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5 Refreshments to Drink When Traveling in Latin America

by Cynthia Lopez

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 12:00 AM.

Traveling to Latin America this summer? Read this blog post and you'll learning about some of the most popular summer refreshments in Latin America, as well as how to order them.

The weather is getting warmer and if you’re going on some trips to Latin America this summer then you’re going to need to know what to drink. Of course there are a variety of alcoholic drinks available in Latin America and you are probably already familiar with them. But for those times when you need to have something without alcohol, try some of these delicious refreshments.

This beverage is very popular throughout Latin America and Spain. The taste of horchata varies from country to country, but for the most part it’s made of white rice, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Horchata tastes sort of like sweet rice milk. In Spanish, the h isn't pronounced, so when you order it make sure you don't pronouce the h. Horchata is one of the most popular beverages in latin America, so if you haven't already tried it already, try it soon!

This drink is an aqua fresca, which means fresh water, it's also called agua de flor de jamaica or agua de jamaicaAgua means waterde means of; and flor means flower. But you can simply call it jamaica. In Spanish, the j sound is like the sound of an English h, so when ordering this drink pronouce it ha-mai-caJamaica is made from a flower called hibiscus, and sugar. Jamaica is typically served chilled. It's a very popular beverage in Mexico, Central America, some parts of South America and the Caribbean. Jamaica is also known to have health benefits, such as lowering high blood pressure. 

Tamarindo is popular throughout South America and Mexico. It's made of tamarind, which is a tangy legume. Like jamaica, tamarindo is also an agua fresca and some people also call it agua de tamarindoTamarindo has a multitude of flavors; it's earthy, tangy, and quite sweet. It can be a bit of an aquired taste, but don't let that stop you from trying it.

Yerba mate
This is a very herby tea, that many people from South America love to drink. Yerba mate is a tea, so it can be served hot, but it's also served cold. In Spanish yerba means herb. Many people believe that drinking yerba mate when it's served cold is healthier than drinking it when served hot. Cold yerba mate is called tereré. Sugar is added to tereré to give it a sweet taste. Tereré is popular in Paraguay, Brazil and Northeast Argentina. 

Chicha morada
In Spanish the color purple is morado; morada means purple. Since morada is an adjective it must be modified to agree with chicha, which is feminine. Chicha is a drink made of corn beer as well as grapes and apples. Chicha morada is the only drink on this list that does sometimes contain a bit of alcohol (there are some non-alcoholic versions of chicha morada out there). In El Salvador, there is a popular non-alcoholic version of chicha, it's called fresco de chicha, chicha soft drink. Chicha morada is the beverage of choice for many people in Central and South America. 

Useful phrases to use when ordering drinks in Latin America:

  • Quiero un/a (agua de tamarindo), por favor. = I want a (tamarindo), please.
  • ¿Cuantó cuesta (la horchata)? = How much is (the horchata)?
  • Quiero otro/a, por favor. = I want another one.
  • Una más, por favor. = One more, please.
  • ¡Me gusta! = I like it
  • ¡No me gusta! = I don't like it. 

Hope you've enjoyed reading this blog post! Let me know if you've tired any of these! ¡Gracias y hasta luego!

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