If there’s one thing that we all probably know about the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s that its hot. And with the heat comes thirst. It’s still important to get enough water in while you’re on vacation and its always fun to switch up what you’re drinking. Here are 5 refreshing drinks of the Yucatan Peninsula to try in-between your typical bottles of ‘agua’ while you soak up the Mexican Caribbean sun.
Horchata and Agua de horchata
Agua de horchata aka Horchata water is a very popular all-ages drink in Mexico. In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s King Carlos IV himself liked to sit back and enjoy a nice glass of ‘Agua de horchata’ giving it the nickname “the drink of the kings” in later years. The Yucatan has their own coconut version that typically consists of a tasty mixture of chufa (tigernut), water, rice, milk, fresh coconut, cinnamon, and sugar.
The pitahaya is commonly known as ‘dragon fruit’. It is used in this drink to create a refreshing, delicious water with many beneficial health properties – it’s also really pretty!! Dragon fruit grows on a cactus and is very rich in vitamin c and betalains (phytonutrients that offer antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory and detox support). In other words, Pitahaya water is not only incredible for re-hydrating you while you play under that beautiful Mexican Caribbean sun, but it also tastes great and supports positive immune health.
Chaya, has been known for centuries to be the ‘Maya Miracle Plant‘ and has become a staple in the Yucatan Peninsula in creating one of their most loved and most refreshing drinks – Chaya water. By mixing up lemon, pineapple, and cucumber with the maple-like leaves of the Chaya plant, they have created a deeply hydrating and satisfying drink.
*Note: If you’ve stayed at an all-inclusive in Mexico before and you’ve seen a green looking juice substances at breakfast, chances are – it was Chaya water.
Okay, okay! If you’re sick of hearing about the different ways water is traditionally infused in the Yucatan and you want to get onto the harder bevys – this ones for you! Henequen liqueur is similar to Mezcal and it’s made from the same agave species it gets its name from. It’s typically colorless but can start to turn into a brownish color after it has sat to rest with oxygen present.
*Note: Drinkers beware- this stuff is potent!
Balché is a Maya ceremonial drink that is delicately prepared with the bark of the balché tree, sacred cenote water and just the right amount of melipona honey. It sits to ferment for about 3 days and turns out to be mildly intoxicating. In many ancient texts balché is considered to have properties that provoke mild altered states of consciousness thus used in spiritual/religious ceremonies and widely used by shamans in the area. Using the leaves of the balché tree has also been used in many traditional medicines to treat a cough and clean a wound.
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