Last updated on October 20th, 2023 at 09:13 pm
In our experience traveling in Puerto Rico, drinks in Puerto Rico should be enjoyed in addition to its food and beautiful landscapes and seascapes. We look at that here.
Puerto Rico, a land of vibrant culture, vivacious music, and a diverse culinary scene, holds a treasure trove of beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, that are as unique and colorful as the island itself.
These drinks in Puerto Rico embody the rich history, the eclectic mix of influences, and the tropical paradise that this Caribbean island represents.
In this guide, we seek to immerse you in the flavorful world of Puerto Rican drinks, letting you in on the traditional sips that locals and tourists look for. Whether you are seeking a taste of the island’s signature spirits or looking to refresh yourself with Puerto Rican non-alcoholic drinks, this guide has something for everyone.
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Pitorro, often dubbed ‘Puerto Rican Moonshine,’ is a traditional homemade spirit derived from sugarcane. It’s frequently infused with fruits, nuts, or spices, offering a variety of flavors that cater to different palates. With its strong, robust character, Pitorro is a beloved beverage during the holiday season, representing warmth and festivity.
Coquito is Puerto Rico’s answer to eggnog, a creamy concoction laden with coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, rum, cinnamon, and vanilla. Served chilled, this sweet, creamy beverage is a Christmas staple, synonymous with celebration and togetherness.
3. Rum Punch
Puerto Rico is the rum capital of the world, and Rum Punch is the epitome of tropical indulgence. This fruity cocktail blends Puerto Rican rum with a medley of fruit juices, grenadine, and bitters, creating a refreshing and colorful drink, perfect for beachside relaxation.
4. Don Q
Don Q is a celebrated brand of Puerto Rican rum, renowned for its smooth finish and versatile nature, making it a favorite base for many cocktails. It’s a staple in many Puerto Rican homes and bars.
5. Medalla Light
This light beer is a local favorite, known for its crisp and refreshing taste. It pairs well with a variety of Puerto Rican dishes and is a common sight at beaches and parties.
Gasolina is a ready-to-drink cocktail in a pouch, coming in various flavors like Sangriiia, Tu Madras, Rum Punch, and more. It’s the epitome of convenience and a popular choice for beach outings.
Bili is a delectable drink made by aging rum with quenepa fruit, native to Puerto Rico. The fruit infuses the rum with a sweet and tangy flavor, making it a unique and sought-after beverage.
8. Palo Viejo
Palo Viejo is another distinguished brand of Puerto Rican rum, with a legacy dating back to 1906. It is revered for its rich flavor profile and is often enjoyed neat or in cocktails.
9. Parcha Mojito
Parcha, or passion fruit, lends its sweet-tart flavor to this variation of the classic Mojito, combining rum, mint, lime, and soda, for a refreshing and tropical cocktail.
Puerto Rican Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Mallorca isn’t just a sweet bread; it’s also a delightful beverage! This non-alcoholic drink is a blend of milk, egg yolk, sugar, and cinnamon, offering a creamy and soothing experience, often accompanied by its namesake pastry, enhancing the Puerto Rican breakfast ritual.
Mavi, also known as Mauby, is a unique and popular drink made from the bark of the mavi tree. It’s a fermented beverage, boasting a unique taste profile—sweet, tart, and slightly bitter, an acquired taste representing the diversity in Puerto Rican flavor palette.
12. Limonada de Coco
This tropical refreshment blends the tanginess of lime with the creamy richness of coconut milk. Limonada de Coco is a sweet, tart, and creamy beverage, a delightful thirst quencher in Puerto Rico’s tropical climate.
Piragua is a classic Puerto Rican street food treat, consisting of shaved ice topped with sweet and colorful syrups, usually served in a cone-shaped paper or plastic cup. It’s a go-to refreshment in the tropical heat.
14. Morir Soñando
This dreamy beverage combines orange juice with milk, sugar, and ice, creating a creamy, citrusy delight. Morir Soñando, which translates to “die dreaming,” is aptly named for its heavenly taste.
