8 Mexican Alcoholic Drinks You Still Haven’t Tried

Agave plants
Agave plants | © Thomassin Mickaël / Flickr
Stephen Woodman

Tequila enjoys a global reputation as a premium spirit to rival Scotch or cognac. In recent years, mezcal has also carved out a reputation as its cooler, hipster cousin. But many Mexican drinks are still virtually unknown outside of the country, and the regional differences and categories can create a whole world of confusion. Get to grips with the world of Mexican beverages with this handy guide to the country’s lesser-known drinks.


People have been consuming the white beverage pulque in Mexico for at least 2,000 years, making it the very elderly ancestor to tequila and mezcal. Pulque has a much lower alcohol content (usually between 2% and 8%) and is made by fermenting—instead of distilling—the sap of the agave, the spiky plant that forms the basis of most of Mexico’s alcoholic drinks.

Sour and frothy, pulque has enjoyed something of a comeback in recent years, thanks to a young, urban crowd looking for an alternative to beer.


Typically sold by street vendors, tepache is a beverage made from pineapple peel sweetened with brown sugar or cane sugar and served cold. The drink is light and refreshing, with very little alcohol (no more than one percent). A perfect drink for a hot day in Mexico, tepache usually comes in plastic cups or plastic bags tied to a straw.


Another drink popular on the streets of Mexico, tejuino is made from the same kind of corn dough used for tamales and tortillas. Particularly popular in the western state of Jalisco, the drink is thicker and stodgier than tepache, with a corn taste that combines powerfully with sprinklings of lime and salt.

A tejuino cart

Coyol Wine

This alcoholic drink is made from the sap of coyol palms, which is left to ferment in the sun. People have produced and consumed coyol wine in southern Mexico for at least a thousand years. The drink is a pale yellow color and contains only small amounts of alcohol. It is most commonly made and sold by street vendors, and it is even sometimes consumed directly from a fallen palm tree through a straw.


Sotol is a distilled spirit made from Desert Spoon, a plant that grows in northern Mexico. The cores, or hearts, of the plant are roasted and then crushed and fermented, in a similar production process to that used for mezcal and tequila. Flavor varies according to the region, but it tends to have a more herbal and less smoky taste. Only a handful of sotol brands are exported to the United States, but Hacienda de Chihuahua is the best known.

Hacienda de Chihuahua sotol


Technically a mezcal, this agave spirit is made from the fermented juice of a type of wild Pacific agave. Named after a town in the northern state of Sonora, Bacanora is often sweeter and lighter than Oaxaca mezcals, making it an easier drink to sip straight. In Mexico, it is also commonly combined with Squirt, a fizzy grapefruit soda.


Still one of the lesser-known agave spirits, comiteco has been distilled in the southern state of Chiapas for more than a century. Industrial production of the drink began in 1910, and by the 1960s, the spirit was as popular as some tequilas. Changes to alcohol taxes and the growing scarcity of the strand of agave used to manufacture the drink led to its rapid decline.

Today, comiteco production continues thanks to the work of a handful of skilled artisans in the sun-baked state of Chiapas.


This smoky agave spirit produced in Jalisco state is growing in popularity. The drink is not made from the Weber, or blue agave, used for tequila, so it cannot be placed in the tequila category.

Raicilla tends to be fruitier (and more tequila-like) than most other mezcals, which are usually from the southern state of Oaxaca.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article