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Cerveza: The Ultimate Thirst Quencher

July 02, 2021

Summer is here. The weather in Los Cabos is warming up. In a dry, perpetually sunny place like Los Cabos, a good thirst quencher is essential. Especially after an outdoor activity such as golf, fishing, hiking, biking, pickleball…name the sport, you’ll be thirsty when you’re done. The adult beverage of choice for quenching thirst in Cabo is cerveza, a.k.a. beer.

There’s more to the sudsy brew than you might think. Also, mixologists have created many refreshing beer cocktails through the years (see below). A brief beer primer. Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages in the world, and the third most popular drink after water and tea. Beer is brewed from cereal grains—most commonly malted barley. Hops balance the sweetness of the malt and add bitterness to the mix. Hops also act as a natural preservative and stabilizing agent. Yeast transforms sugars into alcohol and provides flavor nuances.

Depending on the type of yeast, there are two types of beer: lager and ale. There are a handful of brewpubs in Los Cabos that serve ales on draft. It’s a hearty brew, ideal for a cool winter day. Lager, specifically a pilsner, has a golden hue, a hoppy aroma, and a light refreshing flavor.

Mexico produces a range of excellent lagers. Among the most popular is Pacifico, the unofficial beer of Los Cabos. Brewed in the port city of Mazatlan and known for the distinctive yellow label on its tall-neck bottles, this pilsner-style lager was first made in 1900 by three German brewers. Its exceptional drinkability became widely known in the early 1970s, when a group of California surfers ventured south to explore the breaks along the Pacific coast of the Baja. They discovered hidden surf spots, friendly cantinas, and a local beer called Pacifico. The surfers later packed up their van with a few cases of the golden lager and returned north, becoming the first importers of Pacifico. The citrusy cerveza, its malts roasted through a unique process that gives Pacifico a flavor profile of its own, gained an enthusiastic following among southern California surfers. Which is why the company’s website states: “Found in Baja. Imported by Surfers.”

Here’s something else. Pacifico has been recognized as one of the healthiest beers in the world. It’s a great low-calorie option (143 calories, 13.6 grams of carbs) that pairs well with Mexican fare, especially quesadillas and tacos. Pacifico also produces a Light version with fewer calories and carbs. Both styles are best enjoyed with a squeeze of lime.

Now for the beer cocktails. Here are three favorites:

Michelada. Renowned as a hangover remedy, but a refreshing drink at any time. Every bar in Cabo has its own version, but the classic preparation calls for a glass rimmed with lime and salt, pilsner lager, juice of one lime, 2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce, 3-4 splashes of hot sauce, dash of salt. Top off with tomato juice or Clamato, mix well. Savory, spicy and tart.

Beergarita. A thirst-quencher with a kick. Rim a frozen mug with lime and salt. Blend the juice of a lime, 1.5 ounces of silver tequila and a cup of ice until it’s a slurry. Pour into mug, add a pilsner lager. For a slightly sweeter version, add a shot of Controy, an orange liqueur made in Mexico. An excellent libation at sunset.

Shandy. While it didn’t originate in Mexico, shandy is an ideal low-octane summer sipper. The preparation is simple: an ice-cold lager mixed with a sparkling citrus beverage. 7-Up is good, but a local limonada minerale is even better. The proportions are usually 50-50.

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