From Pisco Sour to soft drinks to medicinal tea, this drinks guide has you covered for your stay in Peru. Here is a guide through the variety of beverages popularly consumed in Peru for you to gulp down as well on your visit there.
12 Drinks You Should Not Miss When In Peru
1. Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour is known to be the national drink of Peru. This drink has its own holiday as well, National Pisco Sour Day. Peruvian Pisco is used as its base liquor. Lime juice, syrup, egg white, ice, and Angostura bitters are then added. The balance between the sharp citrus lime juice and the sweetness of the sugar syrup makes drinking it smooth.
Like Pisco Sour, Chilcano uses Pisco as the base as well. The classic Chilcano uses Pisco with lime juice, ice, ginger ale, and Angostura bitters. Variations can be made using exotic fruit juices like passion fruit or lucuma. The Chilcano has its own week-long festival and might not be as popular as Pisco Sour but is definitely a refreshing and lighter option.
3. Chicha de Jora
Chicha de jora is a traditional drink from the Inca times. It is basically beer made of Jora corn. Jora corn is a yellow type of corn from the Andes. Its distinctive feature is its thick foam. Traditionally, the first portion of the beer is spilled on the ground while saying “Pachamama, Santa Tierra” as an offering to “Earth Mother”. It has a slightly sweet taste in the beginning and ends with a sour taste like that of a bitter apple cider.
4. Chicha de Frutilla
Chicha de Frutilla is the sweeter version of Chicha de Jora. To make this drink, sugar and strawberries are blended with the Chicha de Jora. It has an unfamiliar pink colour and the strawberries coat the sourness of Chicha de Jora. Frutillada can be found in restaurants in the Andes. It is served in huge glasses that will require you to hold the glass in both hands.
5. Chicha Morada
Chicha Morada is a unique drink that is made using purple corn. Purple corn has various health benefits which include reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. This is a non-alcoholic drink that is made by boiling the purple corn with pineapple skin, sugar, and cinnamon, cloves. It is a sweet drink with a deep purple colour.
6. Inca Kola
Inca Kola is a popular soft drink in Peru. It is fluorescent yellow in colour and is super sweet. It is a soda that tastes like bubble gum. This drink is marketed as the “Pride of Peru” and it is everywhere. It is the recommended drink to complement quite a few Peruvian dishes.
7. Kola Inglesa
Kola Inglesa is another soft drink. It has a strawberry-cherry flavour and is a bright red colour. Like Inka Kola, it is very sweet and popular with Peruvians. It is available in various sizes.
Cremolada is something between an ice cream and a fruit drink. It is like a slush but made with lots of fresh fruit pulp, sugar, and water. Usually, it is served in a plastic beaker and is eaten with a spoon and sipped. Cremoladas are a popular and refreshing drink during hot summer days.
9. Mate de Coca
This drink is an herbal tea made from the leaves of a coca plant. Mate de Coca is used for the treatment of altitude sickness. On your way to Machu Picchu, this tea will help you adapt to the high altitude. However, this tea is controversial. The leaves of this contain alkaloids, which when extracted chemically are the source for cocaine. Though the number of coca alkaloids in the leaves is small, one cup of coca tea can cause a positive result on a cocaine drug test. It tastes like green tea and is easy to drink.
Emoliente is the most unique drink you will find. It is sold at street corners by vendors and is popular in the cold season. The base is a mixture of herbs that raise the belief that it has healing and medicinal properties. The taste is a bit strange like drinking a hot, fruity, slimy and semi-sparkly beverage. However, if you are unwell and are seeking a natural remedy, give this one a try.
11. Peruvian Beers
Beer can be considered as the favourite drink of Peruvians. There are three major brands to choose from which are- Cusquena, Cristal and Pilsen Callao. If you prefer a light beer, then the Cusqueña Premium is the right choice. If you want to try something different, then go for one of the other Cusqueña beers, such as the dark black beer. Cristal is the most popular lager among many Peruvians. It can be compared to the Mexican Corona. Pilsen Callao is the oldest beer in Peru.
12. Algarrobina Cocktail
This cocktail is like eggnog but instead of rum, the drink uses Pisco and in place of fresh milk and cream, it uses sweetened condensed milk. It is not Christmas in Peru without cocktail de algarrobina. The main defining ingredient of this drink is the legume, algarrobina.