Top 6 must-try traditional Puerto Rican drinks| Ultimate checklist for Cocktails, Shots, Non-alcoholic drinks and coffee.

If you try the list below, you can proudly say you truly tried most Puerto Rican local favorite beverages.

1. Cocktail(Pina Colada, Coquito, Mojito), On the Rocks (Pittoro), Shot (ChiChaito):

Pina Colada: Most of us have already tried or at least heard of Pina Colada. But did you know that Pina Colada was invented in Puerto Rico? Made with cream of coconut, crushed ice, pineapple juice and blended with choice of rum. I like mine with a dab of whipped cream and garnished with a piece of pineapple and two sweet cherries, and two more that I steal from my husband’s drink.

Mojitos: Puerto Rico is famous for sugarcane cultivation, and Mojitos are special as they use a local sugar syrup muddled with fresh mint. Add rum to it and lime or any fresh fruit like passionfruit, coconut, watermelon, etc.

Piña colada

Coquito: Coquito is especially famous during the holidays, but you can find it a year long. The recipe might vary, but the basic includes condensed milk, cream of coconut, white rum, and spices like vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Pittoro: Pittoro is an illegal and traditional alcoholic drink. Also called Moonshine of Puerto Rico. The best way to find this is to have your local friend track it down. We got a chance to try this with the help of a bartender who makes it for himself at his home.

It’s an important drink in any celebration in Puerto Rico. Pure pittoro is too strong with alcohol levels more than 90 proof. But it’s often cured with fruits like coconut, pineapple, tamarind or coffee, or even chocolate. Its main ingredient is sugar cane and molasses.

Chichaito: It’s a shot with local white Rum, honey, lemon juice, and star Anise liqueur (sometimes replace with sambuca). It’s a strong alcoholic drink.

2. Beer: Madella, Magna and Local Drafts

What beers do they drink in Puerto Rico? Well, Medalla is the winner wearing a Medal. All locals seem to love it. Or maybe they were all tourists? I don’t know. But I saw it everywhere when I was in Puerto Rico for 2 weeks. You can get this pale lager for as low as 1$ per can in local stores, but in terms of taste, it’s epic. Magna is a lager that starts off bitter but finishes neutral. Magna also has a light faint corn flavor in it.

Besides these, there are tons of craft beers that you can choose from. Have a look at this beer map for places to find beer while in Puerto Rico.

3.RUM : Bacardi, Don Q, Ron del Barrilito

Do you know that most of the world’s rum supply is produced in Puerto Rico? Well, it all started in the 19th century. More than 140 years of craft to produce world-class rum.

Though Bacardi is their best selling rum, locals also recommend Ron del Barrilito, made in Bayamón. Another famous brand that you often see in pubs around Puerto Rico is Don Q.

You will find many cocktails with rums, but I recommend trying these brands “On the Rocks” with some “Chicharrones,” fried pork. YUM !!

Bacardi Rums at Rum tasting facility , San Juan
Some famous Rum brands in Puerto Rico

4. Hot Chocolate

Have you ever heard of Hot chocolate with cheese? Yeah, you heard it right. Chocolate and cheese. Both of my favorites, but I never thought of them together.

It all starts with a big bar of dusty brown chocolate called Chocolate Cortés melted together in milk to create a thick syrup. Then top it off with more milk. Once the hot chocolate is ready, just before you drink it, drop chunks of cheese and let that melt away. That soft, salty kick from cheese help balance the sugary sweetness and creates a magical taste that you will always crave.

“This is the best hot chocolate ever!” – that’s what I said with my chocolate mustache when I first tried it.

Chocolate cortés Bar
Topping Hot Chocolate with cheese

5. Coffee and Café con queso

Besides rich rum, Puerto Rico is also famous for its premium coffee. The unique combination of altitude, soil, and temperature is a key factor for Puerto Rican coffee’s rich taste. In fact, there is a whole tourism industry based on coffee tasting and coffee cultivation.

Ask your Shanta to get some Puerto ricon coffee this holiday season (I am writing this blog in December, lol ). You can easily find it on Amazon.

To give a unique sensation to your taste buds, try the café con queso. This starts with strong espresso, a hint of hot chocolate mix, steamed milk, often cinnamon, and finally, thin wedges of hard cheese like asiago.

Puerto rican Local Favorites
Brave Puerto Rican coffee mug standing on edge and enjoying beautiful morning

6. Non alcoholic Beverages: Mavi, coco frio, Malta

Mavi: Mavi is made from the Mavi tree’s bark, boiled with spices like ginger, cinnamon. I personally did not like it, but my husband did. Best place to get it is at roadside food stands.

Coco Frio: Coco Frio basically cold coconut water served inside the whole coconut. Again the best place to get is from coco frio man from the street who will open the coconut at the end so you can eat the coconut flesh if you want.

Malta: Malta is an unfermented, slightly carbonated malt drink. Locals love it but tourists may take some time to get used to it.

Coco Frio


Make all famous Puerto rican drinks at home :

Did i miss anything ? Please help me by adding comments below :). We all would love to hear from you.

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