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Little-known Mexican beverages

The climate in the state of Michoacán has produced, through the centuries, delicious sugar cane. It is from the fermentation and distillation of this tropical plant that makes charanda or “Mexican rum”. Originating from the Uruapan region, this colorless liquor has a sweet taste like vanilla and is named in honor of the Hill of Charanda, which means “red earth” in the Purépecha language. Although the making of charanda started in the 16th century, its industrial production began a century ago.

A popular proverb says: “Anyone who tries pozol, does not return from whence they came. Here they will remain living forever.” And the fact is that the fields of Tabasco and Chiapas became the ideal place to make this delicious drink. This drink, prepared only by women, was primarily a snack for travelers, who found in its sweet flavor various vitamins and properties to help resist heat. This beverage, fermented from corn and seasoned with salt and chili, is served in a container called “jícara” and can be found in three forms: cocoa, white or sour, and with pixtle (red zapote).

Sotol or Sereke grows in the Chihuahuan deserts, from a plant of the Agavaceae family. It is with the heart of this plant that the Tarahumara and Anasazi people have made a distillate with a strong and sweet flavor for 800 years. Throughout history, sotol tradition has been used by indigenous people in religious ceremonies and as a medicine.

Tejuino has been produced in our country for about seven thousand years. This ancient drink, prepared from the fermentation of corn and piloncillo, is the most representative from Coahuila and Sonora. With some variations, it is also prepared in other states. With a bittersweet flavor and low alcohol content, this refreshing beverage has a thick consistency and a brown color that resembles a cold atole (a corn flour-based drink) and has received, since ancient times, the connotation of being “the delicacy of the Huichol Gods.”

Distilled from the flower nectar with the same name, Xtabentún is the most famous drink from the Yucatán peninsula and its name, of Mayan origin, means “vine that grows on stone.” It is made with anise or rum and the custom is to serve it alone, with honey, or even with coffee. Upon experiencing its strong flavor, a dizzying sensation is experienced, a reminder of the legend of Xtabay or Xkeban, who was a beautiful prostitute that made men fall in love and then left them feeling an intoxicating and sweet love.

Don’t miss out on trying these drinks. Enjoy their ancient flavor and tradition!
Text adapted and translated by Con Acento Latino from “Mexico Desconocido”.
 Article  by Con Acento Latino. They strive for the knowledge of the Spanish language and Latin culture among executives and students throughout the world. For the comfort of the students, the classes are tailor-made and held in their offices or homes.