Disclaimer: Many of the beverages in this list of best drinks in Puerto Rico contain alcohol. Please drink responsibly; do not drink with people you do not know; do not drive whilst intoxicated; and always observe the legal drinking age limits.
If you love your stomach, then sampling the local dishes and beverages in the Caribbean should be at the top of your list. For the best drinks in Puerto Rico, we searched high and low for the island’s long time favourites, which include beer, cocktails and rum concoctions.
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Lovingly called “moonshine rum”, pitorro is a drink with a rum and sugarcane bases. It is a homemade beverage that can be found at celebrations around the island. Unfortunately, some production of pitorro is illegal and, as as a result, attracts punishment and prosecution. Homemade pitorro usually contains local fruit which adds even more tropical flavor and spice to the brew.
Chichaito has the pleasure of being the must-have beverage in Puerto Rico. This potent shot contains anisette liquor, white rum, and ice. The drink, which has a distinct licorice flavour, is available at almost every bar in the island. It is very easy to make and requires few ingredients. Some bars and restaurants are very innovative and create their own variations of chichaito. There is chichaito de coco which is chichaito with coconut milk and coconut cream and chichaito de Nutella, which is chichaito with Nutella and evaporated milk.
3. Malta India
Malta India is a dark brown non-alcoholic beverage that is made from barley and hops. Malt is essentially beer that does not go through the fermentation process. Yes, there is no alcohol. Compania Cervecera de Puerto Rico produces Malta India. However, Caribbean people love malt beverages and they are a natural element of our lives. Malta India has a distinct taste and smell that makes it one to remember and crave.
Bili is one of the best drinks in Puerto Rico because it’s a rum made from a locally grown fruit called the la quenepa. La quenepa is plentiful throughout the Caribbean and is the same as ackee in Barbados and guinep in Jamaica. To make bili, quenepas are added to white rum, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon and stored in a dark place for one month to cure. Feel free to try some quenepas – if you get a sweet one, you’re lucky. If you get a sour one, the taste will pass.
5. Pina Colada
The pina colada is the national drink of Puerto Rico and a worldwide favourite for cocktail lovers. There are rumours that the brains behind the pina colada was a Puerto Rican bartender. However there is still some confusion about which bartender is the true creator. The pina colada is a simple drink that features the versatile pineapple fruit. To make this drink you will need, pineapple juice, coconut cream, condensed milk and ice. Blend them well, pour into a glass, garnish with a pineapple slice and enjoy.
The description of Gasolina is the reason why it is on this list of best drinks in Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans call it a “high-octane rum cocktail.” This cocktail brand conveniently packages its beverages in an aluminum pouch, and they are available in several mixtures. Some of the more popular concoctions are mixed with Caribbean rum, tequila, vodka and fruit juices. Add this beverage to your must try list, because it is only available in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and some parts of Florida.
7. Papa Jac
If you’ve never had a tropical, Caribbean mojito, then Papa Jac is a must try. Papa Jac was created in 1991 by Juan Pablo Rodríguez, a musician and lover of Puerto Rican culture. A visit to New Orleans was the inspiration behind the creation of the drink. That inspiration resulted in a cocktail that was served in a fun glass with a quirky logo. The drink itself includes a combination of parsley juice and liqueurs.
Bacardi and Don Q are two of the most popular rum brands in the world that are made in Puerto Rico, and represent the Caribbean with pride. These internationally approved beverages are often the base for exotic concoctions that require a distinct Caribbean rum flavor. A simple yet addition to these rums is cranberry juice. The combination of the strong sugar cane and cranberry flavours are quite pleasing and make a memorable cocktail.
Medalla Light Beer is one of Puerto Rico’s best selling light beers that’s available worldwide. Compañía Cervecera de Puerto Rico which operates from Mayaguez, brews Medalla beer. The company also manufactures Malta India. Medalla’s popularity is evident through its numerous international beer awards. When next you are in Puerto Rico just look for the Medalla name. It is affordable, readily available and tasty.
Another beverage that has the distinction of being one of the best drinks in Puerto Rico is coquito. This drink is similar to eggnog and is only on the drinks menu at Christmas. Appropriately called coconut eggnog, coquito’s key ingredients include egg yolks, coconut milk or cream of coconut, white rum, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, evaporated milk and condensed milk. It is a sweet treat that makes a perfect Christmas gift.
Do you love Caribbean food and willing to give it a try in the kitchen? Check out one of these Caribbean food blogs for inspiration.