Tequila is widely considered the strongest Mexican drink
Tequila is distilled from the blue agave plant and originated in the region around the city of Tequila in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.
With an alcohol content typically between 38-40%, tequila packs a serious punch and is undoubtedly the heaviest hitting spirit to come out of Mexico.
While there are hundreds of tequila brands and varieties available, from cheap mixto tequilas to premium 100% agave expressions, all are potent in terms of alcoholic strength. In Mexico and internationally, tequila has a reputation for being a strong liquor that can quickly intoxicate drinkers, especially when consumed in shot form. It’s not uncommon for people to associate tequila with wild nights, hangovers, and blurred memories. So when it comes to the strongest Mexican alcoholic drink, tequila is the undisputed champion.
Mezcal can match tequila for strength
While tequila leads the way, mezcal also deserves a mention as one of Mexico’s fieriest liquor exports. Like tequila, mezcal is distilled from agave, but it can be made from any type of agave while tequila can only legally be produced from the blue agave. Most mezcal contains 40-45% alcohol, putting it right up there with tequila in terms of potency. Mezcal has an intensely smoky flavor due to its traditional production process which sees the agave hearts smoked in underground pits. This distinct smokiness has given mezcal a reputation for being an intimidating spirit that’s designed for serious liquor aficionados. For those looking to imbibe Mexico’s strongest drink, mezcal certainly packs the requisite punch.
Pulque has lower alcohol content but still packs a buzz
Pulque is a lesser known Mexican alcoholic drink that is made from the fermented sap of the agave plant. With an alcohol content between 4-8%, pulque is noticeably milder in strength than tequila and mezcal. However, it still delivers a powerful buzz thanks to its effervescent, beer-like nature. Pulque was a sacred pre-Hispanic drink and its consumption was traditionally reserved for special religious rituals and ceremonies. Today, pulque retains an air of mystery and intrigue. It’s very much an acquired taste due to its viscous, slimy texture and funky sour flavor. While pulque won’t burn the taste buds like tequila, it remains an iconic Mexican drink with the capacity to quickly intoxicate drinkers.
Mexican beers shouldn’t be underestimated
Although not as strong as tequila or mezcal, Mexican beers still deserve a mention when discussing the country’s most potent alcoholic drinks. Beers like Corona, Modelo, and Pacifico all have around 4-6% alcohol content, which means they can provoke inebriation quicker than typical American beers. Mexico’s warm climate lends itself well to the mass production of easy-drinking lagers. However, one should not underestimate the strength and potency of Mexican beer simply because it is crisp, light, and refreshing. Consumed quickly and in large quantities, Mexican brews can undoubtedly deliver an intense alcoholic punch.
Micheladas add intensity to regular beer
No discussion of strong Mexican drinks is complete without mentioning the michelada. A popular beer cocktail, the michelada sees Mexican lager mixed with lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Maggi seasoning, and salt. The end result is a tangy, spicy, intensely flavored beer drink. With all the added ingredients, the michelada is noticeably stronger than regular Mexican beer in terms of alcoholic kick. The michelada makes an already robust drink even more powerful. It’s very much the kind of beverage that can lead to rapid intoxication when consumed in volume, especially in the hot Mexican climate. A cold michelada on a hot day can seem deceptively easy to drink.
Mexican moonshine brings the heat
Mexico also has a thriving moonshine culture, with various types of illegally produced liquor adding to the country’s portfolio of strong alcoholic drinks.
From homemade agave distillates to corn whiskies, Mexican moonshine provides an affordable yet extremely potent drinking experience. Sugar cane liquors are also popular.
These rough and rugged spirits are sometimes called “charanda” and pack a seriously powerful punch. With no regulation of alcohol content, some moonshine versions can contain upwards of 60% alcohol. While moonshine culture happens covertly, it attests to Mexico’s prowess when it comes to producing some of the strongest liquor you’ll ever come across.
Colonche provides a legal moonshine alternative
For those seeking the moonshine experience without the legal risks, colonche offers a legitimate alternative. Made by distilling raw sugarcane juice, colonche is a clear and dangerously strong spirit. With an alcohol content reaching 60% in some cases, colonche is not a drink to be trifled with. It finds its home predominantly around the city of Cuautla in the state of Morelos. Here, colonche is drank straight or mixed with fruit juices to create bracing cocktails. With its high alcohol concentration and affordability, colonche delivers a sledgehammer of intoxication. It exemplifies how some lesser known Mexican liquors can equal the strength of renowned spirits like tequila or mezcal.
Some tequila brands push the limits of strength
While most tequila brands stay within the 38-40% alcohol range, some producers intentionally push the boundaries when it comes to strength. Brands like Don Julio 1942, Corzo Paradiso, and Clase Azul Reposado tequilas all contain between 40-43% alcohol. These faithfully crafted, ultra-premium tequilas demonstrate how traditional production methods can result in exceptionally smooth yet powerfully strong spirits. Other novelty tequilas like the 60% alcohol Ocho Cientos aim to shock and awe drinkers with their overt potency. So while your average tequila will always pack a serious punch, these special releases take things to the next level and deliver an even bigger intoxicating impact.
Mexican drinks shouldn’t be underestimated
It’s clear that Mexico is a powerhouse when it comes to producing alcoholic beverages with high alcoholic strength.
The nation is rightfully renowned for drinks like tequila and mezcal that contain up to 45% alcohol and are designed specifically to deliver an intense drinking experience. However, even Mexican beers, fermented agave drinks like pulque and colonche, and clandestine moonshine can provoke powerful inebriation.
The Mexican climate, culture of revelry, and history of spirits production means that the country excels at creating alcoholic drinks that shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of their sheer potency and capacity to intoxicate quickly.
So for those looking sample some of strongest liquor in the world, look no further than Mexico.