Mexico has a rich culture of non-alcoholic beverages that are refreshing, flavorful, and go great with Mexican cuisine. Some of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Mexico include aguas frescas, licuados, agua de jamaica, horchata, and more.
Aguas frescas are fresh fruit waters made from blending fruits, flowers, grains or seeds with sugar and water. They are served icy cold and provide a sweet, refreshing drink. Some of the most popular aguas frescas flavors in Mexico include:
- Horchata – Made from soaked rice, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Tamarind – Made from the pulp of tamarind pods, giving a sweet tart flavor.
- Jamaica – Made from dried hibiscus flowers, giving a ruby red color and tart cranberry-like flavor.
- Limón – Made from fresh squeezed limes.
- Melon – Cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon.
- Sandía – Made from fresh watermelon.
- Fresa – Made from strawberries.
Aguas frescas are sometimes called the juice of Mexico. They are freshly made, fragrant and flavored with whatever fruit is in season. They provide a cooling, thirst-quenching drink any time of day.
Licuados are smoothies made from blending milk or water with fresh fruit and ice. Some popular licuado flavors include:
- Plátano – Made from banana, milk, honey and cinnamon.
- Fresa – Strawberry.
- Mango – With ripe, sweet mango.
- Papaya – With fresh papaya.
- Piña – With pineapple.
- Leche – Made with just milk and cinnamon, perfect for breakfast.
Licuados make for thick, creamy drinks with pure fruit flavor. They can be made with or without milk, with added sweeteners like honey or sugar and with extras like oats or yogurt for a smoothie-like treat.
Agua de Jamaica
Agua de jamaica is a popular agua fresca made from the dried flowers of the Jamaican hibiscus plant. The flowers are boiled to make a concentrated, ruby red liquid that is then mixed with sugar and water. Agua de jamaica has a unique tart, cranberry-like flavor and is high in vitamin C.
It can be enjoyed on its own or flavored with lime, ginger or fruit. Agua de jamaica is sometimes referred to as the national drink of Mexico. It is served chilled and thought to have medicinal properties as well as its great flavor.
Horchata is a creamy, cinnamon spiced drink made from ground rice or almonds, sugar and vanilla. Rice horchata has its roots in West Africa and was brought to Mexico by the Spanish. It is now popular all across Mexico, served chilled and sweetened to taste.
The rice is soaked overnight then blended with water, cinnamon and vanilla. The rice particles give it a creamy, frothy texture. Almond horchata uses ground almonds instead of rice. Both are refreshing drinks, perfect to quench your thirst on a hot day.
Té frío translates to “cold tea” and refers to any tea that is chilled and served cold rather than hot. Some popular varieties include:
- Té de limón – An infusion of lemon, sugar and hot water that is chilled and enjoyed over ice.
- Té helado con frutas – Any black tea brewed hot then chilled and mixed with sliced fruit like mango, pineapple, orange slices or lime.
- Té de Jamaica – An infusion made with dried hibiscus flowers that is tart like cranberry juice.
- Té de hierbabuena – Mint tea.
Iced tea may seem counterintuitive in a hot climate, but Mexicans have mastered the art of cold tea brewing. The fruit additions provide a sweet contrast and the chill perfectly cools you down.
Champurrado is a comforting warm drink with chocolate and Mexican spices. It starts with a masa base of corn flour and water. Then milk, chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar is added to create a thick, chocolatey drink.
It is traditionally served warm in small clay cups known as jicaras. But it can also be served cold in the summertime. Champurrado is creamy sweet with chocolate notes, perfect to sip on and warm you up.
Rompope is Mexico’s take on eggnog. It’s made by whisking egg yolks with condensed milk, rum or grain alcohol, vanilla, cinnamon and other spices. The egg and dairy base makes for a rich, creamy and frothy drink.
Rompope is popular around Christmas and New Year’s, but can be enjoyed any time of year. The alcohol gives it a kick, but non-alcoholic versions use only cream and spices. It’s delicious served chilled or over ice.
Atole is a warm, corn-based drink that has been enjoyed in Mexico since ancient Aztec times. It is made by slowly simmering masa harina corn flour in water or milk until it thickens. Flavors like chocolate, fruit, vanilla, cinnamon or nuts may be added.
Atole has a smooth, creamy texture somewhere between a drink and porridge. In ancient times, it was consumed for its nourishing qualities. Today, it makes for a comforting, warming beverage perfect during colder months.
Pozol is a popular pre-Hispanic drink from southern Mexico made from fermented corn dough. The corn dough or masa is fermented, forming an acidic, tangy base for the drink.
The fermented dough is dissolved in water and can be flavored with cocoa, fruit, sugar or chili peppers. Pozol has a unique, slightly fizzy tanginess from the natural fermentation process. It provides hydration and nutrients thanks to the corn.
Agua mineral or mineral water is simply pure bottled water sourced from natural springs and mineral deposits in Mexico. Popular brands like Epura, Ciel and Bonafont can be found all across the country.
Mineral water provides hydration without calories or sweeteners. It often contains beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium. The sparkling varieties add refreshing bubbles. Agua mineral is a healthy drink choice any time.
Mexico has a variety of natural, artisanal sodas made from pure cane sugar, fruit extracts and spices. Brands like Tepache Organico offer intriguing soda flavors like:
- Jamaica – With hibiscus
- Pineapple chili
- Mango chili
- Orange juice
- Lime and salt
These sodas use natural ingredients with less processing and no high fructose corn syrup. The unique flavor combinations provide a refreshing, artisanal soda experience.
