Traditional Mexican Drink Ideas
and Authentic Non Alcoholic Recipes
There's probably at least one traditional Mexican drink that will fit the bill for any occasion-- whether you want to warm up in the winter, chill out in the summer, or just try something a little different.
So, what is an authentic Mexican drink recipe like? For the most part, Mexican drinks and cocktails are really diverse. Oh yes, there's tequila, beer, and Margaritas... but there are a lot more options and ideas than just those two! I've got a whole page all about alcoholic Mexican drink recipes and types (coming soon!).
This page, however, will focus more on Mexican non alcoholic drink recipes, including aguas frescas, chocolates, and coffees. So read on for some great recipes and ideas, or visit Authentic Mexican Food Recipes Central for other great Mexican drinks and cocktails.
Popular Traditional Mexican Drink Recipes
In modern Mexican culture, a lot of interesting ingredients --both alcoholic and non-alcoholic-- to make traditional Mexican drinks. You'll find some names and ingredients in Mexican drinks and cocktails that might be familiar, including:
- Sangrita (tomato, lime, orange juice, onion and chili)
- Bandera (the Sangrita followed by tequila and lime)
- Sangria (adapted from the Spanish sangria, but made with lime and tequila)
- Aguas Frescas (made with sugar, water and fruit)
- Café de olla (coffee with anise and cinnamon)
- Mexican coffee (strong coffee with cinnamon and chocolate)
- Horchata (a sweet non-alcoholic drink made from melon seeds, tigernuts, or rice)
Some traditional Mexican drinks, like horchata, are difficult to make at home, and best purchased (though this CAN be made at home, too!). There are also plenty of Mexican non alcoholic drink recipes (as well as alcoholic) that you can make at home. So let's look at how to make some of those great "south of the border" non alcoholic Mexican beverages.
Aguas Frescas: A Mexican Non-Alcoholic Drink
Translated literally as "cool water," agua fresca is a non-alcholic drink that's incredibly popular in Mexico. When you're eating hot food, the coolness of an agua fresca is a perfect balancing point. That's probably why you see this beverage on nearly every street vendor's stand in Mexico. Better still, agua fresca is good for you and incredibly easy to make.
Agua Fresca Recipe made with Melon
Melon traveled to America with Christopher Columbus. While cantaloupe is a popular choice for this one, you can actually use any type of melon in this recipe. My favorite is probably agua fresca made with honeydew or another green melon.
Either way, this authentic Mexican drink recipe is incredibly refreshing on a hot day!
6 C. filtered water
1 medium size cantaloupe
1/2 C. sugar
Instructions: 1. Open up the melon and remove any seeds. Peel off the rind then dice it up.
2. Put the pieces of melon or cantaloupe into your blender with the water and sugar.
3. Mix on high until smooth (note that you may have to do this in stages so all the melon gets liquefied). Serve over ice.
Other Agua Fresca Fruit Variations: Use only 1/2 a melon and replace the other half with a pint of ripe, hulled strawberries. Instead of serving over the ice, mix the blend with crushed ice so it creates a smoothie!
Agua Fresca Recipe made with Tamarinds
If you're not familiar with Tamarinds, they're a fruit widely used in Mexican cuisine-- and have been since the time when the Spanish and Portuguese began settling there. This fruit gives this traditional Mexican drink recipe a sweet and sour flavor, as well as a hearty amount of calcium and Vitamin C.
2 qts. Filtered water
20 tamarind pods, peeled
1 1/2 C. sugar
Instructions: 1. Put the filtered water in a non-reactive pan and bring it to a low rolling boil. Add the tamarind (pods with the seed).
2. Boil the tamarinds until the fruit becomes soft and pulpy (about 15 minutes).
3. Cool to room temperature, then take out the seeds. Discard them. Also make sure you get rid of any peel.
4. Put the Tamarind into a blender, add the sugar, and slowly pour in the water in which it cooked. Blend until smooth then run through a sieve.
5. Serve this refreshing non-alcoholic Mexican drink in glasses over ice.
Mexican Café de Olla Recipe
Coffee came to Mexico from Jamaica in the 19th century. In Mexico, it quickly became an important crop and a part of nearly every meal.
If you like rich, sweet coffee then this is a cup you shouldn't miss. While people create this traditional Mexican drink in Ollas (an earthenware pot), you can make it in a cup nearly as well.
The touch of aniseed is wonderful and makes for an authentic flavor. But if you don't like it, feel free to leave it out!
5 C. filtered water
1/2 C. dark brown sugar (or more to taste)
cinnamon sticks (one per cup)
1 C. fresh ground, dark roast coffee
Instructions: 1. Bring the water, sugar and cinnamon to boil in a pan. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the coffee.
2. Keep boiling until you reduce the amount of water by 25% (about 20 minutes).
3. Use several layers of cheesecloth to strain the coffee into mugs, dotting the top with a pinch of aniseed.
As you can see, most of these authentic Mexican drink recipes are very simply constructed, and focus mostly on the natural flavors of the ingredients. And they're very satisfying no matter what time of year it happens to be.
While this page has been a very limited introduction to traditional Mexican drink recipes that you can try at home, there are a lot more great ones out there. Want to learn about Mexican beers, tequilas, and traditional cocktails? I've got a page on those, too, coming soon! And another about great Mexican drink recipes for kids!
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