The Ultimate Guide to Borrachitos Candy: Mexico’s Sweetest Treat

When you think of Mexican sweets, one delightful name that stands out is Borrachitos Candy. These creamy, sugar-dusted delights are more than just a treat; they are a taste of Mexican culture. In this guide, we’ll explore everything about these wined sweets, from their rich history to a simple and delicious recipe you can try at home.

The Origin of Borrachitos Candy

Borrachitos are not just any candy; they are a part of Mexico’s rich culinary history. These sweet jelly candies, sprinkled with sugar and flavored with various fruits, have a unique ingredient—a touch of alcohol. It is this alcohol content that inspired the name “Borrachitos”, which translates to “little drunks”.

A Sweet Tale from Puebla, Mexico

  • Location of Origin: Puebla, a city known for its culinary richness in Mexico.
  • Time of Origin: The tradition dates back to the colonial times of Mexico.
  • Creators: Believed to have been created by the nuns of the Santa Clara convent in Puebla.

The Name: A Nod to the Alcohol Content

  • Translation: “Borrachitos” translates to “little drunks” in English.
  • Why the Name: The candy contains a touch of alcohol, which is a playful nod to its name.
  • Alcohol Types Used: Traditionally, Rhum or other local spirits were used, giving the candy its characteristic flavor and name.

A Gift Turned into a Tradition

  • Initial Purpose: Originally, Borrachitos were crafted by nuns as tokens of appreciation for benefactors of the convent.
  • Evolution: The nuns soon realized the candies’ potential for broader appeal and began selling them to the public.
  • Modern Day: Today, Borrachitos are a beloved treat sold in candy stores throughout Mexico, especially in Puebla.

The Signature Ingredients of Borrachitos

  • Sweet Jelly Base: Made from cornstarch, sugar, and water.
  • Fruit Flavors: Common flavors include lemon, pineapple, and strawberry.
  • The Alcohol Touch: A small amount of Rhum or other spirits is added, which is the signature of Borrachitos.
  • Sugar Coating: After setting, the candies are cut into pieces and rolled in granulated sugar for a sweet finish.

Example: A Classic Borrachito

Imagine biting into a Borrachito:

  • The outer layer is a delicate, sweet sugar coating.
  • As you continue, the chewy, jelly-like texture of the candy becomes apparent.
  • The flavor is a vibrant burst of fruit—perhaps lemon or strawberry—complemented by the subtle warmth of alcohol that lingers as an aftertaste.

The Evolution of Borrachitos Candy

Time PeriodEventDescription
Colonial TimesCreationNuns at the Santa Clara convent in Puebla create Borrachitos as gifts for benefactors.
Shortly AfterCommercializationRecognizing their appeal, nuns begin selling Borrachitos to the public.
Modern DayNational TreasureBorrachitos are now a staple in Mexican candy stores, beloved by locals and tourists alike.
Borrachitos Mexican Candy

A Simple Borrachitos Candy Recipe

Ryan Yates

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Flavored extracts lemon, pineapple, strawberry, or eggnog
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Hard to Find Ingredient Substitutions:
  • Use almond extract if eggnog extract is difficult to find
  • Substitute regular milk with coconut milk for a dairy-free option

Instructions
 

Process and Instructions:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and milk. Mix until a dough forms.
  • Divide the dough into small portions and shape them into small rectangles.
  • Add a few drops of your chosen flavored extract to each portion.
  • Roll the portions in powdered sugar until they are well coated.
  • Place them on a baking sheet and let them dry for 2 hours.
  • Enjoy your homemade Borrachitos Candy!

A Gift from the Nuns of Puebla

The story of Borrachitos takes us back to the colonial times of Mexico, specifically to the city of Puebla. It is believed that the nuns of the Santa Clara convent were the creative minds behind these candies. Initially, these sweets were given to benefactors of the convent as a token of appreciation. However, the nuns soon realized that these candies were more than just gifts—they could be sold to the public, turning into a source of income for the convent.

The Santa Clara Convent: A Hub of Culinary Creativity

  • Location: Situated in the heart of Puebla, a city known for its culinary heritage.
  • Role of Nuns: The nuns were not just spiritual devotees; they were also skilled in the culinary arts, crafting various sweets and pastries.
  • Significance of Borrachitos: Among their creations, Borrachitos Candy stood out as a unique and delightful treat.

