Cebadina is carbonated red drink common on the streets of León in the (Free and Sovereign) State of Guanajuato in central Mexico. 

Cebadinas del Centro,
Portal Guerrero 17
37000 León, Guanajuato

It is a refreshing drink in hot weather. It is taken cold and is often used as a digestive beverage due to the inclusion of baking soda and is regularly consumed as a hangover cure. Although the word cebadina is derived from cebada (barley) this drink is not made with barley. It may have originally been made with barley water but this no longer seems to be the case. The drink now could probably be called Cebadina de Tepache. Commonly it is a cross between tepache (1) and the agua frescas flor de Jamaica and tamarindo. Recipes often call for the inclusion of pineapple vinegar.

  1. a lighlty fermented drink made from pineapple (usually the peels)

This recipe calls for you to make your own tepache as a base for the drink and takes about 5 days to complete. The drink has a tart, sweet, refreshing flavour.


  • 1 pineapple
  • 4 litres of boiled water
  • 2 cones of Piloncillo (about 200g)
  • 400g fresh tamarind
  • 100g flor de Jamaica


  1. Wash the pineapple, remove the crown and the base. With a knife peel off the pineapple skin leaving some pulp attached.
  2. Soak the pineapple rind together with the 4 litres of water and the piloncillo. After about 4 days you will know that it is ready when you can see on the surface of the liquid a creamy skin develops and bubbles begin to appear. This may take longer in cool weather.
  3. Peel the tamarind and soak the pulp in a litre of water in a pan. Put on the stove and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove the seeds and blend the liquid smooth. Strain to remove any stringy pulp.
  4. Place the Jamaica flower in a litre of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and strain out the flowers
  5. In a 6 litre container place the fermented pineapple (4L), the tamarind (1L), and the Jamaica (1L). Place in the fridge and allow to rest for 3-4 days

To serve

Pour over ice in a tall glass. Only fill the glass ¾ full. Just before serving stir in a teaspoon of baking soda (1), the drink will foam up. Drink immediately.

  1. sodium bicarbonate

Medicinal effects of Baking Soda.

Baking soda has long been used as a quick acting antacid to treat heartburn and indigestion and its alkalising properties can be used to make urine less acidic in cases of urinary tract irritation. It should however only be used as a temporary remedy in these cases as these symptoms may indicate a deeper pathology (i.e. peptic ulcer or GERD) which may require medical intervention

Studies (1) have shown that sodium bicarbonate can prevent (or at least ameliorate) the inhibitory effects of phytic acid found in various grains which can prevent the absorption of essential nutrients such as iron, calcium and zinc.
It has been reported that due to the sodium content of baking soda that it may affect hypertension. Studies indicate that consumption of water enriched with sodium bicarbonate (32.5 mmol/l of HCO3 in amount of 1.5 litres over a period of 4 weeks) in conjunction with a low-salt diet had no effect on blood pressure in healthy individuals and that the consumption of 2094.4 mg/l of sodium bicarbonate in 1 litre per day for 2 months can reduce heart disease index.
Consumption of one litre of water with a concentration of 48 mmol and 35 mmol over a period of 2 months caused decreased LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol and blood pressure compared to the control group. This study showed that sodium bicarbonate consumption reduces the risk of cardiac diseases in young men and women. It was also noted that consumption of sodium bicarbonate by patients with gastrointestinal cancer resulted in reduced nausea and diarrhoea caused by chemotherapy treatments.

Sodium bicarbonate should be taken at least 2 hour apart from other medications as it lowers the stomach acid which may slow the rate at which other medications are absorbed.

  1. Yadolah Fakhri, Nazak Amanidaz, Yahya Zandsalimi, Maryam Dadar, Ali Moradi ,Bigard Moradi, Leila Rasouli Amirhajeloo, Hassan Keramati, Athena Rafieepour : Association between sodium bicarbonate consumption and human health: A systematic review : International Journal of Medical Research &Health Sciences, 2016, 5, 8:22-29 22 : ISSN No: 2319-5886

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s