Colombian Popular Beverages

Thanks to the variety of regions and cultures that characterize Colombia, there is an amazing and diverse offer of typical beverages, with or without alcohol, that you can easily find almost everywhere in the country.

So if you come to visit this wonderful place, you have to try some of these delicious (and sometimes weird) drinks.

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Coffee

This won’t surprise you given that Colombia is known worldwide for producing the sweetest coffee in the world, besides being one of the main exporters. Here you can have tinto (black coffee), latte and other varieties, at every time of the day.

Although, if you want to enjoy the taste of a quality grain, we recommend you to visit specialized coffee shops. In many places, mostly in the street sellers, they buy cheap coffee and the flavor might disappoint you. 

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Chocolate

Chocolate is a beverage that almost every Colombian love and drink, mainly during breakfast or in the middle afternoon, along with typical snacks like tamales, yucca breads, buñuelos or almohábanas. 

You will find it in every cafeteria and it’s made with a chocolate tablets found in supermarkets and stores.

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Aguapanela

“Agua de panela” (or water with panela), known for its abbreviation “aguapanela”, is a very sweet beverage that is taken hot or cold, depending on where you’re.

It’s prepared with panela, the first derivative of sugar cane before it begins the process for turning into sugar. The panela is melted in the water and, in many occasions, people add lemon to flavor it.

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Lulada

Lulada is a traditional beverage from the Cauca Department. It’s prepared with lulo, a very common fruit in the region and found everywhere in Colombia, lemon and sugar.

What makes it different from normal juices is that during the preparation the fruit is knead with bared hands and entirely mixed with the other ingredients. Nowadays you can find some variations of lulada, mixed with alcohol in delicious cocktails. 

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Champús

Although you may find it in different places of the country, it’s traditional from the Cauca Valley and you will find it everywhere in Cali.

It’s made of corn, panela, lulo, pinapple, cinammon, clove and bitter orange leafs. They serve it cold with pan de bono or empanadas.

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Aguardiente

Aguardiente is something like Colombia’s national drink. People take it pure or mixed in cocktails and it’s the most common liquor for the parties, no matter the occasion.

Colombian aguardiente it’s made of sugar cane distil and anis, so it has a very strong and particular flavor. The first time you try it might not be your favorite, but don’t be surprised if you end up drinking more often that you expected.

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Canelazo

Canelazo is a hot beverage, with alcohol, found in many countries of South America. Each one has its one way to prepare it and, in Colombia, the main ingredients are aguardiente, aguapanela and cinnamon.

The most common way of serving it is in a little jar or, with the edges wet with lemon and then covered with white sugar.

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Chirrinchi

Although you may find other alcoholic beverages under the name of chirinchi in Colombia, the real one is a traditional drink made by the Wayuu indigenous communities of La Guajira.

For preparing it, they distil sugar cane in copper handcraft stills and flavor it with some spices. According to the tradition, it can only be done by men.

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Chicha

As in many other countries of Latin América, Colombia also has its traditional corn beverage: chicha. It’s made with fermented corn and honey or sugar, and served cold.

Many years ago this traditional drink was forbidden by the government, but nowadays its consumption it’s increasing and, if you happen to be in Bogotá, you can enjoy a delicious chichi in one of the cozy "chicherías" of La Candelaria.

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=> Check out our section Colombian Popular Dishes
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