The 7 Peruvian Drinks You Can't Miss on Your Trip

pisco-sour.jpg

Just as Peru is a land of diverse and delicious cuisines, the country also boasts a wide variety of characteristic beverages for you to try during your trip. From the official national cocktail, to ancient indigenous concoctions, to burgeoning craft beer scenes in Lima and Cusco, there are tons of Peruvian drinks that might tickle your fancy.

If you're headed to Machu Picchu or even trekking the Inca Trail, you may or may not pass through Lima on the way. Surely, though, you'll be spending some time in Cusco. One of the country's most vibrant cities, Cusco combines a degree of urban sophistication with the most traditional aspects of Andean highland culture. What this means is that not only is it home to some of the best places to eat in Peru, but you're also sure to find every drink on our list within the city, and so, if you want, you'll have the opportunity to try them all.

Though covered in another article, we're going to give an honorary #1 spot to Inca Kola, Peru's iconic soft drink. Now that that's out of the way, let's continue with the rest of our list:

1. Inca Kola

 

 

Cocktails

2. Pisco Sour

Image appears courtesy of www.travelandescape.ca.

The Pisco Sour is Peru's national cocktail. And that isn't a figure of speech to express how popular the drink is, we mean it literally! In fact, Pisco Sour Day is celebrated annually in Peru on the first Saturday of February.

But let's take a quick step back, what exactly is a Pisco Sour? Well, as you might guess, the base liquor at work is called Pisco. Originally distilled by Spaniards during the 16th Century, this grape-based brandy is today Peru's most popular spirit.

Using pisco as his base, an American bartender working in Lima invented a cocktail called the "Pisco Sour" in the early 1920's. The drink's popularity quickly spread and other bars began to experiment with their own versions. By the end of the decade the modern Pisco Sour was born, combining Pisco with Lime Juice, Sweet Syrup, Ice, Egg Whites, and Bitters. Nowadays, the Pisco Sour is without a doubt the most iconic of all Peruvian drinks; or at least the alcoholic ones.

Beers

3. Cusqueña

Not technically a beer but rather a whole "family" of beers, most Peruvians and in-the-know visitors seem to agree that the Cusqueña name is the way to go for a high-quality, widely available "macro-brew" in Peru.
For an easy to drink, lighter beer, the Cusqueña Premium is the best option (pictured above on the left). But if you're a bit more adventurous with your beer drinking, make it a point to try one (or more) of the other beers from the Cusqueña clan. They make an above-average wheat beer, a decent red lager, and a dark schwarzbier (also pictured above, on the right). Most of these beers should be available in just about all Peruvian dining establishments, and they're all significantly tastier than the wide variety of bland, light beers that will probably be offered alongside them.

4. Norton Rat's Tavern Micro-brews

Though we generally shy away from recommending places that cater strictly to tourists/foreigners, if you're looking for a fine micro-brew in Cusco, Norton Rat's is without a doubt the place. Ignore the ridiculous name and head to the second story of a building right on the Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco. Here you'll find one of the city's finest views, some okay food, and some truly excellent beer brewed in-house.

Whether you're into pale ales, porters, brown ales, or something else, Norton Rat's is brewing some of the most interesting craft beer coming out of Peru today. If you're a beer fan, you should not miss it!

Teas

5. Mate de Coca

 

One of the most traditional of Peruvian drinks, Mate de Coca is quite literally tea brewed with the infamous Coca leaf. Many foreigners assume the Coca leaf to be synonymous with the drug cocaine, this is far from the case. Coca leaves have been used for their medicinal properties safely and responsibly by the indigenous people of Peru for thousands of years, providing energy, and helping to combat the effects of altitude sickness.

Mate de Coca is found primarily in the Andean highlands of Peru, the ancestral homeland of the Inca people and modern-day home to Cusco and Machu Picchu, among other locations of interest to tourists. A slightly bitter but by no means unpleasant taste is a small price to pay for the jolt of pleasant energy a warm cup of Mate de Coca will give you.

Chicha

If you've never heard of chicha before, don't feel bad, this is another traditional indigenous drink that's hardly known outside of the region. Generally associated with homemade drinks made from fermented corn, the term chicha is actually used by different cultural groups to mean entirely different things. We're going to look at the two most popular chichas, and two of our absolute favorite Peruvian drinks:

6. Chicha Morada

Image appears courtesy of www.mamaslatinas.com.

