The best 5 traditional drinks to try in Paraguay
Paraguayans carry their tereré termos (vacuum flasks) everywhere, which was mesmerising for us to see during our time in Asuncion. Therefore, we decided to dig deeper in order to find the best drinks locals recommend. And so we found that Paraguayans use a lot of Yerba mate and sugar cane in their traditional drinks. Read more to find the interesting ways they use these ingredients to prepare their drinks.
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This is a refreshing drink to try, especially during the summer. Everybody carries a recipient filled with ice cold water and herbs and also a glass that contains a mix of Yerba mate. The tradition says that in a group the youngest one carries the recipient and is responsible for serving everybody else in the group continuously until they say gracias (thanks). Once they said the magic word, they will not be served anymore.
The guaraní people created this drink for social purposes. Due to the very hot climate, this drink is very refreshing and can be served throughout the day. Sometimes locals add medicinal herbs or fruit to this drink, either to make it tastier of to help relieve different kinds of pains. They consider it to be very good for stomach aches, headaches or high blood pressure.
How to drink it?
- Fill the large recipient with cold water and ice cubes.
- Add the yerba mate to the glass or guampa until it is about half full.
- Insert the bombilla or metal straw with a filter at the bottom into the guampa.
- Pour water from the recipient until it covers the yerba mate in the guampa.
- It will last for about 3 sips before it needs refilling.
This is another drink that has yerba mate at its base. It is very similar to Tereré from both an ingredient and drinking ritual points of view. The only difference from Tereré is that it uses hot water instead of cold, similar to tea. Although you will see it more in countries like Argentina and Uruguay, some Paraguayans also enjoy it. Maté is the national drink of all three above mentioned countries, so it is definitely a drink to try.
This is another refreshing, non-alcoholic drink to try. It contains sugarcane honey, ice, lemon, and water. Sometimes called guarapo, the word mosto actually represents the liquid that comes out of wooden sugar mills.
This is another guaraní drink to try that tastes similar to rum and it is the alcoholic version of the mosto.
The ancient guaraní tribes knew the medicinal properties of sugarcane and used it against stomach pains and parasites. However, they considered caña to be protecting them against bad luck during the months of winter. Therefore, some of them still keep the tradition of drinking 3 shots of caña on the morning of the 1st of August to attract positive vibes and drive away bad luck.
Paraguayans are huge fans of beer, definitely a drink to try during your visit.
The oldest and most popular Paraguayan beer brand is Pilsen. It is a pale golden beer, with a light toasted malt flavour, balanced bitterness, a delicate fresh fruit flavour and an alcohol content of 5%.
Pilsen offers different kinds of beers, all with a unique flavour:
- Classica (the classic)
- La Blonda (the blonde)
- La Roja (the red), which contains mandioca (yuca).
- La Negra (the black), which contains sugarcane honey.
Which of these drinks would you try?
If you want to immerse yourself further into the Paraguayan culture, read our article about the most traditional dishes to try!