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17 Traditional Mexican Drinks

When it comes to Mexican drinks, most people only know about margaritas, Mexican hot chocolate, and maybe horchata. 

Believe it or not, though, those are only the tip of the super tasty Mexican drinks iceberg. There are many delicious Mexican beverages.

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Refreshing Tequila Margarita with Lime

Some are sweet; some are savory; some are a little bit sour.

Whether you’re looking for alcoholic or non-alcoholic Mexican drinks, though, this list has you covered. 

On it, you’ll find 17 of my favorites, and yes, the margarita is at the top of the list for a reason! 

1. Margarita

There are plenty of fancy, fruity, and fun margarita recipes out there, but none of them beats the original – the traditional lime and tequila drink with the salted rim. 

That’s what you’ll get with this recipe.

It takes 5 minutes to make, and the only ingredients you’ll need are tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice (and slices for garnishes), agave nectar, and sea salt.

It doesn’t get much easier or quicker than that. 

2. Michelada

If you’re looking for a drink that’s both savory and spicy, you’ll want to check out the michelada.

It’s a bit like a Bloody Mary, but it has a richer, more robust flavor. 

To make a traditional Mexican michelada, you’ll use Clamato instead of pure tomato juice, and that gives it a nice kick of umami flavor, as well. 

The hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce give it a bit of tang and heat, and whichever Mexican light beer you choose, it’s sure to taste great. 

3. Paloma

This refreshing drink is perfect for summer, and since you can whip it up in only 5 minutes, it may just become one of your new favorite cocktails. 

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It has a light but complex taste that’s somehow sweet, sour, and just a tiny bit bitter all at once. 

The grapefruit and tequila flavors come through most strongly, but on the whole, it’s a well-balanced drink.

It is, however, deceptively strong, so proceed with caution.

Mexican Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon

4. Mexican Hot Chocolate

Although I suppose you could add a dash of rum to it if you like, Mexican hot chocolate isn’t usually served with alcohol in it. 

Instead, it’s a lot like any other hot chocolate you’ve had; only it has a richer, bolder chocolate flavor, and there’s a bit of heat and spice to it. 

If you’ve never tried it before, you may be tempted to leave out the chili powder, but I recommend adding it.

It’s part of what makes Mexican hot chocolate Mexican hot chocolate.

5. Horchata

Call it horchata or call it rice water. Call it whatever you want to call it; this drink is delicious.

Sweet, creamy, and milky, with just enough cinnamon to add spice, horchata goes with practically anything.

If you have a hard time with the heat and spiciness of Mexican food, horchata can be a soothing, tasty way to help you offset it. 

6. Fruit Agua Frescas

These fresh, fruity frescas are a summertime favorite in my house.

They taste like pure, undiluted fruit juice, and aside from a little sugar and water, that’s precisely what they are.

You can use whatever fruit or berry you like; you can even use a combination if you prefer.

Either way, if you’re looking for a sweet, fruity drink, you’ll love these. 

7. Champurrado

Many people confuse champurrado with Mexican hot chocolate, and while they do share a base of chocolate and cinnamon, they’re two different things. 

Champurrado is darker, richer, and thicker, for one thing. It’s also more potent and earthy.

This is chocolate the way the ancient Aztecs used to drink it, and it’s spectacular. 

You’ll definitely want to give it a try, especially in the cooler months of the year. 

8. Ponche

Ponche is one of my favorite fall drinks. I’m not sure if you’re actually supposed to serve it in the fall, but that’s when I love it most. 

It’s sort of like a hot fruit punch combined with warm apple cider. It has so much flavor that it’s almost unbelievable. 

It takes about an hour to cook (but only 10 minutes to prepare) and has several more ingredients than some of the other drinks on the list.

It’s well worth the time and effort, though.

Between the cinnamon, brown sugar, prunes, apples, pears, raisins, and all the other tasty ingredients, you’ll want to substitute this for all your traditional fall drinks. 

Oh, did I mention it also contains rum? Oh yes. It’s good stuff. 

9. Carajillo

Also known as the coffee cocktail, carajillo requires only three ingredients – espresso, Licor 43, and ice cubes – and takes about 5 minutes to make once you brew your espresso. 

