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Top 13 traditional colombian drinks to try when you visit Colombia (1)
If you are visiting Colombia don't forget to try traditional Colombian drinks. We look at 13 popular Colombian drinks you should try while in Colombia.

Top 13 Popular Colombian Drinks to Try When You Visit Colombia

Colombian cuisine is diverse, and there is a wide variety of hot and cold drinks in the country for any occasion. Each Colombian drink has its time of the day. Some accompany breakfast or snacks, while others are typically drunk alone or at night only. The following list of 13 popular Colombian drinks is in alphabetical order.

You will also find soft drinks, juices, and liqueurs in this list. For example, the variety of juices you will find in the country is big because Colombia has the greatest variety of fruits in the world.

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Native fruits or seeds in the country.

You can try all the experiences Colombia offers you: gastronomy, drinks, customs, and, of course, wonderful places to visit. If you want to explore more of the country, you can  download the ProColombia guide “Colombia: A Must-See Destination.” 

Medellin Guru Guides

Download the guide Colombia: a must-see destination from ProColombia with helpful information about Medellín and Colombia.

Aguapanela with cheese, photo by William Neuheisel
Aguapanela with cheese, photo by William Neuheisel

1. Aguapanela

This traditional drink in Colombia is often made in large batches to keep at home. Aguapanela (sugarcane water) is made by dissolving a large piece of panela that comes from sugarcane, which looks like a big block of hard brown sugar.

This is made by mixing about 2.5 parts of hot water with panela melted in a pot. It can be served either hot or cold with some lime juice squeezed in normally.

This drink is usually a good accompaniment for breakfast or dinner.

Aguardiente Antioqueño
Aguardiente Antioqueño

2. Aguardiente

Aguardientes are strong alcoholic beverages that are an anise-flavored liquor derived from sugar cane. Aguardiente in Colombia has 24 to 29 percent alcohol content. This is considered Colombia’s national alcoholic drink.

Flavors can be obtained by adding different amounts of aniseed, leading to extensive marketing and fierce competition between brands in Colombia. Other anise-flavored liqueurs similar to aguardiente, but with a lower alcohol content, are also sold.

In Medellín, the most popular is the Antioqueño brand of aguardiente. The drink is typically enjoyed straight or with a little water. And it is usually taken at celebrations or meetings.

Avena Colombiana
Avena Colombiana

3. Avena Colombiana

This drink is made of oats, milk, water, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Avena is a Colombian drink that some foreigners have called an oat shake.

This traditional Colombian drink has a rich, creamy texture and is often consumed at breakfast. But it can be served any time of the day.

Champús, photo courtesy of Champus Albita
Champús, photo courtesy of Champus Albita

4. Champús

Although the word “champú” literally means shampoo, this drink is much tastier than what you wash your hair with.

Champús is made with various fruits, including pineapple and lulos (also known as naranjilla), dried corn, cinnamon, cloves, panela, and lots of ice.

This is a traditional cold drink from Colombia’s Valle del Cauca department. This is one of the most popular lulo drinks in Colombia, and it is served at family get-togethers, during lunch, and sometimes at Christmas.

Chicha served at the yearly "Fiesta del Huán" in Boyacá, Colombia, photo by Tisquesusa
Chicha served at the yearly "Fiesta del Huán" in Boyacá, Colombia, photo by Tisquesusa

5. Chicha

This fermented drink is traditionally made in a clay pot with corn and pineapple and sweetened with panela (hard brown cane sugar). You can find chicha being sold in the streets.

You will find this Colombian drink in two presentations, with and without alcohol.

A traditional breakfast from Colombia - hot chocolate, cheese (mozzarella), and two kinds of bread, photo by Peter Angritt
A traditional breakfast from Colombia - hot chocolate, cheese (mozzarella), and two kinds of bread, photo by Peter Angritt

6. Chocolate Con Queso

This popular Colombian drink is served for breakfast or for a snack. This hot chocolate drink with queso (cheese) is heavy enough for some to be considered a meal.

Colombians normally take the cheese, put it in a cup of chocolate, and enjoy it once melted. Chocolate con queso is normally accompanied by cheesy bread or arepa.

This is a chocolaty drink but can be combined with cinnamon and sugar, giving it a slight sweetness.

In Medellín, you can find in Las Palmas, many places where they sell this drink while you enjoy the beautiful view of the city.

Remember that if you want to learn more about the customs, traditions, and places to explore in Colombia, we invite you to download the Procolombia Guide: “Colombia: A Must-See Destination.” 

