Are you planning a girls getaway to Playa del Carmen? Here is Playa Palms Beach Hotel‘s complete guide for a ladies night in Playa del Carmen. Go with your girl squad and enjoy free drinks, we got you covered on nearly every day of the week!Read More >>
You sure tried Tequila at some point in your life. But have you tried mezcal? The ancient Mexican liquor has become the hot new drink trend – not only in Mexico.
Legend has it, that a long time ago, an Aztec tribesman witnessed a lightning struck an agave plant, cooking and opening it, releasing the liquid inside. Eventually they discovered that the sweet sap fermented became a beverage with powerful properties. By drinking it, they could communicate with the gods, which is why it was called the elixir of the gods.
Fast-forward a few hundred years. While Mexico is worldwide known for its tequila, mezcal has long been its poor cousin, “firewater” for the lower class and hardly known beyond the Mexican border. Over the last few years this has changed a lot, with fancy mezcalerias popping up all over the world, serving not only pure mezcal, but all sorts of drinks that contain the spirit.
Now, whatever your beliefs are, and even though mezcal is quite different from the liquor used in pre-Hispanic times, the fact that they used it to communicate with their gods sure enough shows that you shouldn’t underestimate how strong the liquor is. And if that’s not enough, according to Greek mythology Agave was the goddess of desire who helped raise Dionysus, the father of bacchanals and profound inebriation. Just saying, be careful, mezcal is no light weight spirit.
Mezcal comes from the Nahuatl word mezcalli, what means cooked agave. Hence, mezcal refers to all types of alcohol made from the agave plant. Mezcal can be made of 30 varieties of agave. This makes tequila, made only of one specific type of agave (Blue agave), a type of mezcal.
The center of the Mezcal universe is Oaxaca, with nearly 90% of the mezcal production. Good Mezcal is still handcrafted, using century old methods. The agave hearts, called piñas (because they look like giant pineapples) are cooked during several days in an underground, earthen pit that is lined with volcanic rock.
The cooked piñas are crushed with a stone wheel turned by a horse or a donkey. The mash is then fermented and the resulting liquid distilled in either clay or copper pots.
If you visit Mexico you should definitely try mezcal. Always remember the saying “It should be kissed not shot”, meaning don’t down it in a gulp the college-spring-break-way, but savor it. These are the best places to drink mezcal in Playa del Carmen:
Besides of traditional Mexican food, they serve a selection of the best artisanal mezcal. On the menu are also cocktails with mezcal. They seek to revive Mexican culture and traditions, informing their customers of the history, concepts and forms of consumptions of their products, what makes it the number one place in Playa del Carmen to try mezcal. (Street 34, between Avenues 5 and 10)
This is the perfect place to start your night out with a couple of friends. The small bar only fits about 20 people, and they serve mainly mezcal drinks of all sorts. If you speak some Spanish you can learn quite some wisdom from the quotes covering their walls. For example the Oaxacan saying “Para todo mal, mezcal. Para todo bien, también” (For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, too). Try their mojito with mezcal and their mango mezcal martini! (10th Street, between Avenues 5 and 10)
This disco and bar just a few steps from Playa Palms Beach Hotel is not a place to hang out and chat with your friends, since they play loud music. But to dance, have fun or just stop by for their famous shots of flavored mezcal. Our favorite flavor: Passion fruit. (12th Street with Avenue 1 bis)
A few weeks ago we asked our guests about their favorite spots in and around Playa del Carmen. This week we asked our staff at Hotel Playa Palms about their favorite spots, to share some insider tips with you.
