Whilst travel might be off the menu for the time being, we can still dream. Costa Rica is a sun-soaked paradise where sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, and in the midst of this colder-than-ever winter we’re having, a bit of sun is starting to sound great! Travelling is an opportunity to see the sights, soak up some culture and experiment with the local flavors, and Costa Rica’s famed beach-side bars offer an opportunity to combine all these activities.
So whether you’re just daydreaming or the trip is so close you can taste it, here are six of the best beach cocktails you simply have to try when you’re in Costa Rica.
Guaro is the Costa Rican national liquor. It’s produced from raw cane sugar, similar to rum but sweeter. Costa Ricans have come up with plenty of ways to drink guaro and it’s a centrepoint of many of their most delicious cocktails. What makes guaro special is that it’s so hard to find outside of Costa Rica. These flavors will come to represent your trip – bring a bottle home if you want a nostalgic cocktail.
1) Guaro Sour
Guaro is the Costa Rican national liquor. It’s produced from raw cane sugar, similar to rum but sweeter. Just like Cuba is the home of the mojito, the guaro sour is at the heart of Costa Rican bar culture.
A perfect guaro sour consists of guaro, a splash of club soda, a teaspoonful of sugar to ease that alcohol taste, and it comes garnished with a mint leaf and a slice of lime. Drink this over ice when the heat becomes too much, it’s intoxicatingly refreshing.
2) Jaguar Colada
If a guaro sour is a little too much for you (or it’s just time to slow down) this Costa Rican take on the pina colada could be up your street. This fruity, creamy cocktail is almost a meal in itself.
The jaguar colada consists of guaro, passionfruit juice and coconut cream – served over ice this cocktail is sweet and refreshing and tastes perfect on the beach. Thanks to the presence of the mixers, it’s less alcoholic than a guaro sour so it’s a good choice to mix things up. As a side note, Costa Rican passion fruit juice – known as maracuyá – is better than anything you’ve tasted at home. It’s so fruity and fresh!
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous on day two in Costa Rica, a chiliguaro is a hot cocktail that brings together the summery beach flavors and the Latin American spice. This cocktail was born in the Playas Del Coco in northwestern Costa Rica but it’s fast grown into a national sensation.
The chiliguaro is made up of guaro and a generous mixer of tomato juice. Add a splash of tabasco and a twist of lime in there and you’ve got a fantastic Costa Rican take on the Bloody Mary. The guaro pairs perfectly with the heat of the tabasco, turning this into a sweet and spicy sensation that’s great any time of day!
4) Pura Vida
Pura vida – pure life! This Costa Rican cocktail truly is an elixir of life and it’s guaranteed to inject some energy into your veins. Pura vida is also a national catchphrase, and can mean hello and goodbye across the country – think of it like a Latin aloha that exemplifies the lazy beach lifestyle you’ll find here.
To make a pura vida, combine guaro with equal parts triple sec and grenadine and then splash in some orange juice and pineapple juice. Garnished with mint, this is a perfect beach-friendly cocktail that’s fruity and fresh.
5) Colada Fresco
A pitcher of colada fresco goes down great with friends. This cocktail is sweet and nutty – perfect in the sunshine. To create this cocktail, combine guano with coconut milk and fresh-chopped pineapple. This thick mixture can be watered down to create a lush, smoothie-like texture and then sweetened with agave as a finishing touch.
Whilst the beach is the land of the cocktail, Costa Rica has a great culture surrounding fresh fruit juice as well as microbreweries so there’s something for everyone. But travelling is all about exploring local flavors so these Costa Rican cocktails have to be on the menu.
Lauren Groff is a writer at Ukwritings.com and Academized.com. She loves to travel and write about her discoveries of food and culture along the way. You can read more of her work at Stateofwriting.com writing service.