This enchanting land is filled with the friendliest people, the best food, and the most exotic beverages. But there’s way more on the menu than Tequila and agave-based brews. To enjoy your visit like a local, take a tour of the four other kinds of still-popular alcoholic drinks with a rich history — and a distinct regional flavor. Viva Mexico!
BALCHE — drink of the gods
Originally served at Mayan ceremonial rites, this awesome nectar is fermented with the bark of the balche tree, then sweetened with corn or anis. Reputed to have healing qualities, the balche eventually returned to favor after the Spanish had prohibited it in an effort to convert the natives to Christianity. One sip will convert you to the balche’s delightfully pagan pleasures.
TORITO — from Veracruz
A fresh torito will transport you to the enchanting rivers, villages and boardwalks that give Veracruz its timeless brand of Mexican charm. Served with ice frappe, the torito is prepared from cane-based alcohol, then flavored with natural fruits, coffee or nuts. A potent tribute to laborers who spent long days cutting sugar, the torito fueled them to feel as strong as toros (bulls). Olé!
XTABENTUM — nectar of love
Beware the seductive powers of this ancestral Mayan liqueur from the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s made with fermented honey that bees pollinate from the xtabentun flower, plus rum or anis liqueur. One taste of “morning glory” is thought to bring on a spell of romantic dizziness, according to the legend of the intoxicating temptress, Xxtabay.
YOLIXPA — the all-powerful
Originating in the mountains of Puebla, this legendary beverage is still prepared with 23 different herbs. Exotic natural flavors, and sweeteners containing honey products, are blended with alcohol to produce a mighty strong effect. The yolixpa originated in Cuetzalan, Mexico’s first Magic Town, where the old ways still thrive. Viva tradicion!