I have shared my knowledge and opinions about resorts in Cancun and activities in Cancun, and a lot of other things, but I recently realized that I have never done a post about Mexican cocktails and Mexican beer!
I don’t drink nearly as much now as I did in my 20’s and 30’s, but I do enjoy a few cocktails, glasses of wine or Mexican beers. I also love aguas frescas, as does Bebé, but more about that later.
Let’s start with cocktails!
Two of the best drinks in Mexico are the margarita (duh) and the paloma, which I didn’t discover until I had lived here for many years. Although frozen margaritas are one of the most popular drinks in Cancun, especially at resorts and restaurants in the Hotel Zone, the best margarita is the classic “en las rocas con sal”, or on the rocks with a salted rim. There are also many flavored margaritas that are really delicious. One that should not be missed is the tamarind margarita.
A paloma is grapefruit soda, lime juice and tequila with a salted rim. It’s yummy and refreshing and has become one of my favorites. Sometimes grapefruit juice is used instead of soda.
The , well, depends on the resort. Some of the most popular vacation drinks include piña coladas, daquiris, mudslides, mojitos, riviera mayas and even the superman drink. I don’t really care for the last two because they are different flavored frozen drinks layered on top of one another. *blech*
Another option is a shot of tequila with a delicious sidecar called sangrita, which normally contains orange juice, tomato juice, grenadine and spices. But don’t “shoot” them, sip the tequila and then sip the sangrita.
Mezcal is an agave-based liquor with a smokey flavor. Legend says that mezcal doesn’t cause hangovers! I have had some really interesting mezcal cocktails. Try one in your resort or a restaurant.
Beer aka Cerveza: The Best Mexican Beers
In my opinion the best Mexican beer is Dos Equis Lager. It’s not too light and not too dark and it tastes great, especially out of a bottle. I also like Modelo Especial, Sol and Pacifico. If you like a darker beer you might enjoy Dos Equis Ambar or Modelo Negra. These are just a few of the dozens of Mexican beer brands.
Instead of plain old beer, during your next Cancun vacation, try a chelada or michelada. A chelada is made with beer, lime juice and ice with a salted rim and is refreshing, while a michelada also contains Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, clamato or tomato juice and Tajin on the rim instead of salt. Spicy!
The craft beer craze has also reached Mexico and a quick search for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Tulum or Isla Mujeres craft beer will steer in you in the right direction.
One of Bebé’s first sentences was, “Your wine Mommy,” although well I guess that’s not actually a complete sentence, but the point here is that I like wine. I used to drink only white wine but have more recently gained an appreciation for red wine as well. There are many reasonably prices Mexican wines available, so give vino Mexicano a chance! La Europea is a great place to find Mexican wine or ask if they serve any in your hotel or resort.
Aguas frescas are traditional Mexican, sweet, refreshing, non-alcoholic drinks that are made in Mexican homes or sold in markets and restaurants. Many resorts in Cancun serve aguas frescas as well. Our favorite is jamaica, made from hibiscus petals, but there are many flavors including horchata (rice), melón (cantaloupe), sandía (watermelon) and more.
Now you know what to drink in Mexico. Did I miss anything? Oh, WATER! Drink lots of water when in Cancun, especially if you are drinking alcohol and/or spending time in the sun. But please, refuse plastic bottles and ask for “un vaso de agua”, aka a glass of water. Don’t worry, it won’t be from the tap. Another option is my favorite, soda water with lime. It makes me shudder to think about how many plastic water bottles are thrown away in the Cancun area in just one day.
Note: Drink in moderation. Drinking too much combined with swimming, getting a lot of sun, leaving the resort, etc. can be dangerous. You’ll enjoy your vacation a lot more if you don’t overdo it.