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15 Tasty Mexican Cocktails & Recipes

Sip these delicious traditional cocktails from Mexico.

You’ve probably heard of margaritas, Palomas, and sangria, as these are popular Mexican drinks that you can find in many restaurants across the country.

Mexican traditional alcohol drink

But there are plenty more Mexican cocktails that are just as exciting, so why not learn more to discover what other drinks you might want to order or make at home? 

I love Mexican cocktails because they are often ultra-flavorful, dynamic, aesthetically appealing, and even sometimes a bit spicy.

People drink Mexican cocktails for various reasons and occasions, but they all have one thing in common: they’re delicious!

Best Mexican Cocktails

In this article, I’ll describe the best Mexican cocktails, share why I like them, and provide some information regarding ingredients and when to drink them. By the end, you’ll surely be excited to get your hands on one of these cocktails or try making one yourself.


Paloma

The Paloma is a refreshing Mexican cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion; made with tequila, lime juice, club soda, and grapefruit juice, you’ll usually find a slice of lime on the side.

The Paloma is a perfect balance of sweet and sour, and it’s incredibly refreshing. I love to drink this cocktail on a hot day or whenever I’m in the mood for something light.

I think grapefruit juice is the standout ingredient that makes a Paloma shine because its tartness pairs well with the sweetness of the lime juice and tequila.

If you can’t find grapefruit juice, you can even use a grapefruit-flavored soda and just skip the club soda.


Classic Margarita

Who doesn’t love a classic marg?

This traditional Mexican cocktail contains tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice, but there are countless variations on this classic drink.

I love drinking an ice-cold Margarita on the beach, with salt sprinkled around the rim.

And if I’m in the mood for some fun, fruity flavors, I often order a strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, or mango margarita. Of course, these flavors are not necessarily traditional, but they’re still delicious.

To make a classic Margarita, combine the right tequila, Triple Sec, and lime juice in a shaker filled with ice. Then, shake it well and strain it into a glass rimmed with salt.

And for a particularly hot day, you can add it with ice to a blender and make refreshing frozen margaritas!


Carajillo

A Carajillo is a hot Mexican beverage made with coffee — usually an espresso — and liquor. It’s popular in Mexico and Spain, and people often serve it after a meal.

The coffee in a Carajillo is usually strongly brewed, and the liquor is Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur.

I personally enjoy Carajillos made with coffee and whisky because the flavors complement each other so well.

A Carajillo combines coffee and liquor in a glass, but some people like to add milk, sugar, or even ice cream.

The best time to drink a Carajillo is in the afternoon or after dinner when you’re getting a bit groggy and desire a quick pick-me-up.


Charro Negro

A Charro Negro is a simple Mexican cocktail with tequila, coca cola, and lime juice.

It’s popular in Mexico and the southwestern United States and is similar to a Cuba Libre, but instead of rum, it includes tequila.

The Charro Negro is a delicious, sweet, refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion.

The tequila gives it a nice kick, while the cola adds a touch of sweetness and carbonation.

A Charro Negro is particularly refreshing on a hot day or whenever I’m in the mood for something sweet. 

To make a Charro Negro, combine tequila, cola, and lime juice in a glass with ice, then mix it up — as easy as that!


Michelada

A Michelada is one of the best Mexican cocktails for people who love spice and full-bodied flavors.

This Mexican cocktail contains the unlikely combination of beer, lime juice, tomato juice or tomato sauce, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

I like to add a bit of sea salt and cayenne pepper to mine. You can technically use any type of beer, but I prefer to use Mexican beer so I can have the most authentic taste.

Micheladas are flavorful and refreshing and always perk me up. I often drink them in the afternoon or evening, and they’re a fun beverage to make with friends during daytime or nighttime parties. 


Sangría

Sangría is a Spanish beverage that’s incredibly popular in Mexico. It’s made with wine, fruit, and soda and can be either red or white.

I love drinking Sangría on a summer day because it’s refreshing and fruity. Making pitchers of it for outdoor events like barbecues and backyard parties makes it a staple at many summer backyard BBQs and parties. 

The taste of Sangría can vary depending on what type of wine and fruit you use, but it’s typically a bit sweet with a hint of citrus.

To make a basic Sangría, combine wine, fruit juice, soda, and chopped fruit in a pitcher.

I like to use orange juice, lemon-lime soda, and a mix of fresh berries and citrus fruits for an extra kick.

Check out our favorite wines for a red sangria!


Cantarito

If you’re a fan of citrusy flavors, you’ll love a Cantarito.

Cantaritos include freshly squeezed lime juice, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, and orange juice, creating a tart and refreshing drink.

Tequila is the liquor of choice for most Cantaritos, but you could also use mezcal or vodka. I like to pour some club soda into mine for some extra fizz.

Lining a clay cup with chili salt is the way to go for an authentic look. This chili salt rim also adds a bit of spice to the drink, which I love.

