Costa Rica is well-known for its diverse biodiversity. Here are the most popular drinks in Costa Rica (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Make sure to try them all the next time you go, and let us know what your favourite Costa Rican drinks are.
26 Popular Drinks to Try Out in Costa Rica
Coffee is by far the most popular beverage in Costa Rica. Not only that but coffee from this region is widely regarded as among the best in the world. There are eight coffee regions, each with its distinct flavour, and all coffee beans are hand-picked.
Coffee is typically consumed in the morning with breakfast and in the afternoon, either alone or with a piece of pastry, bread, or cake.
Costa Rica’s national drink, the name is trademarked to be associated with Peru, similar to pisco in Peru. It’s a clear sugar cane alcohol, similar to aguardiente in Colombia. It belongs to the same family as rum, but it is not as mature. It tastes like a young vodka.
3. Agua Dulce
This is a hot drink made with boiling water and a piece of tapa de dulce, a brown solid natural sweetener made from sugar cane juice. Some people drink it with just water, while others mix equal parts boiling water and boiling milk. Its distinct flavour is delectable, and you must try it at least once!
4. Guaro Sour
Guaro sour is a popular way to drink guaro. It’s a simple but strong cocktail recipe with two shots of water, lime juice, sugar, and club soda, similar to a whisky sour.
5. Coconut Water
Palm trees are abundant on Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts, so there is no shortage of high-quality, fresh coconut water. Both locals and tourists enjoy drinking it straight from the coconut. It’s sweet, healthy, and extremely refreshing.
6. Spicy Shot of Chiliguaro
You can’t go very far without coming across a chiliguaro shot. It’s one of the most basic Costa Rican drinks, consisting of just guaro, tomato juice, hot sauce, and lime juice. It tastes similar to a bloody mary or a Caesar drink.
7. Natural Juices/Fruit Shakes
Costa Rica is blessed with a plethora of tropical fruits that are not only delicious to eat but also to drink. They are widely available across the country, blended with water and ice, or in the form of a shake with milk. Cas (an acidic fruit with a potent unique flavour), mango, pineapple, blackberry, and soursop are some of the most common flavours.
8. Colada Fresca
Many Costa Rican drinks are variations on classics that use guaro instead of sugar. The coloada fresca recipe is similar to that of a pia colada. Instead of rum, the cocktail is made with guaro and spiced honey syrup, as well as coconut and pineapple.
Resbaladera is a traditional creamy rice-based drink with a distinctively rich flavour. Rice is cooked with water and cinnamon and then blended with sugar, barley, milk, and peanuts after it cools. It is served cold with ice and is commonly consumed as an accompaniment to lunch or dinner.
Another guaro beverage! This time, it’s blended with coconut water, unsweetened condensed milk, and fruit juice on occasion. It’s popular at beach bars and can be served shaken or frozen in a blender.
11. Leche Dormida
This drink’s unusual name stems from how it is made. It is a traditional Guanacaste drink with very simple ingredients: whole milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. All of the ingredients are combined until a homogeneous liquid is formed, and it is then allowed to rest for at least an hour.
This is how the drink gets its name: the milk “sleeps” and curdles. Leche dormida must then be consumed immediately because its flavour is at its peak immediately after blending.
12. Pura Vida
Pura vida is Costa Rica’s national philosophy. While it translates directly to “pure life,” it’s used similarly to “aloha” – to greet someone, say goodbye, or simply send someone good thoughts. This drink is similar to a rum punch in the Caribbean, but the recipe is a little sloppy and dangerous. It may contain triple sec, grenadine, or lime juice in addition to guaro, orange, and pineapple juice.
The common thread is that everything is deliciously fruity and strong!
13. Pineapple with Rice
This drink contains not only the luscious pineapple pulp, but also the peel. The procedure is straightforward. The pineapple is peeled and washed before being cooked in water with cloves, sugar, and rice, until the rice is fully cooked. It is blended with a few pieces of pineapple pulp and ice after it has cooled.
14. Coco Loco
You’ll need a sharp machete to make it, as serving it in a green coconut is essential. Guaro should be combined with coconut milk, fruit juice, and any other flavours. The addition of coconut distinguishes the Pura Vida cocktail from the Coco Loco.
15. Agua de Sapo
Agua de sapo is a refreshing cold drink native to Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Tapa de dulce, water, ginger, and lemon juice are used to make it. All of the ingredients are boiled together, then set aside to cool before being served over ice. Ginger adds a spicy but delectable twist; don’t miss out on trying it!
16. Costa Rican Craft Beer
Costa Rican drinks are delicious, but did you know the country has a thriving beer scene?
There are also dozens of craft breweries in Costa Rica. They make interesting and enjoyable beer. Craft beer is easy to find in Costa Rica, as it is sold in many restaurants, grocery stores, and even convenience stores.
17. Vino de Nance
Vino de nance is a traditional alcoholic drink made from the fruit nance. Nance is pulpy, yellow, and quite sweet and sour all at the same time. It has a strong smell and, once fermented, produces an alcohol that is very pleasant to the palate. Guaro is commonly used to enhance the strong and distinct flavour of vino de nance.
18. Vino de Coyol – Coyol Wine
Chicha de coyol is another name for it. This Costa Rican drink is similar to moonshine and is mostly found in the country’s rural areas.
It is a spirit made from the fermented sap of the coyal palm that originated in southern Mexico but is most commonly associated with Costa Rica.
Chinchiv is a fermented beverage made from granulated barley, flour, cornstarch, sugar, yeast, pure vanilla extract, and cinnamon powder. Although it is not alcoholic, it is a sweet and sparkling drink with a hint of fermentation. It is served very cold and is popular among Costa Ricans between January and February, near a popular religious holiday.
Eggnog is a traditional holiday drink that should not be missed. This drink has a cosy feel thanks to the perfectly balanced combination of milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and rum. The amount of rum always depends on who makes it; either a touch or something more generous.
21. Imperial Beer
Beer is widely consumed throughout the world, including in Costa Rica. The eagle on the bottle identifies Imperial as a Costa Rican beer. It is one of the best-selling beers and is always available.
22. Leche de Burra
Leche de burra is a milk and sugar-based punch similar to eggnog. Condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut syrup, and guaro are used to make this sweet alcoholic drink.
23. Jugo de tamarindo
This sweet and refreshing juice is made from tamarind, a tree that produces bean-like pods encapsulated in a fibrous pulp and filled with seeds. When the fruit is ripe, the juicy pulp becomes paste-like and has a sweet-sour flavour. The paste is extracted from the pods and boiled in water with sugar. The juice is chilled after the mixture has been strained to remove the seeds and fibres.
Chan is made from the seeds of a plant in the mint family that has been combined with rosemary, thyme, and lavender. When submerged in water, the black seeds expand and form a gelatinous coating, similar to chia seeds. If you are allergic to bubble tea or tapioca, this drink is probably not for you.
Chan is usually sweetened with sugar or honey, but it has a light minty flavour on its own.
The fermented beverage chicha is commonly consumed by people from indigenous communities in Costa Rica. Chicha, a cheap alcoholic beverage with a flavour similar to beer, is most frequently made in Costa Rica with rice, corn, or pineapple.
Try horchata if you like a creamy beverage. The thick rice shake-like beverage is white and milk-like and has a strong but enticing cinnamon flavour and scent. Horchata is a popular drink among Costa Ricans and is available to order at most eateries in the nation.
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