“My favorite places to hang out are Blue Parrot Beach Club and Las Helodias. Blue Parrot because of the delicious food, and the bar Las Helodias for their nice atmosphere, good music and reasonable prizes.” Iván (Front Desk)
“By far my favorite place in this area is Isla Mujeres. The island is a little paradise with the most beautiful beaches, especially Playa Norte. In Playa del Carmen I like watching the sunset at Zenzi while enjoying a delicious Margarita and listening to good live music.” Carmen (Reservations Manager)
“When I go out with friends, we like to go to TNT Bar & Beer Store at Mamitas Beach. You always meet nice people there and they sell 5 liter beer kegs dispensers to share with your friends.” Jesús (Public Areas)
“My favorite beach in Playa del Carmen is Playacar. It’s not as crowded as other places and the beach is broader. For dinner, I like going to Cheester. They have the most delicious pasta at very reasonable prices. You need to bring a friend though, they serve huge portions you can’t finish alone!” Tania (Front Desk)
“I think my favorite place to go in Playa del Carmen is Playa Punta Esmeralda. It’s never as crowded as Mamita’s, and you can cool off in the little cenote there. And I like La Taberna, they serve delicious food and the best micheladas ever!” Teresa (Cleaning Service)
Many of you know Playa del Carmen since a few years already. Can you add anything to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
When it comes to drinks, Mexico has way more to offer than just Margaritas and Tequila. And Mexican drinks are just as enticing as the food. Here are some of our favorites.
Here in Mexico, mezcal is all the rage. Mezcal is very similar to Tequila, but made of other types of Agave and with a different production process, which gives it a different flavor. You can either drink your mezcal straight, or enjoy it in a delicious drink. Check out Don Mezcal on the 10th street in Playa del Carmen, a popular bar known for their variety of mezcal drinks. Or get a shot of flavored mezcal in La Mezcalinna on the 12th street, just around the corner of Hotel Playa Palms. How about a passion fruit mezcal for example?
The most traditional drink in the Yucatan Peninsula is Xtabetún, which has its origins in a ceremonial liquor used by the Mayas. Xtabetún is a very sweet anise liquor with fermented honey from the flower bearing the same name. It’s usually served straight on ice with honey, but can also be mixed with lime. Order yours in La Cueva del Chango, a cozy restaurant on the 38th street, serving Mexican delicacies.
You cannot discuss Mexican drinks without mentioning Pulque, the most Mexican drink of them all. The Aztecs already savored the beverage made from the fermented sap of the agave plant. They considered it a sacred beverage, and only a certain class of people were allowed to taste it. Pulque has a very specific taste which reminds of yeast, and is of a rather viscous consistency. But don’t you worry, nowadays Pulque is served with different flavors. Here in Playa del Carmen you can order it in La Perla Pixan Cuisine & Mezcal Store on the 34th street.
Beer With A Twist
You are more of a beer drinker? Good for you, because Mexico does not only have plenty of different beer brands, but also several very typical ways to prepare it. The mixtures may sound strange at first, but you should definitely give it a try.
For a cautious start go for a chelada, beer with just some lime juice and salt. If you’re more adventurous, try a michelada, which besides of lime juice is served with Worcestershire sauce. Then there is the famous ojo rojo, beer mixed with clamato, which is some sort of tomato-clam juice, lime and salsas. Of course there are also fruit flavored beers, with pieces of mango, pineapple, shrimps… and for those with an especially sweet tooth, try the Gomichela, beer with gummy bears.
The Cheladas, Micheladas and Ojo Rojos are served at most bars throughout Mexico and of course in Playa del Carmen. You find the biggest variety, including flavoured beers, at Las Helodias. The bar is located on the 28th street, close to Mamita’s beach club. Or ask for your michelada at our beach club.
Non Alcoholic Drinks
A typically Mexican beverage does not necessarily have to be alcoholic. For example, try an ice-cold “agua de horchata”, made of rice, cinnamon and vanilla, sometimes containing also almonds or coconut. “Agua de horchata” is only one of many different “aguas frescas”. They are made of all sorts of fruits and seeds, mixed with water and sugar and you can get them nearly everywhere. Try also “agua de jamaica”, Hibiscus water, and the very healthy and refreshing “agua de pepino con limon”, cucumber water with lime.
Cheers and let us know below if you liked our suggestions!