When you are soaking in the steamy, Central American heat from the tropics, there is nothing better than a cold beverage. The type of drink that is popular in that country varies from place to place and guaranteed, the drink is refreshing. Most drinks take advantage of the region's array of tropical fruits including some you might not have heard of. Check out the following drinks from Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Belize—alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Local tap water carries a risk of being contaminated, so hold the ice.
The best Costa Rica beverages are fruit-based, due to the nation's bounty of tropical fruits. Refrescos, or "frescos" for short, are fruit smoothies made with water or milk. Agua Dulce is water sweetened with sugar cane. If you are a beer drinker, then you might want to try the national beer, Imperial.
Due to the abundance of fresh fruits, fruit-based juices and smoothies are popular throughout Central America, including Honduras. Popular Honduran beer brands are Salva Vida and Barena if you are a fan of lagers, and Port Royal if you favor a pilsner. For something a tad stronger, pick up guaro, which is a sugar cane liquor.
Fermented sugar cane liquor, called seco herrerano, is the national liquor of Panama. It has been distilled three times. When it is mixed with fruit juice, it's called a chichita. To lessen the bite, it is sometimes mixed with milk, called a seco con vaca.
Other Panamanian hard liquors are vino de palma, a palm wine, and chicha fuerte, locally brewed corn alcohol. There are several Panamanian beers to choose from too, including light lagers and Balboa, a darker, stout-like beer.
A visit to Guatemala is not complete without trying a limonada con soda, a fresh-squeezed lemonade made fizzy with soda water. A licuado, or fruit shake made with water or milk, can also be a refreshing treat. The national beer is Gallo, a pale lager, Guatemala's oldest continually produced beer since 1896.
Popular drinks from El Salvador are Kolachampan, a sugarcane-flavored soda; tamarind juice; and ensalada, which means "salad," a drinkable blend of finely chopped tropical fruits.
The Nicaraguan drink el macuá, is a blend of light rum, guava juice, lemon juice, and sugar and was recently voted the official Nicaragua beverage.
Fruit juice, smoothies, and blended alcoholic beverages are popular in Belize as is the main Belizean beer, Belikin, which comes in pilsner, lager, and stout varieties.