Many of us grow up in culturally homogeneous communities that don’t allow us the opportunity to learn more about other cultures. So, it is no wonder that when we grow up, we can find ourselves in great appreciation for different ways of life. Knowledge brings us power and the ability to broaden our mindset and break all kinds of barriers. However, learning about Mexican culture can be challenging as there is so much to know about it.
That is why a great way to learn and appreciate the diversity of Mexico is to bring its traditional cuisine right into your kitchen. A crucial aspect of Mexican cuisine is its refreshments, which are as varied as they are delicious. If you can’t make a trip soon, pay homage and appreciation by making them yourself. Here are 4 traditional Mexican drinks you can make at home.
Mexico is an utterly vast, beautiful, and stunning country with nearly 128 million inhabitants, making it the 10th most largely populated area. In that, you will find a world of diversity with countless ethnicities and cultures, culminating to create the great melting pot of Mexico.
The beautiful diversity is best reflected in the food and drink of the country. Mexican cuisine uses ingredients native to its area, and such creation methods have remained the same throughout the years. Mexico’s traditional cuisine attained recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as a cultural heritage of humanity.
As you walk along the busy streets of Mexico, you will find countless vendors selling antojitos, otherwise known as “little cravings.” These antojitos are small, tasty bites of food that help satiate one’s hunger before a meal, and many will wash it down with a refreshment. Beverages are a huge aspect of Mexican cuisine—they add a bit of sweetness and hydration to life. If you visit any busy mercado or restaurant in Mexico, you won’t be able to miss the countless aguas frescas available for you to delight your taste buds.
When you think of Mexican beverages, you likely think of margaritas, tequila, and other popular drinks particular to the country. However, there is much more than meets the eye as there are countless more Mexican drinks that can warm you up or cool you down. Keep reading to learn more and appreciate the rich culture of this stunning land. Here are just 4 traditional Mexican drinks you can easily make at home.
Aguas frescas are light, refreshing drinks that are incredibly simple to make. Usually, they will include a fruit or vegetable blended with a bit of sugar and a squeeze of lime. That results in a huge variety, which is why it isn’t surprising that hundreds of agua fresca flavors exist. Here is a simple agua fresca you can enjoy within minutes. This is what you will need:
- Watermelon or cantaloupe
How To Make It
Take about four cups of watermelon or cantaloupe, and blend it with three cups of water until smooth. Then, add your sugar to taste. You may strain the extra bits or leave them in for a bit of fiber—your preference. Now you are ready to enjoy your agua fresca. Just don’t forget the lime!
Lime and citrus are quintessential ingredients found in many Mexican dishes and drinks. That is why you will find artisans using hand juicers for their aguas frescas in nearly every mercado in Mexico.
You need a hand juicer if you want to make your aguas frescas or any spritzer for a group of friends. That is why we have Verve culture juicers available to help bring your drinks to the next level and spark a conversation. Our juicers are stunning pieces made by Mexican artisans with close attention to detail, meaning the juicer you receive will be unlike any other.
Café de Olla
If you want a pick-me-up that goes down warm, then look no further than café de olla. This is an incredibly easy traditional Mexican drink you can make at home. You will need cinnamon, coffee, brown sugar, and water for this drink. There are many ways to assemble it. You can brew your coffee as you usually do and sweeten it with cinnamon powder and brown sugar. Or, if you want to enhance the flavors, it helps to use a cinnamon stick and unrefined whole cane sugar.
One would best describe chilate as tasting like hot chocolate. However, there is a twist: you serve this drink ice cold. If you want a more hands-on drink, then consider making chilate. Here is what you will need:
- Cacao beans
- Brown sugar
How To Make It
Soak a cup of rice and one cinnamon stick in three cups of water for about half an hour. While that soaks, toast about a cup of cocoa beans on the stove at medium-high heat for about eight minutes or until lightly charred. Once the beans are cool, remove the outer shell to access the beans and place them in your soaking rice for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a filter to remove the water from the soaking mixture and blend it at high speed until it has a paste-like texture.
Then, put the paste in a large bowl and add about one liter of water. Slowly whisk the mixture together until combined. When it’s done, you will notice the pasty remnants, which you can easily remove by passing them through a strainer to get that iconic foamy layer. Now all you have to do is add sugar to taste, and you are ready to drink your chilate—don’t forget the ice!
We have covered refreshing, warming, and cold drinks, which leaves us with the popular frozen treats, like a mango chamoyada. A mango chamoyada blends fruity, sweet, and spicy flavors in a frozen drink with a kick. If you have never tried these flavors together before, it might come as a surprise, but you will love this combination in no time. Here is what you need:
- Frozen or Fresh Mango
- Lime Juice
- Chamoy Sauce
How To Make It
Blend a good amount of ice, about two cups of mango or two ripe mangoes, and the juice from one lime. You may need to add some water to thin the drink, but it should still have a frozen consistency. Usually, mangos are quite sweet, so you may not need to add extra sugar. However, if the mixture isn’t sweet enough, you can add a couple of tablespoons of simple syrup.
The drink assembly is the most important aspect that makes a mango chamoyada complete. Grab a tall cocktail glass and coat the inside with chamoy sauce. Then, pour your mango mixture in, and you’re ready to enjoy—it’s that simple. Many people like to line the rim with chamoy and tajin and even place a tamarind-covered straw in as a treat. While these add-ons are optional, you might consider these garnishes next time if you enjoy the mango chamoyada.