The ancient inhabitants of Mexico were very warm and welcoming people. As part of their tradition and sign of courtesy and kindness whenever they had guests at home they would always prepare beverages for them. Moreover these drinks had to be very tasty to please them... and this is how the Mexican drinks were born.
The drinks were very tasty, refreshing and nutritious; they obtained them from the maize, maguey, cacao and chia. They used to sweeten them with piloncillo, they would flavor them with fruits and they were aromatized with vanilla, lime, guava leaf, etc.
It is said that the Spaniards were accustom to drink tea, however after tasting the chocolate they changed their tradition of drinking tea in the afternoons for drinking chocolate.
All the world associates Tequila with Mexico, but believe it or not the ancient indigenous “Did Not Drink Alcohol".
– Alcohol was considered the cause of all evil, doom and decadence.
Alcohol was only used as a sedative or as medicine. The Tequila was an antidote to snake bites and it was also rubbed on the body to heal joint problems. It was drank with moderation to cure diseases, to purify the blood and to stimulate the digestive system.
Unfortunately the Spaniards got the indigenous people drunk, for this reason alcohol is drunk in Mexico.
Now let’s get to know more in detail the drinks that were prepared in the Prehispanic Mexico.
Atole was the most popular drink among the natives. This drink was prepared of maize, furthermore piloncillo was added as a sweetener and sometimes fruits were added to give a special flavor.
It is amazing how important maize is in Mexico – its importance reaches such a degree that it even forms part of the beverages. Atole’s beauty is that it is a thick drink due to the maize flour that is used in its preparation. But that’s not all because maize not only turns it thick it also gives a very peculiar flavor.
When chocolate is added to the atole it is known as “champurrado" and when salsa and corn is added it is known as “chileatole".
The chocolate or better known as “Drink of the Gods". Was prepared by grinding and boiling the cacao beans, afterwards maize and honey was added. To serve it a grinder was used to get foam and it was perfumed with flowers. All this process was considered a ritual.
*Curious fact, the word “xocolatl" which comes from the Nahuatl and means chocolate came to be part of all the languages without incurring into a notorious phonetic alteration.
The Mead was obtained from the maguey plant, which was considered sacred due to all the applications that it had. This plant was drilled and by suction mead was obtained. Juices and fruit peels were added to this drink.
– When mead is left to ferment it becomes “Pulque".
These were just a few of the beverages that were prepared and enjoyed in ancient times... which are still present nowadays.