Horchata in Puerto Rico is a sweet, refreshing drink made from sesame seeds, sugar, and milk, distinguished by its nutty flavor and creamy texture. It’s a delightful accompaniment to various Puerto Rican dishes.
16. Coco Rico
Coco Rico is a popular carbonated beverage infused with coconut flavor. It’s a refreshing soda that encapsulates the tropical essence of the island, best enjoyed ice-cold.
17. Tamarindo Drink
This beverage is made from the tamarind fruit and is known for its sweet and tangy flavor. It’s a refreshing and flavorful option, often enjoyed as a thirst-quencher in the hot climate.
18. China Ice
China Ice is a refreshing orange-flavored soda, and it’s a common accompaniment to many local dishes. It provides a sweet and bubbly contrast to the savory flavors of Puerto Rican cuisine.
19. Kola Champagne
Kola Champagne is a unique soda flavor, offering a sweet, almost bubblegum-like taste. It’s a nostalgic beverage for many locals and a must-try for those wanting to experience the variety in Puerto Rican soft drinks.
20. Soursop Juice
Soursop Juice, made from the exotic soursop fruit, offers a combination of strawberry and pineapple flavors with an underlying creaminess. It’s both refreshing and nutritious.
21. Passion Fruit Juice
Made from fresh passion fruits, this juice is a vibrant and tangy drink, often sweetened to balance the acidity, and is rich in vitamins, making it as nourishing as it is delicious.
22. Mango Juice
Mango juice, made from the succulent mangoes found on the island, is a sweet and rich beverage, often enjoyed chilled or over ice, making it a tropical refreshment.
23. Malta India
Malta India is a non-alcoholic malt beverage, known for its sweet and robust flavor. It’s a favorite among locals and can be enjoyed alone or used as a base for punches and cocktails.
24. Café con Leche
Café con Leche is a beloved coffee drink, combining strong local coffee with steamed milk. It’s a staple in many Puerto Rican households and offers a comforting start to the day.
25. Limoncillo Smoothie
Limoncillo, or Spanish lime, is the star of this smoothie, offering its sweet and tart flavor, blended with ice and sweeteners to create a refreshing and nutritious drink.
Batida is a Puerto Rican smoothie made with fresh fruits, milk, and ice, offering a refreshing and nutritious option that is customizable to one’s preferred flavor profile.
While not native to Puerto Rico, Sangria has found a home on the island, with local variations often incorporating Puerto Rican rums and local fruits for a tropical twist on the classic.
28. Raspberry Ice Tea
This refreshing beverage combines the tartness of raspberries with the subtle flavor of tea, often sweetened and served over ice for a refreshing, fruity drink.
29. Piña Colada
Although it’s an alcoholic beverage, many places offer non-alcoholic versions of Puerto Rico’s national drink, allowing everyone to enjoy the creamy and tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut.
For those seeking a non-alcoholic version of the traditional Chichaito, many establishments offer this licorice-flavored beverage without the anise liqueur, providing a sweet and unique flavor experience.
Where to Experience these Drinks in Puerto Rico
When exploring the island, many bars, restaurants, and beach shacks specialize in these traditional beverages. Local eateries in Old San Juan, beachside stalls in Rincon, and various spots throughout the island offer authentic tastes of these drinks in Puerto Rico, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local flavors and traditions.
Q: Can I find non-alcoholic versions of traditionally alcoholic Puerto Rican drinks?
A: Absolutely! Many places offer ‘virgin’ versions of drinks like Coquito and Rum Punch, allowing everyone to experience the flavors of Puerto Rico.
Q: Is it safe to try homemade Pitorro?
A: While Pitorro is traditionally homemade, it is recommended to consume it from reputable sources or individuals who are known for their expertise in making it, ensuring quality and safety.
Q: Are these drinks available throughout the year?
A: While some drinks like Coquito are traditionally associated with specific seasons or holidays, you can find most of these beverages year-round, especially in areas frequented by tourists.