The signature cocktail at Grand Velas Riviera Maya features Xtabentun anise liqueur. // © 2018 Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Feature image (above): Many of Mexico’s best cocktails include a bit of tequila. // © 2018 Nizuc Resort & Spa
For many vacationers, sipping a festive beverage is a key part of a perfect Mexico vacation. Restaurants and hotels around the nation are well aware of this, encouraging their bartenders to create an array of mouthwatering liquid refreshments. So, if you’re looking for a unique way to say “salud” (that’s “cheers” in Spanish), consider these delectable options. And yes, expect tequila.
There are plenty of places to take back a colorful creation in Baja California.
In Los Cabos, guests at Chileno Bay Resort & Residences benefit from the creativity of beverage manager Osvaldo Vazquez. His signature drinks include the Spicy Paloma, a tequila-based cocktail with lime and grapefruit juice, and Humo de Comal Texano, a bourbon-based concoction with blue corn and lime juice.
At The Resort at Pedregal, meanwhile, guests can dip into the Piedra Mayahuel, a cocktail created by mixologist Jose Arturo Romero with homemade agave lechuguilla soda, chicatana ants from Oaxaca, aguamiel and Xoconostle cactus bitters.
A bit further north, in La Paz, the Damiana Margarita is the house favorite at CostaBaja Resort & Spa. This especially creative reimagining of the margarita is made with a splash of Damiana, a liqueur made from a flower indigenous to Baja California.
Mexico’s biggest tourism destination is logically home to lots of interesting beverages to accompany a toast.
At Nizuc Resort & Spa, guest can sip on an Ik margarita made with tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, local honey and triple sec. And travelers checking in to Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun can choose from two variations on the classic margarita — the Cadillac, which blends tequila with Grand Mariner and lime juice, and the tamarind margarita, which features white tequila, Controy orange liqueur and — you guessed it — tamarind.
At the Hyatt Zilara Cancun, bartender Eliso Rosas is the mastermind behind the Blue Moon, which features chardonnay, mineral water, blue curacao, cucumber and mint leaves.
On Mexico’s largest island, guests at the Occidental Cozumel can relax over a cucumber and habanero margarita, crafted with homemade habanero-infused tequila, cucumber, lime juice and triple sec. At the Allegro Cozumel, meanwhile, the oh-so-beachy strawberry pina colada is the specialty, created by bartender Juan Carlos with fresh coconut water from the hotel’s own palm trees.
South of Cancun, vacationers will find lots of creative cocktail options. The smoky-sweet Dona Carmen, served at Thompson Playa del Carmen, is made with cooked agave and citrus with a touch of Aperol topped with tonic. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy elements come together in one flavorful drink at Vidanta Riviera Maya, where bar chef Rene Ramos Ramirez’s Habanero cocktail blends Herradura Silver tequila, chaya (shrub), habanero chili pepper, lime juice, agave honey and worm salt. At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the signature drink is the appropriately named Grand Velas cocktail, which is made with Xtabentun anise liqueur, pineapple and club soda.
Among the newest resorts in this Pacific coast beach destination is W Punta de Mita, where guests can grab a stool at Chevycheria, a vintage Chevy truck that’s been converted into a beachside ceviche bar. In addition to the mezcal served at weekly “mezcal lab” tasting experiences led by head mixologist Alex Montes, one of the top libations attractions is the Piwiwi, a cocktail made with tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, agave, honey, fresh lime juice and soda.
San Miguel de Allende
At Bovine, a brasserie owned by Australian chef Paul Bentley in partnership with Bruce James, the general manager of Hotel Matilda, patrons sip on the San Miguel Sunset, made with Casa Dragones tequila, roasted beet juice, lemon juice, agave nectar and orange liqueur.
Nearby, at Mui Bar at Hotel Matilda, the Jaidi is the local favorite, blending mezcal with roasted pineapple juice, agave nectar, lime juice and soursop liqueur.