Photography by Romulo Yanes

Mexico’s many drinks are vivid, enticing, and full of flavor. From steaming hot, thick atoles made of sweet, juicy corn to fruity aguas frescas, Mexican cocktails and drinks are the perfect accompaniment to feisty, authentic Mexican food. Spicy eye-openers like micheladas and thick drinks like horchata have bold flavors that round out any South-of-the-Border feast. Celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Zero in on agave with our best tequila recipes, or go adventurous with Mexican moonshine. We’ve rounded up our best Mexican drink recipes here.


Tomato and Orange Sangrita

This flavor-packed sipper is served alongside a neat glass of tequila at La Tequila in Guadalajara, Mexico. Do as many Mexicans do: A sip of tequila, a sip of sangrita—repeat, for the best experience. Ge the recipe for Tomato and Orange Sangrita »

Sweet Hibiscus Drink (Agua de Jamaica)

This sweet-tart drink is a popular streetside cooler.

Blackberry Masa Drink (Atole de Mora Negra)

If you’d rather drink your breakfast, try atole—a traditional Mexican drink thickened with masa harina and served hot.

Tequila Old Fashioned

Aged reposado tequila adds smooth vanilla notes to a light, citrusy twist on a classic old fashioned from Pittsburgh restaurant Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina. Get the recipe for Tequila Old Fashioned »

Kentucky Club Margarita

Though this bold shaken cocktail originated in Mexico at Juarez’s Kentucky Club, across the border from El Paso, Texans now claim it as their own. See the recipe for Kentucky Club Margarita »

Picante de la Casa

Cool muddled cilantro balances the heat from a fresh Fresno chile in this sweet-spicy refresher.

Grapefruit Agua Fresca

Mixologist Elad Zvi picks the fruit right off the tree in the courtyard of his Eden-like Miami Beach bar, the Broken Shaker, for this refreshingly bittersweet cocktail. See the recipe for Grapefruit Agua Fresca »

Ginger Margarita Squares

Ginger simple syrup adds a bit of Asian-inspired flavor to these mouth-puckering Jell-O shots that turn the classic margarita on its head.

Michelada con Camarones (Spicy Beer Cocktail with Shrimp)

This spicy cantina favorite makes an excellent appetizer and thirst-quencher on a hot summer night. Get the recipe for Michelada con Camarones (Spicy Beer Cocktail with Shrimp) »

Pineapple and Cactus Drink (Agua de Piña con Nopal)

This thirst-quencher punches up pineapple and apple with cactus.

Prickly-Pear Margarita

The prickly pear cactus thrives in the deserts of the American Southwest; its bulbous red fruit is prized for many Mexican and Tex-Mex preparations. This legendary margarita, which takes its distinctive flavor from the fruit, comes from bartender Ruben Bernal at Las Canarias restaurant in San Antonio, Texas.


A classic version of a Mexican cerveza preparada (prepared beer), the chavela couldn’t be simpler: tomato juice, hot sauce, beer, lemon, and ice, with a salted rim. Drink it on its own, or pair it with a shot of tequila for a real kick. See the recipe for Chavela »

Tangerine-Mint Sparkling Margarita

This citrusy margarita from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger is brightened with a hint of refreshing mint. If tangerines aren’t available, use oranges instead, with a pinch of sugar if they’re on the tart side. See the recipe for Tangerine-Mint Sparkling Margarita »

Frozen Limeade Margarita

Canned frozen limeade intensifies the citrus flavor of a slushy Mexican-inspired libation. Pair it with grapefruit and habanero skirt steak, Mexican pork spareribs, or any spicy dish.

Mezcalita de Piña

Made with mezcal, grilled pineapple, jalapeño, and lime, this take on the classic margarita is smoky, sweet, and spicy, with an herbaceous kick from cilantro. This recipe is based on one shared with us by Julian Medina, chef/owner of New York City’s Toloache, Yerba Buena, and Coppelia restaurants. See the recipe for Mezcalita de Pina »

Devil’s Garden

At first sip, lime juice and fresh mint refresh the taste buds, but soon the smoky and spicy undertones of chipotle-infused mezcal creep over the palate. A touch of Cynar, an unusual liqueur made from artichokes, adds a veil of mystery. See the recipe for Devil’s Garden »


Blackberry liqueur gives this jewel of a cocktail, which was popular in cantinas along the Texas-Mexico border during World War II, its garnet color. Tequila or gin gives it its kick. See the recipe for Chico »

Tex-Mex Michelada

To all those who say you can’t improve on an ice-cold beer, we submit the michelada: a tart-savory eye-opener of beer, Tabasco, worcestershire, and fresh lime juice. See the recipe for Tex-Mex Michelada »


One of Mexico’s most popular cocktails, the Paloma is a perfectly refreshing combination of sweet and tart with grapefruit, lime, and a pinch of salt. Get the recipe for Paloma »

Book Club Sangria

This is serious sangria, from the good ladies of the Junior League of Houston. It’s brandy and red wine infused with peaches and pineapple and brightened with ginger ale. See the recipe for Book Club Sangria »