Mexican Drink Recipes:
Mexican Tequilas, Cocktail Recipes, and Beers
If you're planning a Mexican party or dinner party, a few really special Mexican drink recipes can really make the difference between a wonderfully authentic Mexican menu and a rather ordinary one.
We all love that perfect margarita recipe. But Mexican cocktail recipes don't begin and end with that emblematic concoction. There are a ton of wonderful, traditional, and authentic Mexican alcoholic drinks out there. And there are some great non-alcoholic ones, too, like the ones you'll find on this page. So while no Mexican-themed party would be complete without a pitcher of tangy lime and tequila margaritas, there are also other option out there that will add an original touch to your drink menu.
So read on for a great overview of traditional Mexican cocktails and drinks, including the best Mexican beers and tequilas, as well as some traditional Mexican drink recipes that will knock your socks off. And when you're done here, check out Authentic Mexican Recipes and Party Planning Central for more recipes and ideas for Mexican food, drinks, party games, and more.
The History of Mexican Alcohol
Alcoholic Mexican drinks date back to the Aztecs, who drank an alcoholic concoction called "octli," which was made from agave-- the same plant that tequila is made from. Today, this cider-like drink is called pulque.
During their history, the ancient Aztecs in Mexico also drank a lot of corn-starch based beverages, as well as drinks made from chocolate
Since those days of simple corn or agave-based drinks, Mexican alcoholic beverages have really come a long way!
A Guide to Famous Mexican Beers
One of the first Mexican drinks you'll probably ever taste is... beer! Mexican beer is famous. And while we've all had a Corona with lime (or six or twelve of 'em), there are some other wonderful Mexican beers out there that you may want to add to the menu the next time you're planning a Mexican-themed party
. They are:
Bohemia Beer: Bohemia is a bit darker than most of the Mexican ales you're used to, but it's still a light-ish beer. And it's also an award-winner, having ranked in first-place win when put up against renowned beers from Germany in a blind tasting.
Don't serve this one with a lime wedge. Instead, rub the rim of the beer glass with a touch of fresh lime before serving.
Dos Equis Beer: Dos Equis (meaning "two x's") is a nice medium-bodied beer that was created by, of all people, a German beer maker. A beer with a lot of tradition behind it, but a distinct Mexican character.
Negro Modelo Beer: Forget Corona... Negro Modelo is the Mexican beer for real beer drinkers. It's a dark beer (hence the name, as "negro" means black) with a wonderful balance of bitterness and slight sweetness. It's great on its own, but also wonderful with salt on the rim (yep, like a margarita) and a wedge or two of lime.
Pacifico is another light Mexican beer that, like Corona, is renowned above all for how refreshing and light it is. This is a beer that's great with lime, or even mixed with lemon soda (see my Mexican shandy recipe below).
But don't forget some of the others, such as Sol, Tecate, and Modelo or Modelo Especial!
Mexican Drink Recipes Made with Beer
Think you can't make cocktails with Mexican beer? Think again! There are several famous Mexican drink recipes out there made with Mexican beers... and most of them use ingredients that you're going to have around anyway, especially if you're planning on serving other Mexican cocktails. Some to try are:
Mexican Michelada Recipe
This is THE most famous Mexican beer cocktail. It can be served over ice or not, but must always be made with ice-cold beer. Most people are going to want to use a light beer with this one, such as Sol or Corona, but it's also nice with a darker beer.
Recipe makes one cocktail.
1 bottle (12 oz.) light Mexican beer
Worcestershire (one dash, or as needed)
Tabasco or Cholula hot sauce (one dash, or as needed)
Instructions: 1. Cut your lime in half and rub the rim of your beer glass with one cut half. Dip in salt. Extract the juice from both lime halves.
2. Pour your beer into the prepared glass (use ice or don't-- your preference), and add the juice from both lime halves, the Worcestershire, and the Tabasco.
3. Stir gently and serve ice cold (or over ice).
Mexican Shandy Cocktail Recipe
Never tried a shandy? It's heaven in a glass on a hot summer day-- even if it doesn't sound great at first glance. I like mine with a little more beer than soda, but the recipe below will start with half and half.
Makes two Mexican Shandy cocktails. Double or triple it to make a big pitcher, and have plenty on hand to go with your spicy Mexican food-- it may well become one of your favorite Mexican drink recipes!
1 bottle (12 oz.) Mexican beer
1 can (12 oz.) lemon soda (lemon Fanta is best)
Instructions: 1. Pour half the soda into each glass.
2. Add the beer.
3. Enjoy! Remember to play around with quantities to get the mix you like best.
Tip: You can also experiment with other variations: add a slice of fresh lime, or try a splash of tequila for a real Mexican flavor.
A Quick Guide to Tequila
Tequila is the star of just about every Mexican drink recipe you'll ever taste. And there's a reason: there's no flavor out there quite like it. But with the huge number of tequilas out there, I have
to call this a "quick" guide. If you want to learn all about tequilas, well... it takes years!
But if you're just looking to have a good couple of bottles on hand for your next Mexican-themed fiesta, or want to use really good tequila in some of the Mexican drink recipes on this page, read on for a quick overview of what's out there.
The Five Types of Tequila
The five main categories for tequila, that wonderful star of all your favorite Mexican drink recipes (in order of fanciness!) are:
Tequila Blanco/Plata: (White/Silver Tequila) This is a clear version of tequila, which isn't aged before bottled-- it's placed in the bottle right after being distilled (or, sometimes, is aged a maximum of two months before bottling).
Tequila Joven/Oro: (Young/Gold Tequila) This is going to be your typical bottle of Jose Cuervo, for instance, and is a blend of Tequila blanco and one of the more aged varieties described below.
Tequila Reposado: ("Rested" Tequila)
This is a tequila that's slightly aged, generally in oak barrels, for less than a year. This is what gives it its characteristic color.
Tequila Añejo: ("Vintage" Tequila) Like a Spanish wine, añejo means that a particular drink is well-aged, a minimum of one year (but generally less than three).
Tequila Extra Añejo: (Extra Aged Tequila) This is a fairly new category for tequilas, and means that a tequila was aged three years or more in oak barrels, which makes it very smooth and gives it a characteristic flavor.
Sangrita Traditional Mexican Cocktail Recipe
If you're looking for some Mexican drink recipes using that most famous of Mexican beverages, tequila, you don't have to look further than a simple Margarita recipe
or a tequila sunrise. But if you're looking for a recipe for an authentic Mexican cocktail that really highlights the flavor of the tequila, this is the one for you.
This Mexica drink recipe is sort of like a bloody Mary with lime and tequila, a sangrita (nick-named for "blood") is something really different. It's made with the tequila on the side, not mixed in-- the "sangrita" mixture, while drunk separately, is thought to really highlight the flavor of the tequila.
Makes 1 pitcher of sangrita (enough for one bottle of tequila).
1 bottle (16 oz.) good-quality fresh tomato juice
1/2 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small white onion
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
6 small green chilies (fresh, not canned)
Salt, as needed
Instructions: 1. Seed and chop your chilies and coarsely chop your onion. Place in a blender with the tomato juice, orange juice, and lime. Blend until smooth.
2. Chill until cold.
3. For each serving, pour out one shot of cold sangrita, and one of room-temperature tequila for each person. Enjoy both together.
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