Cantaritos are best on a hot day, but the chili salt makes it agreeable for the shoulder seasons as well, as it adds a bit of warmth and umami to the overall flavor.


Chavela

A Chavela is a Mexican cocktail containing beer, tequila, and tomato juice.

It is similar to a Michelada in that it incorporates beer and tomato juice, but there are a few key differences.

Namely, Micheladas have various sauces, such as hot and Worcestershire, while Chavelas typically don’t.

Some people like to add Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce to their Chavela, but I think it’s delicious the way it is.

Also, Chavelas incorporate tequila, so you have two forms of alcohol in this drink — beer and tequila.

This combination may seem a bit strange, but it works well together and makes for a delicious party cocktail.


Chico

If you’re a fan of blackberries, then you’ll appreciate Chicos.

Chico is a Mexican drink you can make with blackberry liqueur, sparkling water, simple syrup, and lime or lime juice.

It’s a refreshing drink, and the sparkling water gives it a lovely fizz. The blackberry liqueur makes it quite sweet, but the lime balances it out nicely.

I enjoy chicos because, like many of the best Mexican cocktails, they’re so light and refreshing, making them perfect for summertime or springtime drinking.

It also makes a great cocktail party drink because it is agreeable to the taste but still unique compared to other cocktail options.


Chihuahua

Like the Paloma, the Chihuahua is another grapefruit-based Mexican cocktail, and it has tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup.

Some people incorporate hot sauce for an added kick, and I highly recommend that choice.

The Chihuahua is a tart and tangy drink with a lovely sweetness from the simple syrup. It’s definitely a more sophisticated taste, but it’s still incredibly refreshing.

The Chihuahua is a great choice for any party because it is similar to the Chico, as it’s a bit more unique. Plus, the pink color is bright, cheery, and festive.


Matador

The Matador is like the Margaritas cousin; it’s a tequila-based cocktail that also incorporates lime juice and triple sec.

However, the Matador takes it one step further by adding pineapple juice to the mix.

The combination of pineapple and lime is one of my favorites, so I was thrilled when I came across this recipe.

Tropical and refreshing, the Matador is another ideal summertime or beach vacation, and it’s also a great choice for pool parties or any outdoor gathering.


Mexican Coffee

Mexican Coffee is a delicious twist on the classic Irish coffee. Made with coffee, tequila, and whipped cream, it is absolutely delicious.

The coffee provides a lovely base, while the tequila adds a bit of a bite. The whipped cream ties it together and makes it a decadent drink.

I think Mexican coffee is the perfect choice for dessert. It’s rich and sweet and will leave you feeling satisfied.

It’s also a great after-dinner drink if you want something to help you digest — or something to keep you up for the rest of the party!


Tepache

Tepache is a fermented pineapple drink popular in Mexico and made with unripe pineapples, water, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar.

It’s a really interesting drink because it has a slightly sour taste from the fermentation process, but it’s also quite sweet because of the sugar.

The cinnamon and cloves give it a lovely warmth, making it perfect for winter drinking, even though you serve it cold.

Tepache is a great choice if you’re looking for something a little bit different. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but it’s worth trying if you’re looking to branch out and try something new during the colder months.


Vampiro

The Vampiro is one of my favorite Mexican cocktails because it incorporates so many flavors that I love: lime, tomato, fruit like grapefruit or orange, hot sauce, and, of course, tequila.

Vampiro is similar to a Michelada or Chavela but does not incorporate beer. So if you cannot or don’t drink beer for any reason, you should try a Vampiro instead!

I usually use a prepared drink mixer to make a Vampiro, which already includes the perfect combination of orange juice and chili peppers.


Mezcalita

Last but not least, we have the Mezcalita. This delicious cocktail contains mezcal, lime juice, triple sec, and agave syrup.

It’s one of the few cocktails on this list that don’t include tequila! Instead, it incorporates mezcal.

Mezcal is a type of Mexican alcohol that is made from the agave plant. It has a smoky flavor, which is why the Mezcalita is perfect for people who love smoky drinks.

The Mezcalita is another great choice for a summer cocktail because it’s refreshing and has a lovely, light flavor. It’s also perfect for sipping by the pool or on the beach.


Best Mexican Cocktails

  1. Paloma
  2. Classic Margarita
  3. Carajillo
  4. Charro Negro
  5. Michelada
  6. Sangría
  7. Cantarito
  8. Chavela
  9. Chico
  10. Chihuahua
  11. Matador
  12. Mexican Coffee
  13. Tepache
  14. Vampiro
  15. Mezcalita

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best Mexican cocktails.

Many seem a bit similar, but adding, taking out, or replacing one or two ingredients can make all the difference in flavor combinations and overall taste.

For example, a Vampiro is similar to a Michelada, but using beer instead of tequila makes a huge difference! They all make a great addition to any party or gathering, and I’m sure you’ll find a new favorite. 

If you’re not drinking, check out our favorite mocktails instead!

Salud!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.