12 Cocktails & Non-Alcoholic Drinks You Must Try In Mexico City (CDMX)

From an iconic margarita to smokey mezcal, these alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks signify that Mexico City’s drink menu is just as buzzworthy as our favorite Mexican dishes. 

For a long time, tequila was the crown jewel of Mexico’s long list of alcoholic beverages. In recent years, however, mezcal has risen to be the next shining star. So much so that tequila seems to be a thing of the 90s, unless you want bottle service at a night club since mezcal can’t be taken as shots.

Regardless, Mexico City’s food scene is creative and vibrant due to innovative spins upon some of our favorite dishes. But to accompany every popular menu, a list of delicious drinks is equally essential. Thus, drinking your way through CDMX can be just as satiating as eating your way through one of the most buzzed-about cities in the world. Here’s a compilation of cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks that you must try. Fear not, there’s a little something for everyone.

Margarita

When in Mexico, drink a margarita! It’s not only the most iconic cocktail in the country, it’s also the ultimate rite of passage. A classic one consists of tequila, triple sec, lime juice and salt around the rim of the glass. What’s so unique and delicious about margaritas in Mexico City is that they come in creative flavors: charcoal, mango, watermelon, pineapple jalapeño…and many more that maximizes abundant fresh fruits available throughout the country. If you’re a margarita lover, then order a classic at the start of your meal, then opt for a flavored one for a fun tasting.

Margarita
Charcoal margarita. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Mezcal

Move over tequila, mezcal is having a moment right now. One may say that mezcal is the smoky grandaddy of tequila since the latter is technically a mezcal. Both are made from agave but tequila is produced specifically from blue agave. The biggest difference is that mezcal is roasted from underground which explains its smoky nature and its name, “over-cooked agave.”

It’s worth noting that 70% of mezcals are made in the state of Oaxaca. The best places to try them would be at Roma’s MisMezcales – a mezcal distillery shop, La Botica in Roma Norte and Bósforno in Centro.

Mezcal
Mezcal. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Carajillo

If you love coffee, then you’ll be thankful for a nice glass of carajillo, which is an after-dinner digestif made with espresso and Licor 43 – a Spanish sweet liqueur infused with fruit juices, citrus, vanilla, herbs and spices. Even though the drink is typically mixed with espresso, if you want to make it at home, feel free to substitute it with strong coffee to receive a similar result. Nonetheless, this dark and aromatic cocktail is served over ice, meant to be sipped on, after a relaxing meal.

Carajillo
Carajillo. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Michelada

Similar to a Bloody Mary, a michelada is a Mexican cocktail made from Mexican lager beer, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, spices, celery salt, hot sauce, black and chili peppers. It is normally served in a chilled glass, rimmed with cayenne pepper and a wedge of lime. Particularly in Mexico City, there are variations using Maggi sauce, soy sauce, chamoy, clamato or serrano peppers. A bit tart to the taste while dense on the texture, combined with fizziness from the beer; this is one fabulous drink as an incredible “hair of the dog.”

Michelada
Michelada. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Tequila

The crowning and most popular distilled beverage in Mexico still – definitely and absolutely – is tequila. As explained above, tequila is factually a form of mezcal since it’s made from agave, but uniquely the blue agave plant from the city of Tequila, situated just northwest of Guadalajara where more than 300 millions of blue agaves are planted annually due to its red volcanic soils in the highlands of Los Altos. Why is taking shots of tequila a must-do in Mexico City? Because even after 10 shots of it on a night out, there will not be any hangovers during the next day. That’s how good the tequila is in Mexico: premium quality.

Cerveza (beer)

Ah…Mexico, the land of cold brews. Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, Tecate, Dos Equis…take your pick! The majority of beers you’ll taste are lagers, pilsners and some dark beers. There are several micro-breweries producing a variety of ales. Here are some craft beer bars in the city: Drunkendog is a laid-back taproom in Condesa. Next to it, you’ll find Trappist , bar a bieres which is a cool pub with small-batch brews. There are several locations of El Depósito, but the ones in Centro and Roma are the most popular. Principa CDMX in Colonia del Valle is a craft beer tasting room, meanwhile Beer Bros is another cool spot in Narvarte.

Mexican beer
Mexican beer. INSTAGRAM @modeloespecial_losangeles

Beer with chamoy

In general, chamoy is a savory fusion of sauces and condiments made from pickled fruits that are commonly used in Mexican cuisine. The taste is a combination of sweet, salty, sour and spicy with a consistency which ranges from liquid to pasty. What’s so brilliantly delicious is when chamoy is used as a beer rimmer, adding each sip of beer with a tangy and sugary oomph. You’ll definitely want a giant pint of it during a rowdy lucha libre wrestling match.

Beer with chamoy
Beer with chamoy. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Pulque

Pulque might be strange in concept for the unadventurous bunch, but its 6% alcohol content can be appealing for some. The fermented juice of the agave plant can be slimy and sour in taste, but it also comes in various flavors: lime, pineapple, strawberry…etc. This traditional alcoholic beverage dates back to Mesoamerican period when it was only served to the elites since pulque was considered sacred.

Pulque
Pulque. INSTAGRAM @maxicamx

Suero

Suero is essentially homemade gatorade. Think of a limonada, but replace sugar with salt. Best of all, it’s the perfect non-alcoholic drink to consume after a hardcore workout, or the satisfying cure for a hangover. That is, if you don’t opt for a michelada. If you’d like to make suero at home, here’s a simple recipe:

  • 12 ounces cold mineral water
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
Suero
Suero. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Fresh coconut water

Believe it or not, coconuts imperatively contributes to the economy of Mexico. Although coconut trees are not native to the country, they’re grown in coastal regions. For instance, Guerrero contributes 80% of the coconut production nationwide since it’s ideally situated by South Pacific Ocean. You’ll encounter numerous street vendors selling fresh coconut juice. Not only are they fantastic source of hydration on a hot summer day, coconuts are also fun to lug around for a fantastic photo moment. 

Wendy's Founder's Note Surprise
Drinking coconut water in front of Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Café de Olla

For coffee aficionados, café de olla is certainly worth a try. You might just fall in love with it, if you especially love pumpkin spiced coffee. This traditional Mexican coffee drink is prepared by using a traditional earthen clay pot which explains the stoney flavor brewed in the coffee. Café de olla is often made with ground coffee, cinnamon, piloncillo which is an unrefined sugar cane. At times, orange peel and cloves are added as well.

Cafe de olla
Cafe de olla. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Freshly squeezed juice

Every morning, I loved heading outside to buy a freshly squeezed cup of juice from a street vendor. For about 30 pesos, you can easily give yourself a cup of natural vitamins from guava, lemon, pineapple, papaya…and anything else in season. Jugo verde was my ultimate preference since Mexican dishes tend to be on the greasy side without many greens, having a juice made with celery or other vegetables and fruits can be a refreshing detox which also adds balance to my diet on the road. NOTE: Get your juice early in the morning since they have yet to be sitting out in the sun throughout the day. 

Juice stand Mexico City
Juice stand. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.