It has a gorgeous layered look, and the ice cubes help cool it down so you can enjoy it without the risk of setting your tongue on fire. 

If you prefer hot coffee, you can forgo the ice cubes, of course.

You can also use decaf if you don’t want the added caffeine boost. (But seriously, why wouldn’t you want that boost?!)

10. Atole

Atole is like the polar opposite of Mexican hot chocolate.

In other words, it’s a hot, sweet, and cinnamony drink, but instead of chocolate, you’ll make it with vanilla. 

It’s rich, creamy, and sweet, and if you love vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar, you’ll go nuts for atole. 

11. Cafe de Olla

This non-alcoholic drink is a favorite for many, particularly those of us who can’t live without our daily dose of coffee. 

All you’ll need is water, piloncillo (dark brown sugar works, as well), a Mexican cinnamon stick, ground coffee (dark Mexican coffee is best), and about 15 minutes. 

It’s a bit like a cinnamon-sprinkled latte, but the taste will be subtly different if you use dark Mexican coffee. 

12. Mangonada (Mango Chamoyada)

Even if this were the nastiest drink I’ve ever put in my mouth, I’d still love it because of how gorgeous it is.

The yellow, orange, and red swirls are so pretty, and luckily, mangonada tastes great, too.

It takes 15 minutes to make, but it’s tasty and surprisingly filling.

Plus, it’s both a drink and a snack because you’ll enjoy eating the fruit chunks spread throughout it.

Thanks to the lime and mangoes, it’s very sweet and tangy, but you’ll also add a bit of chili lime seasoning to it, which throws some heat into the mix, as well. 

You can easily turn this one into an alcoholic drink by adding a little of your favorite liquor. (I usually use vodka.)

13. Cucumber Agua Fresca

If you were to take the fruit agua frescas mentioned above and combine them with cucumber water, you’d have a cucumber agua fresca. 

This drink is sweet, crisp, refreshing, and just about any other good adjective you want to give to it. 

The lemongrass adds a nice touch, too. The recipe says you can use ginger instead, but trust me, the lemongrass (preferably fresh) tastes much better. 

14. Agua de Jamaica

This deep red, bubbly drink may look like something a vampire would enjoy, but it’s actually incredibly yummy.

It’s yet another type of agua fresca – this time made with hibiscus flowers.

It’s super simple to make. Other than the flowers, all you’ll need is water and sugar. 

It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and another 30 to cook, and it has a sweetly floral aroma that’ll make the whole house smell good. 

The taste is sweet, but not overly so, and if you want to make the drink a bit more bubbly and attractive, add some seltzer water.

15. Mezcalita

If you’ve never had one, a mezcalita is like a spicy, slightly bitter orange juice that can get you really drunk really quickly.

It takes 10 minutes to whip up a few, and you’ll only need five ingredients.

Be sure you add the chili powder seasoning along the rim to give it that extra burst of heat and spice, and don’t skimp on the lime juice, either.

You’ll taste the orange juice a lot in this drink, but the overall flavor is more complex and hard to describe.

Still, if you like spicy things and oranges, you’ll love it. 

16. Mexican Bloody Maria

The Bloody Maria is the Mexican take on Bloody Marys, and to be honest, there’s not a ton of difference between the two. 

The biggest – perhaps the only – difference is that the Bloody Maria uses tequila instead of vodka. 

Everything else is pretty much the same, depending on which recipe you’re using for a Bloody Mary, of course. 

17. Smoky Basil Oaxacan Mezcal Cocktail

If you’re looking for a cocktail that’s smoky, herby, salty, and pretty close to being perfect, check out this recipe. 

It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to make, and the ingredients list is super simple – Mezcal, lime wedges, basil leaves, lime juice, agave syrup, ice, and bacon salt for the rim.

It’s not an overly sweet drink. Instead, you could compare it to a mojito, but that’s not precisely right either. 

Just take my word for it. If you’re a fan of herbs and lime, you’ll enjoy the smoky basil Oaxaca Mezcal cocktail. (Try saying that three times fast.)

17 Traditional Mexican Drinks

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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