A non-alcoholic chicha for the whole family to enjoy, chicha morada (purple chicha) is one of the most popular traditional Peruvian drinks. The base for this one is purple corn, which gives the drink its namesake color and acts as the focal point of its distinctly sweet taste. To complete the mix, one normally adds Cinnamon, Sugar, Lime Juice, and other fruit, most typically Pineapple. Though the finer details can change from one chicha-maker to the next, this drink will always come out near the top of the list of fine Peruvian drinks.

7. Chicha de Jora


Rounding off our list is another classic Peruvian chicachica de jora. Unlike in chicha morada, the yellow corn that goes into this drink is in fact fermented, meaning that this is another alcoholic drink for our list. The indigenous people of Peru have been enjoying this one for centuries, and we highly suggest you get in on the action. Foreigners often compare the taste to alcoholic apple cider, but the description doesn't quite do it justice. You'll just have to try it our yourself and see.

 

Related Posts

Best Time to Visit Peru | Destinations, Climate, and Seasons

So, when is the best time to visit Peru?If you're…

Where to Travel in 2022: Top Adventure Trip for Each Month

So, you're ready to make 2022 a year of incredible…

Podcast: Kit Parks Tell Us all About her Dolomiti Adventure

Kit Parks, from Active Travel Adventures, tells us everything about…

Adventure Travel to Costa Rica: Everything You Need to Know

Photo by Kamchatka/Getty Images

With coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean…

Safe Travel in 2021: Why Small Group Adventure Travel is the New Normal

It's no secret that since March of 2020, the travel…

Keeping Up With Our New Zealand Guides

You’ve heard us say it before, and you’ll hear us…

Northern Patagonia vs Southern Patagonia : How to Choose

Planning a trip to Patagonia but can't decide whether to…

Top 5 Open Destinations to Visit in 2022: Where Can Americans Travel?

The light at the end of the tunnel is finally…

5 Perfect Tours to Replace Your Cancelled REI Adventure Overseas

Your REI adventure tour overseas just got cancelled? We're sorry…

North Island vs South Island of New Zealand: How to Pick?

New Zealand (or Aotearoa as it's known in the Maori…

The Eight Best Things to Do in the Dolomites, Italy

Pictures of the towering rock monoliths of the Italian Dolomites…

Top five things to do in Grand Teton National Park

Found yourself in Wyoming with your hiking boots? Here’s some…

Multi-Day Hike Packing-List for New Zealand

You and some mates have 4 (5 at a stretch)…

Where to Next, with Active Adventures?

We've been adventuring for more than 22 years now, and…

Top things to do in Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is a hiker's paradise and a…

Podcast: Annie Allen talks with Kit about her 'Dolomiti' adventure in the Italian Dolomites

 

Most awesome active adventure“This trip was perfect, just the right…

Podcast: Harry Dickens talks with Kit about his 'Jaguar' adventure, including Machu Picchu

 

What a great experience“Active was so organized. Every day was…

Podcast: Stan Jacobson talks with Kit about his 'Annapurna Sanctuary Trek' in the Himalayas

 

5 Stars x 3“I rated this as 5 stars, "Excellent,…

Podcast: Jackie Nourse, Jason Waitkins, and Monica Aranguren all discuss solo travel

 

Spectacular!“Yes, the Dolomiti landscape is spectacular and this trip brought…

Podcast: Christine Jenkins talks about her experience on our Dolce Vita trip in the Italian Lakes District

 

Best Trip....EVER“No regrets. Not one bad thing to say. Jo…

Podcast: Kit Parks talks about her adventures on the South Island of New Zealand (Part I)

Add the North Island if you are already doing the…

Podcast: Kit Parks talks about her adventures on the South Island of New Zealand (Part II)

 

Add the North Island if you are already doing the…

Podcast: Kit Parks talks about her adventures on the North Island of New Zealand (Part III)

 

Add the North Island if you are already doing the…

Podcast: Sue Brickey and Rick Pope talk with Kit about their 'Chinchilla' adventure (Part I)

 

More Than I Expected“I only did three days of the…

Podcast: Sue Brickey and Rick Pope talk with Kit about their 'Chinchilla' adventure (Part II)

A varietal overview of Bolivia

“Such a diverse opportunity to experience…

Things to Do in Glenorchy - the Gateway to Paradise

Situated at the end of the road, there’s only one…

Things to Do in Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park was formed after local conservationist Perrine…

