in 1942 and Acapulco in 1948.
One of the uniqueness of Margarita lies in its presentation using a special glass.
Margarita glass is a variant of the classic coupe champagne glass. Margarita also has many variants, from a mixture of various flavors of tequila, soda to fruits and vegetables.
This drink is worth to try because it was so popular and was featured in Esquire Magazine in 1953 as the “Drink of The Month.”
Moreover, because it is known to have a complete taste, besides sweet and sour, Margarita also has the third main taste, salty.
So, Those are some traditional drinks from Mexico.
The country has a drinking tradition similar to Spain. No wonder, because Mexico was once part of the Kingdom of Spain. Apart from alcoholic drinks, there are also delicious non-alcoholic drinks.