12 Signs You Learned To Drink in Mexico City
1. You remember the time when mezcal wasn’t trendy at all.
Back in the day, the only interaction between you and mezcal was in the form of that hideous thing called Tonayan or panalito — the weapon of choice of youngsters since a liter is just a bit more expensive than a couple of water bottles. Nobody ever drank it straight! It was used to spice up the parties with aguas locas — the dark side of aguas frescas.
2. You are used to taking beer drinking to hazardous levels.
The first bars you favorited were those where they sold pint jugs or yards of beer. But not a single one stood close to the ones where they sold beers in one-liter bottles or caguamas. Caguamas became omnipresent from the moment you started drinking and continue to be one of the best options for drinking with your mates. So many stories — and saliva — have been shared around a caguama.
3. You took shotgunning to a whole new level, too.
Piercing an aluminum can? Manufacturing a beer bong? That all sounds too mainstream! The only thing you need to chug a big bottle of beer in seconds is a big bottle of beer and a straw. And we call that a turbochela!
4. You learned some stupid song to encourage a similarly stupid drinking game.
Remember that Caricachupas thing or that other song that says “a la glu, a la glu glu glu glu?”
We do have a lot of games whose only purpose is to get you drunk as hell, especially when they involve drinking de Hidalgo style.
5. You think cerveza and chili are a match made in heaven…
Every single chilango cherishes those big-ass pueblo micheladas served in oversized styrofoam cups. Picture this in your head: a lager with lots of lime, salt, and every possible kind of salsa you can find in your kitchen (and we Mexicans do have a lot of salsas in our kitchens). It is the perfect solution for a hangover, and with enough additional elements, it can even be a complete and nutritious breakfast!
6. You’re familiar with one of the strangest shots ever: the nikolaschka.
I think it’s originally from Russia because of the name and the vodka, but it somehow became very popular in Mexico before people started mixing energy drinks with booze. Grab a lime, cut it in half, and cover it with sugar and ground coffee, squeeze it into your mouth and wash it down with vodka. How does that sound? In Mexico we call it astronauta.
7. You remember when tequila became the big thing…with bittersweet memories.
We started drinking tequila before really knowing how to drink it. The result? A generation that hated tequila for quite some time and still feels resentful against some cocktails. Tequila sunrise anyone?
8. You started drinking before you turned 18, in a nightclub.
Tardeadas were these weird afternoon parties done specially for underaged teens in some of the most important clubs of their day. You might think that the whole idea behind these parties would be to provide an alcohol-free environment for the kids to have a good time, but then you’d be totally wrong.
9. You clearly remember the first time you entered a pulquería.
Of course, you acted all cool and seemed unimpressed by the strange odor coming from this saloon that looked like no other bar you had ever visited, with the floor full of sawdust and the not-so-private bathroom. You either became addicted to the experience or you never gave it a second chance and now hate pulque.
10. You visited some interesting places when you were a college student.
Sooner or later you ended up in a clandestine bar near your uni or some friend’s uni. The best ones are those that request a password!
11. You blame your first blackout on adulterated alcohol…
And everybody believed you since ice cubes with ether and homemade Jack Daniel’s made it to the news more than a few times.
12. Or on the movement of a trajinera.
Maybe it’s the rocking of the boat or the festive mood that prevails in Xochimilco, but the first time you went partying on a trajinera probably coincides with your first major intoxication event. Maybe the years have gone by and you are no longer the party animal you used to be, but you know that Xochimilco is not to be taken lightly.