The Birth of Borrachitos: A Token of Appreciation

  • Original Purpose: Borrachitos were initially crafted as gifts to thank the benefactors who supported the convent.
  • Unique Selling Point: The candies were unique due to their alcohol content, which was unusual for sweets at the time, earning them the name “little drunks.”

From Gifts to Commerce: A Sweet Transition

  • Realization: The nuns noticed the candies’ popularity among the people who received them and saw potential for broader appeal.
  • Action Taken: They began producing Borrachitos in larger quantities and selling them to the public.
  • Outcome: This endeavor turned into a significant source of income for the convent, helping to support its operations and charitable activities.

Borrachitos Today: A Legacy of the Nuns

  • Modern Production: Today, Borrachitos are produced commercially in various parts of Mexico, but they remain a special product of Puebla.
  • Tourist Attraction: Visitors to Puebla often seek out these candies as a delicious and authentic souvenir.

Example: A Day in the Life of a Santa Clara Nun

Imagine a day in the life of a nun at the Santa Clara convent in colonial Puebla:

  • Morning prayers are followed by hours in the kitchen, where the nuns mix cornstarch, sugar, and a touch of Rhum, crafting the day’s batch of Borrachitos.
  • As the candies set, they are lovingly cut into small rectangles and rolled in sugar, ready to be gifted to benefactors or sold to townspeople.

The Journey of Borrachitos Candy

Time PeriodEventImpact
Colonial TimesCreation by NunsBorrachitos are born as tokens of appreciation for benefactors of the Santa Clara convent.
Shortly AfterPublic Sales BeginRecognizing their appeal, the nuns begin selling Borrachitos to the public, generating income for the convent.
Modern DayCommercial ProductionBorrachitos are now a beloved treat, produced commercially and enjoyed by people all over Mexico and beyond.

An Emblem of Puebla

Since its early days, the production of Borrachitos has been driven by strong demand from consumers. Today, they are one of the emblematic traditional desserts from Puebla, sold at many local candy stores. They are a popular request not only by tourists visiting Puebla but also by the residents of this historic city.

A Sweet Symbol of Pueblan Culture

  • Cultural Significance: Borrachitos are more than just candy; they are a representation of Puebla’s rich history and culture.
  • Local Love: For the residents of Puebla, Borrachitos are a nostalgic treat that connects them to their heritage.
  • Tourist Treasure: For visitors, buying Borrachitos is akin to taking a piece of Puebla back home.

The Making of an Emblem: Key Factors

  • Unique Flavor: The distinct taste, with its fruity flavor and touch of alcohol, sets Borrachitos apart from other sweets.
  • Historical Roots: The candy’s origin story, tied to the nuns of the Santa Clara convent, adds a layer of historical richness.
  • Widespread Availability: Borrachitos are easily found in local candy stores throughout Puebla, making them accessible to all.

Borrachitos in Modern Puebla: A Staple in Celebrations

  • Festive Favorite: Borrachitos are often featured in celebrations, from local festivals to family gatherings.
  • Gift of Choice: They are a popular and thoughtful gift, especially during holidays and special occasions.

Example: A Tourist’s First Encounter with Borrachitos

Imagine a tourist strolling through the vibrant markets of Puebla:

  • Intrigued by a colorful display, they approach a candy stall.
  • The friendly vendor offers a sample of Borrachitos, describing it as a traditional Pueblan candy.
  • Upon the first bite, the tourist is captivated by the sweet and slightly boozy flavor.
  • They decide to buy a few bags of Borrachitos—not just for themselves, but as unique gifts for friends and family back home.