Medellin Guru Guides

Download the guide Colombia: a must-see destination from ProColombia with helpful information about Medellín and Colombia.

One of the most recognized drinks in Colombia is coffee.
One of the most recognized drinks in Colombia is coffee.

7. Colombian Coffee

No list of Colombian drinks would be complete without coffee. It may not be a surprise to many that coffee is one of the largest exports in Colombia. According to the Federación de Cafeteros (Federation of Coffee Growers), between 90 and 95% of Colombian coffee is exported to other countries.

Beware of the tintos that you’ll see people drinking in little plastic cups everywhere, it is pretty terrible. It’s made from the defective beans that aren’t export-worthy.

Instead, look for better quality coffee that you can find in many coffee shops in Medellín. We previously looked at the five best coffee shops in El Poblado and the eight best coffee shops in Laureles.

La Colombiana is the typical soft drink of the country.
La Colombiana is the typical soft drink of the country.

8. Colombian Sodas

Just about every country has its favorite domestic sodas, and Colombia is no different. Unlike the U.S. with Coke and Pepsi, Colombia has one dominant soda brand: Postobón.

This is far and away the most popular soda brand in Colombia, and it is one of the largest beverage companies in South America.

Flavors of Postobón soda include apple, grape, orange, lemon, and pineapple. Also, there is the popular Colombiana soda that has been called a “cola champagne”.

Generally, prominent figures from Colombia have lent their image to advertising campaigns for this drink, some like Juanes, James Rodríguez, and the most recent, Karol G.

Fruits
Fruits

9. Fruit Juices

Due to the region’s abundance of fresh tropical fruits, it is no surprise that juices are a cornerstone of the Colombian diet. In fact, Colombia has around 400 different fruit species, so every day of the year, you could try a different one if you wanted to.

From the local mercado (market) to specialized stands and every restaurant menu, you don’t have to go far to find jugos (fruit juice).

Limonado de Coco
Limonado de Coco

10. Limonada de Coco

This coconut limeade drink is popular on the Atlantic coast of Colombia, including the cities of Barranquilla, Cartagena, and Santa Marta.

Limonada de Coco is a popular and delicious beverage made in a blender with fresh coconut milk, lime juice, ice, and sugar to taste. This drink is also made into popsicles.

If you visit the Atlantic coast of Colombia, you will find limonada de coco being sold in many places.

There is no specific time to drink this; it is always good.

Lulada
Lulada

11. Lulada

This is a cold, refreshing drink from Colombia’s Valle del Cauca department. Lulado is made with mashed lulos, lime juice, water, sugar and ice.

Lulo is one of the many exotic tropical fruits of Colombia. Lulo looks like an orange from the outside and more like a translucent tomato on the inside.

Lulado normally has the consistency of a smoothie and is a perfect combination of sweet and tart. Also, vodka can be added to step it up a notch.

Masato de Arroz
Masato de Arroz

12. Masato de Arroz

This is an ancestral drink of Colombia, especially from the Andean region, which was produced long before the arrival of the Spanish.

Its preparation consists of preparing a syrup, consisting of cloves and cinnamon, to which corn and soft rice are added. Subsequently, the preparation is strained to remove the grains, and it is typically served very cold.

Refajo is a drink that you must try during your visit to Colombia
Refajo is a drink that you must try during your visit to Colombia.

13. Refajo

This is a mixed cocktail made with Colombiana (a soda made with tamarindo) and beer, aguardiente or rum.

This is a bittersweet and refreshing cocktail and it is typically served or ice and it often is garnished with orange or lime wedges.

Medellin Guru's Guide to Colombian Food and Drinks

The Bottom Line: Popular Colombian Drinks to Try When You Visit

The Colombian drinks in this article are some of the most popular drinks that you are likely to encounter in Colombia.

Many of the restaurants in Colombia will have several of these drinks available. So, when you go to a restaurant you will have a choice of Colombian drinks to try. And if you want to try more of Colombia’s cuisine, see our article about 16 traditional Colombian food dishes.

How many of the above Colombian drinks have you tried? And do you see any popular Colombian drinks we missed?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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Editors note: updated on February 13, 2024, with new data on Colombian drinks.

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One thought on “Top 13 Popular Colombian Drinks to Try When You Visit Colombia”

    1. Kevin Ratliff June 20, 2020

      The limonada de coco beverage is just sublime. Very nice, my favorite. I also really like the manzana flavour Postobon soda. It’s great to see some drinks on here that I am not familiar with as well.

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