Beer: Most Mexican breweries are run under regimented German guide-
lines, and are often compared on a level with European beers. There are some
snowbirds, and even a few tourists that have difficulty readjusting to American
brew after being hooked on the tasty Mexican beer. There are agencies in
Mazatlán that will deliver beer to your hotel. I have friends that have a regular
weekly beer delivery service, just like the Avon lady in the U.S.
The beer of choice by most tourists is Pacifico, which has been produced in
Mazatlán since the turn of the twentieth century. German brewers developed
this light lager. Other brands in Mazatlán are Modelo, Negra Modela, Tecate,
Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Indio, Bohemia and Dos Equis XX Lager Especial. With
all those choices, I'm sure there is something for even the most discerning beer
drinker. My friend Nadine Laxen recommends Sol de Pacifico.
Wine: Not many Mexicans drink wine, even though the country produces
both red and white wine. Their wines are sometimes sweeter than American or
French wines, and I don't see many of my friends drinking Mexican wines.
There are many imported wines available in supermarkets and liquor stores
throughout the city. Chilean and Spanish wines are also available in the restau-
rants and supermarkets.
Tequila and Mezcal: For tourists, Tequila is as common a drink as beer.
Mezcal on the other hand is usually purchased by the bottle and taken home
as a gift. The worm at the bottom of the bottle of Mezcal seems to be the main
attraction. It is customary for the person who gets the last drink of the bottle
of Mezcal to also eat the worm. I'm told that the worm is just as tasty fried.
Tequila and Mezcal are almost the same, except the taste is different, and
Tequila is a type of Mezcal, just like scotch is a type of whiskey. True Tequila is
made from Agave tequiliana, the blue Agave. Mezcal can be made from many
different types of maguey. The sword-like Maguey plants are grown in Sinaloa,
and are not cacti, but agates. There is a Tequila distiller about 45 minutes
northeast of Mazatlán near La Noria.
To summarize, beware of being caught up in the Tequila "shooters" contests
at the local watering holes. And finally, the Margaritas in Mazatlán taste terrif-
ic, but the bartenders don't skimp on the booze. One minute you can be hav-
ing a wonderful time with your friends, and the next minute wake up in your
room with the sunlight hitting your aching head like a bolt of lightning. If you
use common sense, do things in moderation, and plan ahead, your vacation in
Mazatlán will be much more pleasant.
M a z a t l a n I S P a r a d i s e