If you think American baristas can be strict, wait until you see the tejateras of Oaxaca. These makers of Oaxaca’s signature drink spend hours cleaning the mamey seeds which provide the foundation, just to get the drink to be the right color.Tejate is a cold drink which dates back to before Hispanic culture. The mamey fruit seeds and flowers are an important part of the recipe, along with maize and cinnamon, but these are not the most important. That honor goes to rosita de cacao, a cacao tree native to San Andres Huayapam renowned for its medicinal properties. The flavor of tejate is hard to describe, but it is sweeter now that it is no longer made with the traditional chiles.Oaxaca also prepares two other traditional cold drinks. Especially good during the hotter months, aguas frescas and tuna are still popular any time of the year. Aguas frescas come in a variety of flavors, but are all made of sugar and water blended with a fruit, cereal, or seed. Tuna is a type of aguas frescas made from the prickly pear cactus fruit.If you’re in the mood for something to warm you up when the temperature starts to dip, we recommend coffee or hot chocolate made from local Oaxacan ingredients. For a real pick-me-up, mix in a little mescal, Oaxaca’s answer to tequila. Mescal is the only alcoholic drink to come bottled with a worm, although not all bottles contain one, and the inclusion is mainly for marketing purposes in any case.

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