Two of the most common and widely-known Mexican drinks are tequila and the margarita. In addition to complimenting Mexican food, both have a rich history, being paired with Mexican cuisine since the start of our modern perception of the food Mexican restaurants serve. There are certain things you can add to the mix to make it more palatable with Mexican desserts. Generally though, there are professional Mexican food recipes that include recommendations for the types of drinks that compliment them nicely.
Mexican Drinks: The MargaritaThe margarita is our first Mexican traditional drink. It is a cocktail that is primarily mixed with orange-flavored liqueur and citrus juice, either lemon or lime, and sometimes with keylime. There are many variants to the classic margarita in its preparation. It can be shaken with ice, served with ice cubes in the glass (on the rocks), served without ice (straight up), or even blended with the ice to make what is called the frozen margarita. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular drinks using tequila and citrus, if not one of the most popular cocktails of all time.
Margarita preparation is simple. The rim of the serving glass is rubbed with fresh lime, then dipped in fine salt. From there, the bartender takes caution to combine an ounce of tequila, just a dash of Triple Sec or Cointreau, and the juice from half of a citrus fruit into the glass without stirring the salt from the rim.
Of course, this procedure varies. Some bartenders find that salt overpowers the flavor of the margarita and do not include it. Other fruit-flavored liqueurs can be added to compliment orange-flavored ones. Blue curaçao is another option. Whatever the case, an authentic margarita includes only those first three components, often with a lime wedge served right on the rim of the glass.
Mexican Drinks: TequilaTequila is a Mexican traditional drink synonymous with the culture. Unlike certain kinds of Mexican drinks though, each incarnation of tequila varies a lot.
Tequila is named after the city that it originated from, which is about forty miles northwest of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. In essence, it is a spirit that emerged from the Agave tequilana plant located in the same area, otherwise known as the blue agave. Each agave plant is always hand-harvested. This requires quite a bit of knowledge and skill to do, since discretion has to be taken to ensure that the plants are ready to be harvested. The quality of the tequila depends on the plant. Knowledge of this process is passed down from the generations. Once harvested, they are cut open, and their liquids extracted into tanks and vats for fermentation.
Yeast is added, a special blend known only by the people who handle the plants. This fermentation process converts the sugars found in the agave into alcohol. Once fermented, the liquid is distilled to produce a substance known as ordinario, which is cloudy and difficult to see through. Then it is distilled another time to produce what is sold in bottles – a crystal-clear, stout tequila beverage. After it has reached its final stage of production, it is stored into barrels to age for as long as the process each specific distiller prefers. It depends on the types of Mexican drinks.
Blanco (white) tequila is completely unaged and bottled right after being fermented and distilled. Joven (young) is a mixture of blanco and reposado tequilas. Reposado (rested) variants has been aged at least two months, but no more than a full year. Añejo (vintage) tequila have aged for at least one year, but no more than three. Extra Añejo (ultra vintage) has been aged for at least three years or more. The higher the age, the more expensive it is.