In addition to its deserts, plains and mountains, Sonora is known inside and outside of Mexico for its tasty hot and cold drinks that not only refresh, but also heal and feed.

Let’s get to know the 12 typical drinks of Sonora.

1. Bacanora

Drink with more than 300 years created in the municipality of Bacanora, state of Sonora. Its name derives from the language spoken by the Opatas ethnic group.

Bacanora became the quintessential typical drink of this Mexican state after being banned by the government for 77 years. It lost its illegal nature when the veto was lifted in 1992 and regulations were established that have since regulated its production.

Characteristics of the bacanora

Bacanora is a colorless drink with an alcohol content that varies between 38% and 55%, obtained from the cooking, fermentation and distillation of a type of agave known as viviparous, pacific, Yaquiano and espadín.

Unlike tequila, it has more alcohol and is sweeter.

Although its production was commercialized, the drink is still made by hand in the mountains of Sonora, under a careful procedure similar to that carried out with mezcal and tequila.

Peasants, workers and other workers, including the rulers, have made it their favorite drink. It is believed to stimulate the appetite and to be an excellent digestive.

If the bubbles do not disappear quickly when you shake the bottle, it is because it is a quality product.

2. Tejuino

Drink whose base product is germinated corn with piloncillo. Its main consumers began being the ethnic groups of the north side of the country and although it was not created in Sonora, it was ingested by the Pimas and the Yaquis.

It is a refreshing drink that is taken to mitigate the heat, which in addition to Sonora is also eaten in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Durango Nayarit and Chihuahua.

Tejuino, a word that comes from the Nahuatl language, means: “beating the heart”.

The Pima and Yaqui ethnic groups use it in ceremonies in which they are served in clay or ceramic containers and where Catholic rituals, music and lots of color come together.

3. Tepache

Drink made from corn or some fermented fruits with a low level of alcohol equivalent to 1%.

Among the fruits used in its preparation are guava, apple, orange, prickly pear and pineapple, with the latter being the one most prepared in Sonora.

The flavor will depend on how long the pineapple juice ferments. It is usually sweet because of the piloncillo and with the acid touch of the pineapple, pleasant to the palate.

The indigenous communities still prepare this pre-Hispanic drink with corn in Sonora and in other states of the Republic.

“Tepache” is from the Nahuatl language and comes from the word “tepatli”, whose meaning is “corn drink”.

In addition to Sonora, it is produced by indigenous communities from Sinaloa, Yucatan, Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Baja California, among others. Many of these ethnic groups used it with more degrees of alcohol to carry out their religious cults.

In the streets of Sonora, especially those of Hermosillo, you will find artisan vendors.

4. Charanda

Charanda, formerly known as aguardiente, is originally from Michoacán, not Sonora.

Its production began in other states when the elaboration of the considered “father” of the charanda, the chinguirito, was prohibited. This happened in the colonial period because the chinguirito was the competition of the brandy that came from Spain.

Sonora, Coahuila and Chihuahua, began the production of the charanda despite the ban. Then it became part of the tradition of each state where it was prepared, which explains why the charanda, which dates back to 1857, is now one of the typical drinks of Sonora.

It is known by that name because it is made with cane and the main cultivation of this plant is found on a hill in Michoacán called La Charanda hill. This word means in the Purépecha language “red land”.

The charanda is transparent or amber in color and is obtained after the sugar cane juice is fermented and distilled.

Products derived from cane juice such as molasses, molasses or piloncillo, can also be used to make the drink that, unlike rum, can be mixed with other liquors, soft drinks, juices and fresh water.

5. Lettuce Mezcal

This typical drink from Sonora is a mezcal made with a wild maguey called lechuguilla, a type of agave found mainly in the deserts of Sonora and Chihuahua.

The water from the lechuguilla is rich in minerals and salts, so much so that the inhabitants of Sonora drink it to avoid or combat discomfort caused by gastritis, colitis and other gastrointestinal problems.

Compared to bacanora, this mezcal is made in a smaller proportion. Likewise, the lettuce is also considered an inferior type of bacanora or of lower quality than this.

In Sonora, distilled spirits made from palmeri, deserti and bovicornuta agaves are called lechuguilla.

6. Sonoran champurrado

Although it is a typical drink from Sonora, it is also drunk in other communities in Mexico.

