Costa Rican Drinks

I recently received a submission from one of our readers in Costa Rica, Central America. Costa Rica HQ has a delightful blog about the day-to-day, real Costa Rican lifestyle, and man-oh-man, it makes me want to book a plane ticket tomorrow!

He submitted an article about Costa Rican drinks, which I think is a delicious topic. I added my own healthy drink recommendations at the end of his post for those of us who do not live in Central America.

    Costa Rican Drinks from Costa Rica HQ

    I'm sorry. I'm not talking about the adult kind of drinks in this post. I suspect they are the same as anywhere else. But Costa Rica does offer some interesting drinks to go with any meal.

    One question I often hear when talking about what to drink with a meal is "en aqua o en leche?" (in water or with milk?) I'm not sure if I have the right translation here, but Costa Ricans will ask you if you want your drink in water or in milk. It turns out to be a real treat.

    You can get just about any fruit drink mixed with milk here. It sounds odd at first, but consider how delicious an orange juice/ice cream mix is. That is fairly common in the U.S., right?

    Now think about that combination with mango, pineapple (pina in Spanish), blackberry (mora in Spanish) or strawberry (fresa in Spanish). All are muy deliciouso (hopefully that doesn't need a translation).

    My very favorite drink is a fruit that isn't commonly available in the States. The fruit is called guanabana. It is nicknamed the "ice cream fruit" because both its texture and flavor are very reminiscent of vanilla ice cream.

    Take it to the next step, and ask for a guanabana en leche when you visit Costa Rica. It is my very favorite drink.

    There is one other fruit here that I like a lot, but it shouldn't be served in leche. Don't worry, they won't ever offer it in leche. It is called cass (I am not sure of the spelling, but that's how it's pronounced). It is a yummy fruit juice that can only be described as a mixture of pear and lime without the significant sour of lime. Give it a try if you have this fruit where you live.

    If you like hot drinks, try agua dulce con leche. It literally means "like sweet water with milk." The sweet comes from a very raw form of sugar that has much more than just the taste of sugar. The drink is served hot, and is a good substitute for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

    By the way, tap water is completely safe to drink here. There are no health problems associated with the water. So, don't worry about the above drinks being safe. All drinks are perfectly safe here in Costa Rica. The milk is pasteurized just like in the States, and the drinking water is even cleaner than in the United States because they get so much rain here, and have modern facilities to treat the drinking water.

    Enjoy your Costa Rican drinks!

    The author lives and plays in Costa Rica when he isn't helping others learn how to live and play in Costa Rica. You can visit his blog:

Well, for me, this is a hard act to follow. What do Americans drink?? Sodas in aluminum cans that have been massed produced, stamped and sealed with toxic metals in boiling-hot factories, stacked as high as they will fit in sweltering transport trucks, left in the backrooms of convenience stores until they are placed on the grocery shelves. No thank you!

Americans swallow more soft drinks made with corn syrup, food colorings, and carbonation then they drink pure water. America's children are now raised on "sugar-free" sodas and drinks loaded with toxic chemicals, like methanol and chlorine. They start taking sips of mom's diet drink as toddlers, and grab a cold one from the drink machine at the schools, malls, libraries, doctor's offices, hospitals, and granny's nursing home.

Reading CostaRicaHQ's post as opposed to my paragraph above is a world of difference. I feel refreshed and clean, light and energized thinking about sipping on a guanabana en leche as opposed to the heavy, dehydrated side effects of an American diet cola in a can. And, the migraine you get after chugging a diet cola.....hum. What's the number for American Airlines??

Okay, how can YOU have healthy, natural, and satisfying drinks around your home, school, or office? Here are some healthy alternatives you can do everyday:

  1. Buy spring water in the glass bottle; I buy Mountain Valley Spring Water in the 5-gallon glass bottle with the hand pump. I fill my smaller glass drinking bottles from the 5-gallon using the pump, and I carry my water bottle around all day, like a baby hanging onto its bottle.
  2. Add liquid chlorophyll to your bottle of water, or to a pitcher of water. Use the peppermint flavored chlorophyll (naturally flavored, of course), and even though it is green in color, it tastes like mint water. Not only is this healthy for you, but it tastes refreshing and spins the boredom (for some people) of drinking plain water into a pleasant experience.
  3. Purchase fresh juices that are NOT from concentrate. Drink them straight, or add some bells and whistles like fresh fruit, a stick of cinnamon, mint, a slice of lemon, lime or orange, some pineapple or even fresh berries. Or, maybe try it en leche!
  4. Make sun tea. Add lemon or lime, or fresh mint, and even fresh berries. A real tea treat.
  5. In the evening, after dinner when hunger strikes, boil some water and add fresh ginger or a cinnamon stick. Fresh lemon, lime or orange slices added to hot water make a wonderful, healthy and soothing late night drink.
  6. And did I mention to drink bottled (in glass) water all day, every day?

Now for America's #1 drink - sodas.......

  1. NO DIET COLAS, COWBOY! For those of you who feel YOU MUST have your fizzy-fix, add cherry juice to sparkling water with NO added sugars. You can get used to the taste, and it is refreshing.
  2. Drink the clear colas as opposed to the artificially colored ones; this minimizes the added chemical ingredients. Ginger Ale is my #1 recommendation. Many whole food markets and health stores carry Reed's®Natural Ginger Ale - it's worth the money, which is actually no more expensive than buying a super-sized bottle of the regular junk colas from the vending machine.
  3. If you are absolutely craving an original cola, as I sometimes do, search the ethnic markets for the bottled Coca Cola® from Mexico. It is made with real cane sugar, and it is in a bottle. Chilled, it is a delightful treat, and you will find that you are satisfied after one bottle, especially when you drink it slowly.
  4. I recommend trying a new canned soft drink on the market, called Zevia. I mentioned it in last month's newsletter. This is a particularly better choice for diabetics, both young and old. The cola flavor is the best, I hear, but they offer many choices. If you do not like the taste at first, buck up and get tough. It is a soda, it is healthier for you, and it is a better choice to satisfy your habit of guzzling down too many diet colas with ASPARTAME OR SUCRALOSE. Eeeewwwwwwww

Be grateful there are healthy choices available to you, be satisfied with drinking a cola slowly, and do not have more than one a day (which I think is too many; how about one a week??)

Flight #2167 departs DFW at 4:15 PM tomorrow afternoon for San Jose Juan Santamaria Intl, Costa Rica. I'll arrive at 7:15 PM in time for a hot agua dulce con leche.

Posted July 2009 | Permanent Link

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