With all that sun, sand and street food, Mexico can get a little spicy sometimes, but fortunately the locals know their way around a refreshment. Whether you're after a cool drink on a hot day or something a little stronger, there's a local tipple with your name on it. Don't forget to say salud!
You wouldn’t believe it, but tequila originates in the town of Tequila, near the city of Guadalajara. It’s made from the blue agave plant, which is native to the area, and tastes like equal parts regret and pure joy, depending on how much you have.
The national spirit of Mexico is mezcal, which is mostly made in the city of Oaxaca. It’s made from the agave plant and has a strong, smoky flavour, served straight with a slice of lemon, lime or orange. Tequila is actually a form of mezcal, though it’s only made from blue agave whereas mezcal proper is made from numerous species of agave. The Oaxacans have a saying: ‘for everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, mezcal.’
These non-alcoholic beverages are made from fruits, flowers, seeds and cereals and blended with water and sugar. They can be found all over Mexico in restaurants, supermarkets and at street stands. ‘Aguas frescas’ translates as ‘fresh waters’, an appropriate name for a refreshing drink that’s perfect in the hot Mexican sun.
Don’t be weirded out, but horchata is essentially a drinkable rice pudding. It’s made of rice milk, vanilla and cinnamon and can be served hot or cold. It might not be your usual choice of refreshment but a cold horchata can do wonders when you’ve been out and about seeing the sights.