Video: Reviews from our guests

Many of our videos feature interviews with Active guests, and…

Video: Safari Adventures in Africa

Come on a journey with us to the wildest place…

Video: Food and Wine with Active Adventures

New Zealand’s seasonal, local food is something we’re immensely proud…

Video : Choosing a pair of hiking boots

A lot of our guests wonder how to pick the…

Video: Highlights of our Elegant South 'Kakapo' trip

A short look at some highlights from our comfort-focused Elegant…

Mont Blanc Circuit 'Tour du Mont Blanc' Trip

Our 'Tour du Mont Blanc' trip is a challenging hiking…

Video: Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is New Zealand's biggest National Park, and…

Punakaiki

Famous for its 'Pancake Rocks', Punakaiki is also host to…

Our Favourite Hikes on the West Coast of New Zealand

The West Coast of the South Island is a unique…

Things do Do in Queenstown for Non-Adrenaline Junkies

The first thing that probably comes to mind when you…

The Top 6 Roads You Have to Drive On Your Next New Zealand Road Trip

Getting down to us here in New Zealand is easy enough,…

New Zealand Glaciers You Can Easily Hike To

Many travellers to New Zealand are familiar with our 2…

Best Things to Do in Cuzco, Peru

The ancient Inca capital is said to have been founded…

Peru's Rainbow Mountain and the 'Camino del Apu Ausangate' Lodge to Lodge Trek

The beautiful coloured striations of Rainbow Mountain in Peru's Andes…

Hike Peru's Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Constructed by the Incas over 500 years ago, the Lares…

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Your Ultimate Guide

One of the most popular hikes in South America, Peru’s…

Inca Trail vs. Lares Trail: How to Get the Most out of Your Adventure

As you plan your trip to Peru and to Machu…

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Considering a bucket list trip to Machu Picchu but unsure…

How to Get to Machu Picchu: Everything You Need to Know

So, the once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu is beckoning your…

Discover Machu Picchu, The Most Famous Inca Ruins in Peru

Peru has so many ancient ruins, villages imbued with an…

Discover the Most Famous and Lesser Known Inca Ruins in Peru

Over 500 years ago, the Inca Empire built a road…

Discover the Best Things to Do in Lima, Peru

The once-called City of Kings, founded in 1535, is the…

Discover Queenstown, The Adventure Capital of New Zealand

Queenstown is a little town with a big personality. Nestled on…

Top 10 Things to Do in Peru During Your Trip

There is so much to see when visiting Peru, it…

Little City Guide to Copacabana, Bolivia

Wedged between two mountains, Copacabana is a small and colourful…

Little Guide to Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni is the land of the endless horizon, home to…

The Best Way to Explore the Galapagos Islands

There are dozens of tour companies out there offering Galapagos…

Video: Franz Josef Glacier and Township

'Glacier country' - the west side of Aoraki/Mt Cook National…

Video: Ultimate South Island Adventure 'Rimu' trip

The 'Rimu' is our signature New Zealand trip. 14 days…

Patagonia Hiking Adventure 'Condor'

Patagonia is a mystical land of glaciers, mountains, and often…

Ultimate North Island Adventure 'Kauri' Trip

Our 'Kauri' trip is 11 days on New Zealand's volcanic…

Video: The trek to Everest Base Camp

Gareth Leonard from Tourist2Townie travelled on our 'EBC' adventure, here's…

Video: Essence of the South Island 'Tui' Trip

Our Essence of the South Island 'Tui' trip is 8…

Ultimate Peru Adventure 'Jaguar' Trip

Dreaming of a Peru adventure? Our 'Jaguar' is our signature…

Travel to Nepal: Everything you need to know

We're big believers in the journey being just as important…

Is it safe to visit Nepal?

There is nothing more exciting than planning a new adventure…

When is the best time to visit Nepal?

