When it comes to keeping cool in Mexico’s Pacific Coast, no one beats the state of Colima, another one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets with an excellent seafood tradition, delicious regional dishes, and exotic cold beverages.
On the streets of Colima, you can find tejuino, a tart, fermented, and deliciously funky drink made of masa, brown sugar cones, and lime that is often served with a scoop of flavored, shaved ice; tuba, a drink derived from the sap of young coconut palm clusters and topped with peanuts and diced fruit; and bate, an odd grainy brew of toasted chan seeds sweetened with honey, which goes down like a cold, gritty cereal.
You won’t find bate in L.A., but Raspados Nayarit, a Mexican snack house where I found the rare tacos tuxpeños last year, carries both tejuino and tuba, which originally came to Mexico (Pacific states like Jalisco and Nayarit also are known for tejuino and tuba) via the Philippines. The huge menu of spicy shaved ice drinks called tostilocos, tepache (fermented pineapple rind drink), fruit cocktails, and other junk-food delights is distracting enough to make you miss the little sign advertising tuba, but this is the only place in town to explore Colima’s famous fermented street libation.
For some, tejuino challenges the uninitiated with its strong flavor, but here at Raspados Nayarit its bright citrus shines through every sip. On the other hand, the tuba is a rose-colored, floral drink sweetened with finely chopped fruit and a fistful of peanuts that float on top—it’s an easy sipper that doubles as a snack.
Now that it’s officially summer, it’s the perfect time to graduate from Mexican Coke and aguas frescas to these iconic sips from Colima, the city of palms.