Borrachitos’ Place in Pueblan Life

AspectRole of BorrachitosExample
CultureSymbol of Pueblan heritageFeatured in local festivals
EconomyPopular local productSold in many local candy stores
TourismMust-try for visitorsA top souvenir for tourists

Buy Borrachitos Candy


Borrachitos Mexican Candy

A Complex Borrachitos Recipe

Ryan Yates

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1.5 milliliters of flavoring extract fruit flavor of your choice
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of agar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoon dry gelatin dissolved in a little water
  • 1/3 cup Rhum or to taste
  • Food colorings red, green, and yellow, to taste
  • Additional sugar for rolling the Borrachitos

Instructions
 

Preparation:

  • Bring the water to a boil, then add the starch, chosen food coloring, gelatin, and agar-agar, stirring continuously.
  • After boiling, remove from heat and let it cool down, then add the Rhum (adjust to your taste).
  • As the mixture cools slightly, add the sugar and the flavoring of your choice (10 to 12 drops), stirring continuously.
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl and let it set in the refrigerator. Once well set and jelled, cut into small rectangles of 1 x 2 inches.
  • In a large bowl, sprinkle more sugar and roll the Borrachitos in the granulated sugar.

Thought-Provoking Questions

1. How has the Tradition of Borrachitos Candy Evolved since its Creation by the Nuns of the Santa Clara Convent?

  • Historical Context: Originally crafted as tokens of appreciation for benefactors of the Santa Clara convent, Borrachitos were a sweet, simple gesture of gratitude.
  • Commercial Evolution: Over time, as the candies gained popularity, they transitioned from gifts to commercial products, sold in local markets and eventually in stores throughout Mexico.
  • Modern Twist: Today, some producers have introduced new flavors and variations, while others remain committed to the traditional recipe passed down through generations.

Example: A Timeline of Borrachitos Candy

YearEvent
Colonial EraCreation by Santa Clara Nuns as gifts for benefactors
Early 1900sIntroduction to local markets in Puebla
Present DayCommercial production and national distribution; new flavor introductions

2. What is the Significance of Borrachitos Candy in Mexican Culture, Especially in Celebrations and Festivities?

  • Cultural Icon: Borrachitos are not just candy; they are a piece of Mexican heritage, particularly representing the culture of Puebla.
  • Festive Presence: In celebrations, Borrachitos are often served alongside other traditional Mexican sweets, making them a staple in festivities.
  • Gift Tradition: Giving Borrachitos as gifts during special occasions is a common practice, symbolizing warmth and hospitality.

Example: A Mexican Wedding

Imagine a Mexican wedding where Borrachitos are included in the celebration:

  • As part of the dessert table, alongside churros and flan.
  • As a thoughtful and traditional gift in the wedding favors for guests.

3. How does the Alcohol Content in Borrachitos Vary Among Different Recipes, and What are the Legal Regulations, if Any, Regarding their Sale Due to the Alcohol Content?

  • Variation in Recipes: Some recipes for Borrachitos use a significant amount of alcohol, giving them a noticeable kick, while others use a minimal amount, resulting in a more subtle flavor.
  • Legal Regulations: In some regions, the sale of Borrachitos may be subject to regulations due to their alcohol content. For example, some producers may need to obtain a special license to sell them.
  • Consumer Awareness: Packaging for Borrachitos often clearly indicates the presence of alcohol, allowing consumers to make informed decisions.

Chart: Alcohol Content in Different Borrachitos Recipes

Recipe TypeApproximate Alcohol Content
Traditional5%
Mild2%
Non-Alcoholic0%

Q&A’s on Borrachitos Candy

What are the main flavors of Borrachitos Candy?

Lemon, Pineapple, Strawberry, and Eggnog.

Where can I buy Borrachitos Candy?

They are available in Mexican grocery stores and online stores like My Mexican Candy.

Are Borrachitos alcoholic?

Traditionally, they are wined sweets, but most commercial versions are non-alcoholic.

What are some good substitutions for eggnog extract?

Almond extract is a great alternative.

Can Borrachitos Candy be made dairy-free?

Yes, substitute regular milk with coconut milk.

How should I store my homemade Borrachitos?

In an airtight container at room temperature.

This article was reviewed and published by Ryan Yates, an Executive Chef, Restaurant Manager, Professional Mixologist and Level 1 Sommelier. Ryan has over 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. With multipe degrees from Le Cordon Bleu in Hospitality and Restaurant Management as well as Culinary Arts; Ryan has managed to successfully grow and manage a variety of establishments, from casual dining to Michelin rated restaurants. Ryan uses his diverse experience to provide a comprehensive and knowledgeable guide on all aspects of the food and beverage industry.

Ryan Yates

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