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  • Writer's pictureHeather Garlick

Soft drinks of South America

South America is known for its vibrant and diverse culture, and this is reflected in the many different non-alcoholic drinks that can be found throughout the continent. Whether you're looking for a refreshing thirst-quencher on a hot day, or a unique and flavorful beverage to accompany your meal, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are just a few of the most popular alcohol-free drinks in South America:

  1. Chicha: This traditional Andean drink is made from fermented maize, and is popular in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. It has a sweet and tangy flavor, and is often served with meals. I had the opportunity to try this while travelling through Lima. It tasted lots like mulled wine.



  1. Guarana: This caffeine-rich drink is made from the seeds of the guarana plant, which is native to the Amazon region of Brazil. It has a slightly bitter flavor, and is often used as a natural energy drink.

  2. Horchata: This milky drink is made from ground rice or almonds, and is popular in Mexico and Central America. It has a sweet and nutty flavor, and is often served over ice.

  3. Mate: This traditional drink is made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant, and is popular in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It has a bitter and slightly herbal flavor, and is often consumed from a gourd using a special metal straw called a bombilla.

  4. Agua de Jamaica: This refreshing drink is made from hibiscus flowers, and is popular throughout Latin America. It has a tart and slightly floral flavor, and is often served with sugar and ice.

  5. Cocada: This sweet and creamy drink is made from coconut milk, and is popular in Brazil and other parts of the Caribbean. It has a rich and nutty flavor, and is often served with cinnamon or other spices.

  6. Atole: This thick and creamy drink is made from masa (corn dough), and is popular in Mexico and Central America. It has a slightly sweet and earthy flavor, and is often served hot with cinnamon or other spices.

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