So, you’ve decided you want to go to Nepal? Or…

The Full Guide to Nepal’s Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Celebrated for its amphitheatre of giant granite peaks, the Annapurna…

Hiking in Nepal: Multi-Day Treks

To hikers and trekkers from all over the world, the…

Everything You Need to Know About the Annapurna Massif

The Annapurna Massif is as epic as you imagine it…

Challenge Your Trekking Guide With These Everest Base Camp Facts

Everest Base Camp represents either an origin or a destination…

Nepal’s Everest Base Camp Guided Trekking Tour Itinerary

A trek to Everest Base Camp is a ‘bucket list’…

Popular Religious Sites in Nepal

Nepal is a cultural mecca, it is architecturally rich with…

Learn About Lukla and its World Famous Airport

Lukla is found in north-east Nepal and sits at 2,860m…

Things to Do in Patagonia: Discover the Top Adventure Spots

Patagonia is synonymous with intense rugged beauty and you won't…

Multi-Day Hiking in New Zealand: How to Plan the Perfect Trip for You

New Zealand has earned itself a reputation as one of…

The Complete Guide to New Zealand's 10 Great Walks

The "Great Walks" are generally regarded as New Zealand's premier…

Sea Kayaking in New Zealand

Sea kayaking tours are a splendid way to enjoy New…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2014

Set your resolution, adjust your white balance, focus, keep still,…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2015

Photo competitions. They're not necessarily a good thing for an…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2016

Happy New Year everybody! We love this annual photography competition…

How to Prepare for a Hike: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

“Am I too out-of-shape for an adventure trip?” It’s the…

7 Surprising Reasons South America in Winter is a Must-Visit

Looking for a better way to spend your winter instead…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2017

Hello and Happy New Year! There are certain things that…

Our Guides Take On the Everest Marathon

Our guides are pretty amazing people. They're understanding, adaptable, enthusiastic,…

Interesting Peru Facts

Are you about or thinking to head out to Peru?…

5 Reasons to Take up Adventure Travel in Your 40’s

You mean you haven’t already done it yet? That’s OK.…

6 Peruvian Words You Should Know Before Your Machu Picchu Adventure

Because of its role as an international tourism destination, it’s…

12 Peruvian Festivals, One for Each Month!

Perhaps you've read somewhere or other that there are over 3,000…

Huayna Picchu Hike: How Fit Must you be to Climb?

So you've made it up to Machu Picchu. After months…

Inca Trail Packing List: The 12 Most Important Items and Why

You've done it… You've finally decided to go hiking the…

The 7 Most Beautiful Lakes On the South Island of New Zealand

A trip to New Zealand's South Island isn't complete unless…

7 Things to Know About Traveling to Peru

Sometimes surprises when you're travelling can be good - a…

15 Bucket List Activities to do in South America

We've been running trips in South America for over a decade…

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Peru

When someone mentions Peru images of idyllic mountain pastures, ancient Incan…

How to prevent and deal with Altitude Sickness

Most hikers will never experience altitude sickness, (sometimes called acute…

The Top 20 Things to Do in Peru - That Aren't Machu Picchu!

Let's be honest - it probably shouldn't come as much…

Peruvian Food You Can't Miss on Your Machu Picchu Trip

There's a lot to get excited about when it comes…

Facts About Machu Picchu To Outsmart Your Tour Guide

Peru is bursting with ancient ruins and villages built on…

6 Inca Trail Tips to Make the Most of Your Machu Picchu Trip

My flight was booked! My dream of hiking the Inca…

Things to Do in Machu Picchu: How to Get the Most out of Your Experience

Although it's one of the most well-known archaeological wonders of…

Top 4 Facts About the Himalayas That Will Take Your Breath Away

When visiting the Himalayas, you'll get as much of a…

The Best Places to Eat in Peru

There is no place quite like Peru. And no, we’re…

Why Joining a Small Group Tour is the Bee's Knees

I better start by explaining the term ‘Bee’s knees’… I’ve been doing…

The Top 10 Things To Do in New Zealand

Are you planning a vacation in the land of the…

The Top 4 Things To Do In The Peruvian Amazon

Stretching 96,922 square kilometres across the country, the Amazon comprises…

The Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: A Photographic Journey

It was around the early 2000's when we started exploring the…

Pisac Market and Hike to Pisac Ruins

The village is perched high in the mountains and surrounded…

Mustang Adventure 2018: Trip of a Lifetime for Body, Mind and Soul

When thinking about hiking in Nepal, a lot of people…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2018

New year, new…. annual photo competition winner! Here at Active…

Benefits of Travelling Alone & Tips to Plan Like a Pro

Solo travel is on the rise and we’re stoked about…

Top 10 Guest Photos 2019

It's that time of year again folks, it's our annual…