Typical Colombian Drinks



AGUAPANELA: Made by dissolving a block of sugarcane into water and adding lime juice, aguapanela is a common refreshment in Colombia and neighbouring countries. It is normally made in the home in large batches. (We imagine because of all the stirring it takes to dissolve the sugar cane).

AGUADIENTE: While each South American country has their own Aguardiente, Colombia might be the country that consumes the most. There are fierce rivalries between the producers of each region, and Colombians are proud of their national liqueur. It is derived from sugarcane and contains the aniseed flavours. It has 29% alcohol content, although you can find aniseed flavoured liqueurs with less alcohol as well. It is consumed more inland, as Colombians living on the coast generally prefer rum.

BOGADERA: Aguapanela with cinnamon and lemon. Similar to Canelazo (below) but with lemon.

CANELAZO: Alcoholic drink. Aguardientes will be mixed with either Aguapanela and cinnamon (canela in Spanish). Sometimes you can find it with fresh fruit juices instead of Aguapanela.

CHAMPÚS: It is made with maize and a mixture of fruits and then seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and orange trees leaves. It is reserved almost exclusively for the Christmas season. It is also drunk in Peru and Ecuador.

CHAQUETA: Coffee with aguapanela. Chaqueta literally means jacket in Spanish, probably because they keep you warm inside.

CHICHA: This is a typical drink from the indigenous people of the South American Andes. Most of the time it is made from fermented maize, sometimes from fruit. Just keep in mind that in some cultures instead of the germination of the maize, the maize will be ground and chewed in the mouth of the chicha maker instead.

COFFEE: Colombian coffee is famous all around the world. Unfortunately most of the high quality coffee will be exported and some people say that the coffee you find in Colombia is not of such a high quality.

COLOMBIANA: Soda drink of tamarindo.

FRUIT JUICES: You can find excellent fruit juices all over Colombia. Especially in hot regions or the coastal areas the fruit juices will often be mixed with sugar, milk or water.

GUARAPO: Is very similar to chicha. It is probably one of the oldest Indian drinks made of fermented pineapple or other fruit like grapes. The juice of raw sugar cane is also called Guarapo.

LULADA: Is a special drink served in Cali. It is made of the pulp of the local fruit lulo mixed together with water, sugar and ice cubes. It also can be served with a shot of Vodka.

REFAJO: It is a mix of Colombiana with either beer or rum.

RUM: The Colombian rum is high quality and is likely to be drunk at night clubs. Unlike in Europe or North America, where you can order a single drink mixed with rum, here it is generally served as an entire bottle. Everyone at your table is welcome to join in with a bit of ice and lime.

SALPICÓN: Mixed chopped up fruit with either soda or orange juice.

TINTO: When they ask you if you would like a "tinto" don't always expect a glass of red wine. In Colombia it is the name for a small black coffee.

You might want to check out our Typical Colombian Food Page.

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Last Updated: 11 June 2014
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Recommended Books:

The Taste of Colombia
With 133 recipes this book is a complete tour of Colombian cuisine through the diverse regions of Colombia.