The difference between the Sonora and Sinaloa version is that it is prepared with wheat flour, while in the interior of the country it is made with corn flour.

This heritage of the Mayans is prepared with wheat flour (which thickens the champurrado), cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder, piloncillo and water.

Also known as champuro, it is taken more frequently in the cold seasons, such as the end of December and the middle of March.

It is advisable to take only one serving per day as it can lead to overweight due to the starch content.

In the city of Obregón it is also a fairly common drink.

7. Coconut horchata

Horchata is a fresh water whose main ingredient in Mexico is rice. However, in Sonora there is a variant, as the Sonorans add coconut and drink it to counteract the effects of heat.

This community prepares or buys it when they eat burritos. In the streets of Obregón you will find street stalls where you can order a refreshing coconut horchata.

The usual ingredients are rice, grated coconut, cinnamon, sugar, water and ice. With that, this rich and nutritious typical drink from Sonora will be ready.

8. The tesgüino

Tesgüino is not a drink exclusive to Sonora, rather one of the many that the northern and northeastern states of Mexico have in common, whose indigenous communities also prepare it.

Many ethnic groups in the northeast of the country use it in their most important ceremonies or festivities. In Sonora there are the Yaquis and Pimas, who use it at funerals, sports competitions and religious celebrations.

Like tejuino, tesgüino is the result of fermenting corn. Only that the latter reaches its maximum degree of fermentation, which makes it an alcoholic beverage.

It is prepared in a clay pot and then it is placed in other clay containers, to which water and piloncillo are added and left to ferment for 10 days.

9. Lunch

Compared to other drinks, the colonche is consumed less frequently in Sonora. Even so, you can try it when you travel to this Mexican state.

It is a pre-Hispanic drink that is used to cure lung diseases, which is made with fermented cardona prickly pear juice. Depending on the amount of sugar that is placed in the preparation, it may be less or more sweet.

10. Batarete

The baterete is a rich northern drink very typical in Sonora that is prepared with pilone, honey and piloncillos diluted in water.

Sometimes it is consumed as a dessert and others as a drink. Its consumption increases during the grinding season in Sonora.

11. Sotol

Typical Sonoran drink that is obtained from the lower part of the mezcal maguey, specifically from the Dasylirion wheeleri.

It is an alcoholic beverage that after fermenting the liquid goes through two distillation processes.

The degrees of alcohol that sotol reaches are between 38 and 45°. Its production is still artisanal and it could be said that it is located, as far as distillate is concerned, between tequila and mezcal. It is prepared in buried wood ovens.

The ethnic groups of the northern zone of Mexico used it to carry out their rituals and ceremonies. Sotol is one of those ancestral, wild and very soft drinks.

Sotol, which is a drink that originated in the state of Chihuahua, can be found in places where liquor is sold, such as mezcal stores.

12. Pinole

Originally it is a roasted corn flour with which drinks of various flavors are prepared. It all depends on the ethnicity.

The Mayos make the pinole by cooking it in water, then carving it to remove the husk and then grinding it with piloncillo, ginger, orange peel and anise.

This Amerindian people also makes a pinole called “pinole de pechita” or “atole de pechita”, a corn drink in which they mix ground mesquite pods and water.

There is another variety in Sonora that ethnic groups prepare with toasted pumpkin seeds, which are later ground with piloncillo or cinnamon. Then they dilute it in water.

There is also the pinole made by the Yaquis with previously toasted and ground etcho seed.

This indigenous town prepares a pinole with watermelon seeds dried in the sun and toasted on comales, to which they add sugar or milk. It can be taken hot or cold.

Other drinks that can be found in Sonora

There are many, among them are melon seed horchata, pumpkin atole and many aromatic infusions. The latter are prepared both in the city and in the country and are used for digestive purposes and to combat colic.

Traditionally the infusions have been drunk hot, but nowadays they are already consumed cold. Those prepared by Sonorans are based on basil, cinnamon, fennel, mint, corn beard, orange blossom, lemon leaves and anise.

This has been the selection with the 12 typical drinks of Sonora. We would like to know your opinion and share this article so that your friends also know the drinks of this Mexican state.


See also:

  • We leave you our guide on the 15 typical dishes of Sonora to lick your fingers
  • Check out our ultimate guide to Puerto Peñasco
  • Read our guide on the 12 things to do and see in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora

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