Drink Lèon Negra or Montejo! These fine beers are made in Mèrida on the other side of the Yucatàn Peninsula. While a lot of Mexican beer can taste like water, Lèon and Montejo will remind you what good beer tastes like while quenching your thirst and putting out any spicy food flames. Plus, you will always impress the bartender when you order the local brew. Leon and Montejo can be hard to find outside of the Yucatàn so enjoy them while you’re there. If they are not available, Negro Modelo, Bohemia, or XX Amber are suitable substitutes. Beer in Mexico, especially the lighter varieties, should always be drunk with a lime. Ask for them if they are not readily available.
When it comes to drinking water, buy bottled water. Ice cubes that come in drinks are generally safe as they are usually from ice factories that use filtered water. Alcohol will dissolve capsicum, the main ingredient that makes jalapeno and other chili peppers spicy, while water will just wash it around. Thus having tequila while you eat spicy food just might save your life.
The one absolute thing to avoid in Mexico are day-glo margaritas that come out of slurpy machines. Life’s too short for that stuff. Likewise, also avoid any drinks that come in the “yard” – a florescent plastic three foot tall glass. Drinking from one of those things makes you look like a dork.
A more personal look at my most recent travels in Mexico can be read on my blog here. The entries are in reverse order and you'll find many posts about the Yucatan. You can also find more photos of this region on my photoblog as well as several galleries on my picture gallery page. Finally, I was also interviewed about the Maya Riviera by Travelocity for a podcast and you can find info on listening to it here.