For the past seven years, Peru has been recognized as the Best Culinary Destination in the world by the World Travel Awards and the recognition not only comes from its food but also the mouth watering alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink this unique country has to offer.
Pisco (sours, chiclanos, macerados)
It is considered a sin to visit Peru and not try Pisco. The national drink is distilled from grapes, incomparable to any other type of alcohol and is present in many peruvian cocktails, its most famous of course being the Pisco Sour. This tangy and sweet lime cocktail is a favorite among locals and visitors, but beware because these potent sours go down very easily! Another favorite is the Chilcano, this delicious drink has a refreshing snap of lime and pisco with the fizz of ginger ale. The basic recipe are these three ingredients, but if you take in consideration the recipes with marinated fruits and herbs, the variations are endless. From flavors such as coca leaf to passionfruit, every Chilcano will taste better than the last.
Potato vodka 14 inkas
Peru is home to over 3, 000 different native potato varieties. Considering that Vodka is made through the distillation of cereal grains or fermented potatoes, it was only a matter of time before a high-quality and unique vodka in the country was produced. The first andean vodka was awarded a gold medal at the 8th New York World Wine & Spirit competition, one of the most respected judging events in the US. The incan urpu, vessel used by the Incas to drink their sacred drink, served as an inspiration for the design of the bottles and the labels are inspired by the geometric designs of the incan weaves: making this peruvian vodka a great spirit to take back home.
Chicha de Jora craft drink
Chicha de Jora, not to be confused with Chicha Morada, has been prepared and consumed by Andean communities for thousands of years. The Incas used the alcoholic drink for religious purposes and in Machu Pichu you can even find mills that were probably made to prepare this beer- like drink. In fact, Chicha de Jora is still made exactly the same way the Incas made it, to this day. Indigenous people have and will continue to drink it for centuries.
Peruvian craft beers
Although Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink, Peruvians are huge beer drinkers. Most locals enjoy the nightlife with a “chela” in hand. You will find the traditional beers: Pilsen, Cusqueña and Cristal, in every corner of the country but craft beers have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and Peru is no exception. Called “cerveza artesanal” (artisan beer) brewers of peruvian craft beers love experimenting with interesting options that make for delicious beers. Flavors such as Coca Beer, passionfruit, coffee, quinoa beer and more. Some of the most famous and best craft beers are Barbarian Beer from Lima, Sierra Andina in Huaraz, Candelaria from Arequipa and Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado from Cusco are all must trys!
Mate de Coca
It’s impossible to visit any peruvian city located in high altitudes without being handed this tea. Coa leaves eliminates fatigue, enhances physical performance and stimulates stomach function, it’s the perfect drink to relieve altitude sickness. Comparable to green tea in flavor, it will give a positive in a drug test so beware.
This delicious and unique beverage is made from purple corn boiled with pineapple, cinnamon, sugar and clove. Consumed by the Incas, this non-alcoholic drink boast the wonderful health benefit of reducing your blood pressure. Sweet and unique try this drink that only exists in Peru and become a fan.
Arguably the most famous drink on the list Inka Kola is a brand of soda adored by Peruvians and foreigners alike. This intensely yellow and very sweet drink was created in 1910 by the Lindley family. The soda is such a national icon most people leave the country with an Inka Kola brand t-shirt. Carbonated beverage competitors don’t even come close to taking its place as a favorite among peruvians. One of the best ways we recommend having it is with a Chifa (chinese-peruvian fusion) dinner just like the locals.
Sold by street vendors in most peruvian city corners, especially during the winter, this warm bevearage is made from barley, flaxseeds, alfalfa seeds and other peruvian medicinal leaves. Touted as having medicinal properties, this sweet and fruity drink is tasty and good for you. Add some minerals and vitamins for your body with this one of a kind drink.
Delicious arabica coffee grows perfectly in altitude so it’s no surprise that Peruvian coffee has been selected among the best in the world, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Small Producers Symbol (SPP). It’s the second-highest exporter of fair trade coffee and the amount of organic coffee available is exciting. Start every day with a delicious brew in the many coffee shops Peru has to offer.