Keeping it simple

7 Traditional Colombian Drinks to Try When You Visit

Colombian culture is rich in flavorful beverages that reflect the country’s diverse regions and traditions. From refreshing fruit juices to unique coffee preparations, here are seven traditional Colombian drinks you must try when you visit this vibrant country.

1. Aguapanela

What is it? Aguapanela is a comforting drink made from panela, a type of unrefined whole cane sugar. The sugar is dissolved in hot water, often flavored with a hint of lime or cinnamon.

Why try it? This sweet and warming beverage is popular throughout Colombia, especially in the colder regions of the Andes mountains. It’s a great way to experience a traditional Colombian drink with a touch of local flair.

2. Lulada

What is it? Lulada is a refreshing drink from the Valle del Cauca region, made with lulo fruit, lime juice, water, and sugar. Lulo is a tropical fruit with a tangy flavor reminiscent of a combination of lime and pineapple.

Why try it? Lulada is perfect for hot days, offering a zesty and revitalizing taste that captures the essence of Colombia’s tropical climate.

3. Chicha

What is it? Chicha is a fermented corn-based drink that has been consumed for centuries by indigenous communities in Colombia. It can be found in various forms across the country, with regional variations in ingredients and preparation methods.

Why try it? Sampling chicha provides a glimpse into Colombia’s pre-Columbian culinary heritage and the traditions of its indigenous peoples.

4. Avena

What is it? Avena is a creamy oatmeal-based drink sweetened with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes condensed milk. It’s often served cold and is popular for breakfast or as a refreshing snack.

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Why try it? Avena offers a comforting and nourishing experience, ideal for those looking to start their day with a traditional Colombian treat.

5. Café Tinto

What is it? Café Tinto is Colombia’s classic black coffee, known for its bold flavor and rich aroma. It’s typically served in small cups and enjoyed throughout the day, either black or with a touch of sugar.

Why try it? Colombia is renowned for its high-quality coffee beans, and tasting a cup of Café Tinto allows you to savor the country’s coffee culture at its finest.

6. Refajo

What is it? Refajo is a popular Colombian cocktail made by mixing equal parts of beer and Colombiana soda, a local soft drink with a fruity flavor.

Why try it? This refreshing and mildly sweet beverage is a favorite among locals during social gatherings and celebrations, offering a unique taste that’s both familiar and distinctive.

7. Cholado

What is it? Cholado is a delightful dessert drink originating from the city of Cali. It consists of shaved ice topped with a variety of fruits like mango, banana, and pineapple, along with condensed milk, fruit syrups, and sometimes pieces of cookies or candies.

Why try it? Cholado is a colorful and indulgent treat that captures the tropical flavors of Colombia in every spoonful, making it a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Exploring Colombia’s traditional drinks is not just about satisfying your thirst but also immersing yourself in the country’s vibrant culinary heritage. Whether you prefer something sweet, tangy, or caffeinated, these beverages offer a taste of Colombia’s diverse flavors and cultural richness. So, when you visit Colombia, be sure to sip your way through these seven iconic drinks for a truly authentic experience. Cheers!

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