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With the abundance of fresh fruit in Costa Rica, it’s no wonder there are incredible juices and smoothies on offer all over the country. When you add in some of the best coffee in the world, and an array of cocktails perfect for beach-sipping- well let’s just say there are drinks for days in Costa Rica. This post will tell you the best drinks to order in Costa Rica and provide some of my favorite recipes for you to try at home.
About Costa Rican Drinks
Costa Ricans love to make and drink jugos naturales, or fresh homemade juices. They are abundant everywhere in the country because of the large quantity of fresh Costa Rican fruit. It is rare to go to a Costa Rican home and not be offered fresh juice, coffee, or agua dulce.
Natural juices are very rarely if ever, made with a juicer. Instead, the fruit is blended with water and then strained through a fine mesh colander before mixing with sugar and more water
Since it is safe to drink water in Costa Rica, visitors can rest assured that they can drink juices of every flavor and not worry about getting sick.
This also means that Costa Rican cocktails are to die for since the mixers are all almost always made from scratch.
How To Order Traditional Costa Rican Drinks
When you see a menu in Costa Rica, the drinks section will usually have two types of jugos naturales, or natural juices. They are batidos en agua and batidos en leche. You’ll choose your fruit and then let the server know if you want the batido en agua (regular juice) or batido en leche (a smoothie made with milk.)
For example, a batido de mango, would be mango juice. A batido de mora en leche is a blackberry shake. Expect to pay between $2-3 for a natural juice, and expect to fall in love with them! Generally, the fruit juices are made to order.
You can also order hot drinks in Costa Rica- and coffee is king. You can expect most restaurants to have hot coffee available- it’s café chorreado and made in the traditional Costa Rican pour-over style right at your table. All kinds of coffee drinks such as espresso and iced coffee are also available in Costa Rica- you’ll just want to go to a coffee shop for those.
Related post: Saving Money In Costa Rican Restaurants
Great Costa Rican Drinks
Here is a list of some of my favorite Costa Rican drinks, and the recipes for most of them.
Passion Fruit Juice
Passion fruit juice is one of my favorite Costa Rican drinks, mostly because here in Denver, it’s hard to get passion fruit. In Costa Rica, you can go to a local market and get a big bag of passion fruit for just cents on the dollar.
Passion fruit juice is a little bit harder to find on the menu at popular Costa Rican restaurants, so if you are staying in a beach rental with a blender- make sure to make some before you leave!
Pineapple juice is one of the most common juices in Costa Rica given the abundance of pineapple year round. If you want it as a smoothie, you can also add rum for a piña colada!
Mango juice has to be one of the most popular Costa Rican drinks and smoothies with locals. Like the pineapple, there is an abundance of ripe mangos year-round. This one you can find on pretty much any menu, and sometimes even on the street.
Costa Rica is one of the only countries in Central America that has blackberries. You’ll find blackberry juice mostly in the Central Valley because the high altitude means the perfect growing conditions. This is a fun recipe to replicate at home, too.
Known in Costa Rica as jugo de tamarindo, this juice is popular throughout Mexico, Central, and South America. If you see it on the menu and haven’t tried it before then be sure to order it. If you want to try it at home just beware- it’s so much work!
While almost any Costa Rican juice can be turned into a smoothie just by adding powdered milk, the blackberry smoothie gets a special mention just because it is my all-time favorite. Fresh blackberries add a tartness you can’t find anywhere else, and the powdered milk (Costa Rica’s own Leche Pinito) makes for a smooth and creamy texture. If you see this on a menu, I highly recommend you try it!
Traditional Costa Rican Coffee
Traditional Costa Rican coffee is known as café chorreado. Just choose your favorite Costa Rican coffee, place it in the coffee sock, and pour hot water over it. The drip method guarantees the perfect cup of coffee every single time.
Something you’ll also notice is that most Costa Ricans drink coffee at breakfast with their gallo pinto, again mid-morning, and again mid-afternoon. So you’ll have lots of opportunities to drink coffee when you are in Costa Rica!
Known as agua de pipa in Costa Rica, you’ll find fresh coconut water on almost any street corner and at any market. There is a huge abundance of green coconuts, and locals simply chop the top off with a machete, stick in a straw, and sell them! You can expect to pay about $1 for one.
Agua de Sapo
Agua de sapo- literally translates to “frog water” but luckily it doesn’t have anything to do with frogs. It’s a drink most popular on the Caribbean side of the country. It combines Costa Rican browned cane sugar (tapa de dulce) lime, and ginger.
Once you boil all the ingredients together, strain, and cool, it’s one of the most refreshing drinks on the planet. It isn’t easy to come by on a menu, so ask for it if you want to try it, or keep your eyes peeled on the menus.
Agua dulce is simple to make- if you can get the tapa de dulce mentioned above. You’ll simply boil the water with a bit of the browned sugar cane and drink.
Many Costa Ricans don’t give young children coffee, so this is the traditional cold-weather drink for kids during coffee hour.
Costa Rican Egg Nog
Costa Rican egg nog is known as rompope, and it is a favorite drink during Costa Rican Christmas. There are quite a few ways to make it, and every home has its special recipe. Some people add rum, or even make a batch with rum and a batch without for the kids. If you are in Costa Rica for Christmas, I highly recommend you track down some rompope.
Costa Rican Piña Colada
Even though Costa Rica is most definitely not an island, you can get some serious island vibes when relaxing on the beach with a piña colada. As I mentioned before, fresh Costa Rican fruit is everywhere, and you haven’t really lived until you drunk a piña colada out of a fresh pineapple.
All joking aside- the pina colada is one of the most popular Costa Rican cocktails, and you definitely need to try one.
Welcome! I’m Christa, a former high school teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. I love all things Spanish and bi-cultural, (especially travel and food!) and you’ll find my observations on life here. Thanks for stopping by