The most popular Salvadoran drinks are Horchata de Morro, different types of Atole, Chaparro or Chicha liquor, Pilsener beer, Chilate, and tropical juices. El Salvador drinks result of recipes from indigenous and Spanish influences that have been kept alive in El Salvador for generations.
Other typical Salvadoran drinks include Kolashampan, a Salvadoran carbonated beverage, and Coconut water.
Even though drinks with similar names exist in other Central American countries, Salvadoran drinks have a distinctive taste. I am not saying that the drinks in El Salvador taste better or are better; I am just stating that they have a different flavor.
1. Horchata de Morro
Horchata de Morro is one of the most popular Salvadoran drinks; it is almost as famous as pupusas. Horchata is made out of Morro seeds combined with water or milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. The result is a delightful milky, sweet drink, which is 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.
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.
3. Atole Chuco
Atole Chuco or Atol Chuco is made out of purple fermented corn and beans, which gives it a darker dirty 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.
4. Liquor de Chaparro or La Chicha
El Salvador drinks include the popular Liquor de Chaparro or La Chicha; this is your typical moonshine liquor from El Salvador fermented out of corn and sugar cane.
For many years, La Chicha was a clandestine liquor fermented by locals and served mostly during celebrations; nowadays, it can be bought legally.
El Chaparro or La Chicha is a liquor created 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.
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 fruitor vegetable , which looks like light bulbs, is cooked and then prepared with water, rice powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes salt.
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.
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.
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 fermented locally since the 1960s.
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.
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.
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.