Colombia is a country with a variety of libations to suit all palates. Whether you are craving something like alcohol or soft drinks, chances are high that there is a Colombian beverage for the job. Here are but a few drinks known throughout the region, often as festival fare.
What? This is a fruity corn drink made out of lulo, known as naranjilla outside of Columbia. This is a common drink served during family gatherings or lunch but also sometimes shows up on Christmas.
How does it taste? The corn flavor is bolstered by that of cinnamon, orange tree leaf, and cane sugar.
What? This is the national drink of Columbia whose name literally means “burning water.” As an alcoholic drink, you can find it sold in a variety of ways in any venue that offers liquor.
How does it taste? Beyond the obvious alcohol component, this drink is usually paired with lime or cinnamon. While it is normally imbibed at room temperature, it is usually heated up in the colder parts of the country.
What? “Cane sugar water” is an incredibly common drink found throughout the nation. This comestible is frequently taken as a substitute for coffee in Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru.
How does it taste? Since panela is sugar cane, it has an understandably sweet flavor, often enhanced with a bit of lemon. There is also an alcoholic version of agua panela known as “canelazo.”
What? This is a recreational drink that you consume when you want to chill out and relax for a while. It has also been credited as a medicinal elixir suitable for coping with stomach pain, snake bites and even applications as an aphrodisiac.
How does it taste? If you have ever had rum before, you will recognize the flavor profile of viche.
What? This would be Columbia’s response to eggnog and frequently substitutes aguardiente for the rum component to make it more Columbian.
How does it taste? It tastes like eggnog. You have a creamy texture thanks to the milk and egg yolk and usually, garnish it with a dusting of cinnamon before serving.
What? This is hot chocolate with a slight twist, most often had during breakfast hours.
How does it taste? This is hot milk chocolate augmented with the taste of cinnamon and sugar.
Masato de Arroz
What? This is a fermented rice drink made with sugar, cloves, and water. Some versions also add all-purpose flour. As Arroz is the Spanish word for rice, rice is the only essential ingredient.
How does it taste? Beyond the taste of its ingredients, this drink is served chilled or cold, with a dash of cinnamon added at the last moment.
What? This is a corn drink that incorporates pineapple and some form of sugar, usually panela. Chicha is so widely enjoyed that you can easily find street vendors offering it.
How does it taste? The corn and pineapple complement each other wonderfully and it is not uncommon to add a cinnamon stick while drinking.