Nieve de Garrafa
Nieve de garrafa translates to “bottle snow” and refers to bottled soft serve ice cream drinks found across Mexico. These creamy blends come in flavors like:
- Vainilla – Vanilla
- Fresa – Strawberry
- Limón – Lime
- Coco – Coconut
The bottles are frozen and the ice cream is dispensed slushy-style by pushing up the container’s plunger. It makes for a fun, creamy treat!
While micheladas are often made with beer, non-alcoholic versions exist as well. Micheladas start with tomato or clam juice for savory umami flavor. Lime juice adds bright acidity. They are rimmed with chili-salt seasoning and finished with ingredients like:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot sauce like Cholula
- Soy sauce
- Maggi seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh cucumber and lime slices
The savory, spicy flavors make for an addictive non-alcoholic drink. The juice base hydrates while the seasoning blend tantalizes the taste buds.
Mexico has embraced the flavored water trend with beverages like flavored soda water and drinks like Cielito Lindo. These refreshing drinks combine plain or sparkling water with natural fruit and herb flavors like:
- Cucumber lime
- Pineapple mint
- Mango orange
- Strawberry basil
- Watermelon rose
The fruit and herb infusions provide subtle but delicious flavor. They make for perfect hot weather refreshment without calories or sweetness.
Limonadas are lemonade-style drinks made refreshing with fresh squeezed lime juice, sweetened minimally with a bit of sugar or honey. Some popular varieties include:
- Limonada Mineral – Mixed with sparkling mineral water.
- Limonada de Coco – With coconut water.
- Limonada de Fresa – With fresh strawberries.
- Limonada de Pepino – With muddled cucumber.
Limonadas provide tangy, tart flavor with barely-there sweetness and lots of refreshing lime. They are bright, zesty drinks perfect for any warm day.
Cafe de Olla
Cafe de olla is Mexican spiced coffee, made by brewing coffee with cinnamon and raw piloncillo sugar. The blend is simmered together so the cinnamon and brown sugar infuse into the coffee.
Sometimes orange zest, star anise or vanilla is added as well. Cafe de olla has earthy, spiced notes that cut through the coffee’s bitterness. It’s traditionally served in small earthenware cups.
Mexico’s warm climate means fresh juice is always in style. Popular juices you’ll find in Mexico include:
- Orange juice – Fresh squeezed naranja juice. May come sweetened or unsweetened.
- Carrot juice – Zanahoria juice. Carrot’s sweetness needs little added sugar.
- Green juices – Blends of cucumber, celery, parsley, spinach, green apple and lime.
- Papaya juice – From fresh ripe papaya, sometimes with a squeeze of lime.
- Watermelon juice – Watermelon blended with lime for sweet tang.
- Mango juice – Made from sweet ripe mangoes. One of the most popular.
These fresh juices highlight the natural flavors of ripe produce. They are blends of pure fruit without added sugars or preservatives.
Cafe con Leche
Cafe con leche is just coffee with milk, usually made with espresso. It may be served hot or iced, with coffee and steamed milk mixed 1:1 for a creamy, caffeinated drink without too much acidity.
In Mexico, cafe con leche is often served with bread for breakfast. It can be enjoyed with a sweetening of sugar or honey if desired. The milk tempers the coffee in the classic morning drink.
Agua de Pepino
Agua de pepino is a refreshing drink made from muddled cucumbers, lime juice, mint and a hint of sugar. The cucumber is sometimes peeled and blended, but usually just chopped and mashed.
The mint adds a cooling sensation while the lime provides tartness. The cucumber makes it lightly sweet and highly hydrating. Agua de pepino provides enchanting flavors and antioxidants.
Licor de Café
While often alcoholic, licor de café can also be made non-alcoholic by omitting the whiskey. It’s a hot coffee spiked with rich ingredients like:
- Condensed milk
- Whipped cream
The drink is topped with whipped cream and cinnamon for a special treat. The vanilla and condensed milk provide sweetness to balance the coffee in this decadent drink.
Chocolate Mexicano refers to Mexican hot chocolate, an ancient drink of roasted cacao beans blended with spices. It’s made by grinding roasted cocoa beans with a molinillo wand or blender.
The pure cacao is then simmered with water, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Chiles like chipotle or ancho may be added too. Frothy Mexican hot chocolate is rich, chocolatey and lightly spiced.
Agua de Sabor
Agua de sabor means “flavored water” in Spanish. These are refreshing drinks made by infusing water with different fruit, herb and spice combinations. Some tasty flavors include:
- Cucumber and mint
- Watermelon and lime
- Pineapple and chili
- Mango and orange
- Hibiscus and lime
- Strawberry and basil
The water picks up subtle yet delicious flavors from the fresh ingredients without added sweeteners. Agua de sabor makes for a light, fragrant drink option.
Mexico’s warm climate and abundance of fresh produce makes for incredible diversity when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks. Refreshing aguas frescas, fruit licuados, spice-infused coffee and chocolate drinks are just a few examples.
Drinks like horchata, jamaica, pozol and atole provide tastes of ancient civilizations. While drinks like micheladas and flavored waters offer modern twists. Whatever you’re craving, Mexico has an array of delicious non-alcoholic beverages to quench your thirst.