El Salvador Drinks: A Guide to 10 Salvadoran Drinks Worth Trying!

By Eddie Galdamez.  | Updated on Nov 8th, 2023
El Salvador DrinksPopular Salvadoran Drinks.

El Salvador boasts a captivating array of beverages that mirror its cultural richness. El Salvador drinks, both traditional and contemporary, serve as a delicious gateway to exploring the nation’s culinary traditions and flavors.

El Salvador Drinks! Salvadoran drinks include Horchata de Morro, Chaparro or Chicha liquor, tropical juices, different types of Atole, Chilate, and Pilsener beer. El Salvador drinks result from recipes from indigenous and Spanish influences that have been kept alive in El Salvador for generations.

Other typical Salvadoran drinks among Salvadorans include Kolashampan, a Salvadoran carbonated beverage, and Coconut water.

Salvadoran drinks
Juayua gastronomic Festival. Image by ciudaddejuayua.

1. Horchata de Morro

Horchata de Morro is one of the most popular Salvadoran drinks; this Salvadoran drink is almost as famous as pupusas. Horchata is made using Morro seeds combined with water or milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. The result is a delightful milky sweet drink served over ice.

Horchata has the same taste in most establishments in larger cities. However, in some parts of the country, especially in remote areas, you will find variations in its flavor. This drink is popular during holidays and celebrations.

Drinks in El Salvador
Salvadoran Horchata de Morro.

2. Atole de Elote

Atole de Elote, or Atol de Elote, is one of the most popular drinks in El Salvador. This drink’s origin can be traced back to the ancient Maya civilization. This popular creamy drink is served hot and is made out of fresh corn mixed with milk or water, cinnamon, and sugar.

This traditional Salvadoran drink has occupied a significant space in the prevalent gastronomy of Salvadorans for more than 500 years. Atol de Elote is so popular that it has its own song.

Salvadoran Drinks
Atole de Elote or Corn Atole.

3. Atole Shuco

Atole Chuco or Atol Chuco is made using purple fermented corn and beans, which gives it a darker, muddy color. This drink is the oldest traditional hot drink in El Salvador; its origins date back to pre-Columbian times.

This drink is sold late in the afternoon in municipal parks or in small stands all over the country. It is traditionally served on a dish, like a bowl, made from the fruit of a tree called Morro.

Atol Chuco El Salvador
Atol Shuco stand in El Salvador. Photo by Ivan

4. Liquor de Chaparro or La Chicha

El Salvador drinks include the popular Liquor de Chaparro or La Chicha. It is a typical moonshine liquor from El Salvador fermented with corn, sugar cane, and fruits.

For many years, La Chicha was a clandestine liquor fermented by locals and served mostly during celebrations; nowadays, it can be bought legally in stores. However, you can still find the clandestine version in some cities.

El Chaparro, or La Chicha, is a liquor created originally during pre-Columbian times by Maya, Aztec, and Inca Indians. During this period, it was made 100% from fermented corn.

During colonial times and with the sugar cane introduction, La Chicha started to be created out of corn and sugar cane. Nowadays, you can make this Salvadoran drink using different types of fruits.

SEE ALSO: Salvadoran Chicha, the Drink of Salvadoran Ancestors

El Salvador drinks
Screenshot from La Chicha Video

5. Atole de Piñuela

Atole de Piñuela is a typical Salvadoran drink made out of the edible part of a plant called Piñal. The Piñal fruit or vegetable, which looks like light bulbs, is cooked and then prepared with water, rice powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes salt.

Piñuela Plant
Piñuelas for Atole.

6. Chilate

Chilate is a typical drink that dates back to colonial times or even before. This drink is native to the Central American region and parts of Mexico.

Now, depending on your location in Central America or Mexico, the ingredients for the drink and flavor will differ. In El Salvador, Chilate is made out of corn mixed with other spices such as cinnamon, chili, and black pepper.

In El Salvador, Chilate is usually served with Nuegados, which is a traditional Salvadoran food.

SEE ALSO: 20 Traditional Salvadoran Foods to Try Today. The Culinary Treasures of El Salvador

El Salvador drinks
Chilate drink with Nuegados.

7. Tropical Juices

El Salvador drinks include tropical juices such as Tamarind Juice and Ensalada Juice. These tropical juices are found all over the Salvadoran territory.

Tamarind juice is a popular drink in El Salvador prepared from the fruit found on tamarind trees; this is a simple and refreshing drink made with tamarind pulp, water, and sugar.

Ensalada Juice is also a simple drink made with water, sugar, and chopped pieces of fruits such as apples, melon, and other tropical fruits. This drink has a taste similar to sangria but without the liquor.

The two tropical juices mentioned above are just the surface. El Salvador is home to a variety of exotic fruits, most of which are made into delicious juices.

Fruit Vendor in El Salvador
Fruit Vendor in El Salvador. Image by Alby.

8. Pilsener and Suprema

If you like beer, El Salvador has a few options for you; in the country, beer is the most popular alcoholic drink. Pilsener is by far the preferred alcoholic drink for most Salvadorans; it is your typical lager beer brewed locally.

Suprema, another popular beer, is a European-style beer with a distinctive taste that has been fermented locally since the 1960s.

Salvadoran Beers
Pilsener and Suprema Beers.

9. Coconut water

Coconut juice is a popular drink in El Salvador. The best way to experience this drink, right of the source, is at the beach or stopping at one of the many street vendors you will find along the coastal highway.

These vendors will simply chop off the top of the coconut for you, serve it with a straw, and in a few minutes, you will be tasting the refreshing tropical juice.

El Salvador Drinks
Coconuts stand in Punta Roca La Libertad. Image by Paisajes de El Salvador.

10. Kolashampan El Salvador

Kolashampan is a unique soda from El Salvador with a distinct flavor and sweetness; it is made of sugar cane with other artificial ingredients and has an orange color. The taste of this soda is hard to describe; due to its orange color, you would expect it to taste like oranges, but that is not the case. You will definitely have to try it to see why Salvadorans love it.

Kolashampan El Salvador
Kolashampan El Salvador soda.

El Salvador Alcoholic Drinks

El Salvador is a beer-drinking nation. The most popular beers among Salvadorans are Pilsener, Golden, Regia, and Suprema. Most Salvadoran’s are loyal to one specific beer, so if you like Pilsener, you definitely don’t like Reggia.

When it comes to liquor, most people drink Venado, which is your typical light rum. Venado is one of the cheapest rum, which can be the reason why it sells a lot. Chaparro and Licor de Nance are two popular homemade liquors served mainly on special occasions.

Popular Drinks in El Salvador

The ten drinks listed above are the most well-known in the country; nevertheless, they are not the only ones. If you ever get the chance to travel to El Salvador or are already living in El Salvador, you should definitely try some of the Salvadoran drinks mentioned above.