If you are traveling through Colombia, you are in for quite a treat whenever you happen to get thirsty. This country has a wide variety of traditional drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Here’s 10 must-try drinks!
5 Non-alcoholic Colombian drinks
Who can think of Colombia without thinking of coffee? Even if you generally pass on a cup of joe, you should really try a couple sips of the incredibly high-quality coffee harvested and manufactured in Colombia. Note: black coffee is often referred to as tinto in Colombia, not to be confused with red wine!
A traditional drink that is often made in large batches to keep at the house. It is made by dissolving a large chunk of sugarcane into water with some lime juice squeezed in.
3. Avena Colombiana
Avena means oats, which is what this drink is made of. It also contains milk, water, cinnamon, cloves and sugar. It’s a traditional drink with a rich, creamy texture that is often consumed at breakfast but can be served at any time of the day.
Although this word literally means shampoo, the beverage is significantly tastier than the stuff you wash your hair with. It is made with a mixture of fruits and maize and then seasoned with orange tree leaves, cinnamon, and cloves. This drink is extremely popular around Christmas.
This drink is made from the pulp of a lulo fruit, which is then mixed with sugar, water, and ice. If you want to step it up a notch, this juice tastes great with a shot of vodka.
5 Alcoholic drinks from Colombia
Although this drink is not exclusive to Colombia, Colombians are certainly the most competitive when it comes to the production of their national drink. It is made from sugarcane and anise seed licorice flavor) and has a reasonable 29% alcohol content. Each region has its own specialty aguardiente – try to taste them all!
A drink made with aguardiente mixed with aguapanela and cinnamon. The virgin version usually substitutes fruit juices for the aguardiente.
A mixed drink made with Colombiana (a soda drink made with tamarindo) and either beer or rum.
Make sure you learn the Spanish word for rum, ron, because you will surely want to sample some of Colombia’s best. While you might consider Puerto Rico the land of rum, Colombia certainly gives them a run for their money. At clubs, rum is often sold by the bottle to drink straight, or possibly with some soda and a lime.
10. Colombian Hot Chocolate
Colombian hot chocolate is prepared with panela (dried cane juice), and sometimes cinnamon and cloves. In some regions, such as Bogotá, this drink is served with cheese, which you are encouraged to plop right into the drink so you can eat it like soup. If the cheese is too much for you, you can always just have chocolate con leche de coco, hot chocolate with coconut milk.
I recommend you check out the ebook Quick Guide to Colombian Spanish to learn more vocabulary.
And finally, I would like to thank Natalia Vargas (on Twitter at @MrsVargas45) for sharing information on her native country, Colombia. Much of the information she provided is the basis for this post as well as future posts that will be appearing about Colombia. THANK YOU Natalia!
This is far from a complete list of Colombian drinks, but these will certainly give you a good taste of the country! Do you know of any other great Colombian drinks?
Check out these other Colombia Culture articles.