What to Drink in Mexico

Tap water is potable, but generally not recommended for drinking. Some exaggerated people even claim that tap water is not good for brushing teeth. Hotels usually give guests one (large) bottle of drinking water per room per night. Bottled water is also readily available in supermarkets and at tourist attractions. Other choices are:

  • Absinthe, which is legal in Mexico.
  • Tequila, distilled from Agave (a specific type of cactus).
  • Pulque, ferment made from Maguey.
  • Mezcal, similar to tequila but distilled from Maguey.
  • Tepache, made from pineapple.
  • Tuba, made from coconut palm tree.
There are also several Mexican beers, most of which are available outside Mexico, these include:

  • Corona (popular, but not necessarily as overwhelmingly popular in Mexico as many foreigners think).
  • Dos Equis (XX), dark or lager. (both good mass-market beers).
  • Modelo Especial (medium lager).
  • Negra Modelo (darker, flavorful ale).
  • Modelo Light (typical light Mexican beer – Corona, Pacifico and Tecate also have “light” versions.
  • Pacífico (Pilsner beer, one of the better lighter beers).
  • Tecate (perhaps the most common beer, especially in the north, light with a slight hoppy taste).
  • Indio (good amber, not commonly exported).
  • Bohemia (nice malty taste).
  • Carta Blanca (mass market beer).
  • Sol (very light, similar to Corona).
  • Superior (pretty common beer).
  • Victoria (A light Vienna-style beer, usually not exported).
  • Montejo.
  • León (red Vienna-style beer).
  • Estrella.
  • Corona “de Barril” or Barrillito (fun to drink).
  • Chamochelas.
  • Modelo Chope (Draft beer only available in select bars & restaurants, comes in Light & Negra varieties, with the latter being a Munich dunkel).
Lighter Mexican beers are often served with lime and salt, though many Mexicans do not drink beer in this fashion. In some places you will find beer served as a prepared drink called “Michelada” or simply “Chelada”. The formula varies depending on the place, but it’s usually beer mixed with lime juice and various sauces and spices on ice served in a salt rim glass. Other variation called “Cubana” includes Clamato cocktail, soybean sauce, salt and a little bit of hot sauce.
Northwestern Mexico, including Baja California and Sonora, also produces wines, and Mexican wine is often quite good, but most Mexicans tend to prefer European or Chilean imports.

The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18, but not strictly enforced. In many places, consumption of alcohol in public (“open container”) is illegal and usually punishable by a day in jail. Be aware of waitresses and barmen, especially at night clubs. If you are not aware of your consumption and how much you already spent, they can add a few more drinks to your account. Some do this, not all.

Alcohol meters are widely used in driving roads. If drinking, always have a designated driver. Driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage will result in 1 to 3 days in jail.

Mexico, especially the southern state of Chiapas, produces excellent coffee. Café con leche, usually one part coffee to one part steamed milk, is very popular. Unfortunately, many places in Mexico that are not cafés serve Nescafe or other instant coffee – you may have to search for the good coffee, but it’s there.

Other non alcoholic beverages include:

  • Chocolate.
  • Atole.
  • Horchata (rice based drink).
  • Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus iced tea, similar to karkadai in Egypt).
  • Licuados de fruta (Fruit smoothies and milkshakes).
  • Champurrado (Thick chocolate drink).
  • Refrescos (common sodas, generally sweet and made with cane sugar, not corn syrup as in the United States).

Written by Annie of The Travel Valet.

By Judy Karwacki, Jubilee Travel about Mexico

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