Having lived in and traveled to many different cities and regions of Colombia has given me the chance to sample a good portion of the most traditional Colombian drinks. In this post, I am going to highlight a few of my favorite Colombian drinks.
Although many Colombians would classify mazamorra as something other than a drink, paisas (Colombians from Antioquia and the Coffee Zone) are very adamant that it is a drink. So, what is it exactly and why do I like it? Mazamorra is a traditional cold drink from Antioquia and the Coffee Zone that is made with white or yellow corn kernels that have been crushed with a mortar and pestle, soaked in water and then cooked until soft. Once cooked, the corn mixture is served with milk and panela (unrefined cane sugar) in bits or pulverized. Normally, the “eater” will add milk and panela to his or her liking.
Limonada de coco (Coconut Lemonade)
Another one of my favorite drinks is limonada de coco. Limonada de coco is a very traditional drink on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. It made by mixing a coconut milk base with lime juice and a bit a sugar. It is a very creamy, sometimes frothy, drink that is perfect for refreshing on a scorching hot day.
Cajicá Honey Ale (Bogotá Beer Company)
No, this is not the type of drink you’d typically see listed as “traditional,” but it is Colombian and I do love it. If you like artisanal beer, you’d better check out the incredible collection of Bogotá Beer Company (BBC) artisanal beers. My favorite is the Cajicá Honey Ale. It´s a deliciously smooth, slightly sweet beer, perfect with almost any meal or just to have over a good conversation. While there are many national and a growing number of artisanal beers in Colombia, BBC Cajicá Honey Ale will always be my go to beer, especially now that it’s being sold in supermarkets and restaurants nationwide–meaning you no longer have to go to Bogotá to experience this fantastic beverage.
Another one of my favorite Colombian drinks is lulada. Lulada is a fruit based drink made with lulo, a brightly colored and common acidic fruit in Colombia. Lulada is traditionally from the city of Cali, but is occasionally found in other parts of the country. To make lulada, you squeeze the pulp out of the lulo, put it in water, add some sugar, and let it sit for ~12 hours. Once the water has taken on enough of the lulo, you simply stir the bits around and serve chilled. The pulp is never juiced or strained, which is what makes this drink different from a typical juice. If you like acidic fruits, you should definitely seek out lulada.
Guarapo is a drink found all over Colombia, but drunken more frequently in hotter areas of the country. Guarapo is a refreshing cold drink made from mixing water, panela (unrefined cane sugar) and lime juice. If in Bogotá, you’ll sometimes simply see “agua de panela con limón” on menus rather than guarapo, but it’s the same thing!
While I’ve mentioned a few of my favorite Colombian drinks, there are so many more delicious, refreshing, and curious drinks for you to discover in Colombia. So, what are you waiting for? Come on down and get your drink on!
Until next time,
Paige M. Poole,
About the author:
“Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige’s traveling experiences in her personal blog www.trotamunda.wordpress.com
- Regional Foods in Colombia (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- The Colombian breakfast (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Colombian Desserts and Sweets (www.uncovercolombia.com)