San Miguel de Allende’s Bekeb is changing the city’s drinks scene one ancestral cocktail at a time.
San Miguel de Allende has an undeniable charm. The Mexican city routinely ranks as one of the best cities in the world, according to Travel + Leisure readers and for good reason: it’s rich in culture, walkable, and dotted with rooftops boasting views of the city’s stunning architecture. Among these rooftops is world-class cocktail bar Bekeb.
On the terrace of the Casa Hoyos boutique hotel, which is in San Miguel de Allende’s UNESCO historic district, the female-owned and -operated bar made the 50 Best Discovery list this year. It has some of the best cocktails in town, all by mixologist Fabiola Padilla.
Now, it’s offering an entirely new concept: an ancestral menu that features 10 Mexican heritage drinks crafted with a modern twist. Each cocktail has an ancestral ingredient that is coupled with a Mexican spirit, and crafted with “techniques that our ancestors discovered,” Padilla told T+L. She added that the key is “respecting the ancestral ingredients” while introducing contemporary flavors and an elegant presentation.
Take pulque. The drink, which dates as far back as 200 CE, is often called “the drink of the Gods” among locals, because it was reserved for the gods and their priests in the Aztec era. It became a widespread beverage in central Mexico after the Aztec empire fell and, under colonial rule, Spain outlawed it because it “violated Christian values,” per the Journal of Ethnic Foods.
The drink is traditionally made from lightly fermented agave sap and is often described as having the consistency of kombucha. Padilla’s adaptation, named Aguamiel, is made of pox, cacao liquor, fino sherry, coconut extract, cacao foam, and, of course, pulque.
San Miguel Times