Beverages and Drinks

Course | Beverages Image

Humans and their ancestors long sipped from streams. Water is required for life. But over time, people have learned to spike our drink with a wide variety of tempting flavors.

Image Creative Commons by andrewk100

Fruit juices deliver a sweet punch of energy. Hot beverages warm the soul. Coffee and tea perk up the spirit. Herbal tisanes sooth the stomach and cure ills. Alcoholic beverages cement friendships and encourage conversation. Carbonated drinks clear the palate and tickle the nose.

Beverage Recipes

Agua Fresca

Beverages | Agua Fresca Image

(Mexican fresh fruit beverage)

Aguas frescas are fresh fruit drinks that are very popular all over Mexico. These refreshing beverages are typically served from large barrel-shaped glass containers. Some of the more traditional varieties are watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberry. Read more »

Atol de Elote

Beverages | Atol de Elote Image

(Salvadoran corn beverage)

Atoles are very popular beverages in El Salvador with roots in Mayan cuisine. They are a sort of thick drink often eaten with a spoon. Atol de elote is based on fresh corn (elote) and has a wonderfully fresh flavor. For ultimate effect, serve it in a bowl made out of a dried calabash gourd. Read more »


Beverages | Atole Image

(Mexican warm cornmeal beverage)

Atole (ah-TOH-lay) is an ancient Mexican beverage with origins in pre-Columbian times. Similar warm drinks, thickened with cornmeal, are found throughout Central America and are especially popular for breakfast. Mexican atole is traditional at dia de los muertos celebrations, and it's chocolate version, champurrado, is popular at Christmastime. The consistency of atole varies anywhere from almost porridge-like to a thin, pourable drink. Read more »


Beverages | Bellini Image

(Italian peach and sparkling wine cocktail)

This refreshing cocktail was first served in Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy, sometime in the 1930s or '40s. Named after the Renaissance artist Giovanni Bellini, this beautifully hued beverage is traditionally made with white peaches. If you can't find white peaches, regular peaches will do. Bellinis make the perfect beverage for brunches and New Year's or other celebrations. Read more »


Beverages | Caipirinha

(Brazilian cachaça-lime cocktail)

The national cocktail of Brazil, the caipirinha (kai-pi-REE-nyuh) is a heady mix of lime juice and cachaça (kah-SHAH-suh), a brandy-like alcohol distilled from sugarcane juice. Sugar takes the edge off the lime and makes throwing these drinks back just a little too easy. Read more »


Ingredients | Coconut Image

(Puerto Rican coconut-rum beverage)

Coquito is a popular Christmas beverage in Puerto Rico. It has similarities to American eggnog, but the use of creme de coco or coconut milk gives it a unique island flavor. A version with eggs, known as ponche crema, is a favorite in Venezuela. Read more »


Ingredients | Oats Image

(Ecuadoran oatmeal beverage)

Cuáker is a popular and healthy children's drink in Ecuador. Its name is the Spanish version of the name of the company most famous for selling oats and oatmeal. Beverages based on oats are popular throughout Central and South America. Read more »


Beverages | Eggnog

(American egg and cream Christmas beverage)

Although descended from European winter restorative beverages, or "noggins," eggnog is an American invention that appeared in the late 1700s. Over the years, this rich and creamy drink, spiked with rum, has become an American Christmas tradition. Read more »


Beverages | Frappe Image

(Greek iced coffee)

The frappé (Φραπέ) is Greece's favorite summer drink. During hot weather Athenians lounge at street cafes, slowly sip a frappé and watch the people go by. Read more »

Ginger Beer

Ingredients | Ginger Image

(Jamaican ginger beverage)

Ginger beer is a very popular beverage in Jamaica. This zingy drink goes well with spicy jerk chicken or pork. It is sometimes fermented, but the simpler, non-alcoholic recipe version is given here. Read more »

Horchata de Arroz

Beverages | Horchata de Arroz Image

(Mexican sweet rice beverage)

Horchata (or-CHA-tah) is a milky white, sweet beverage that was introduced to Spain by the Moors. The original Spanish version is made with ground tiger nuts and is especially popular in Valencia. In Latin America, where the tiger nut is not commonly available, pulverized rice is used. In Mexico, horchata is one of the most common aguas frescas and is ladled from large glass jars set in ice. Read more »

Irish Coffee

Beverages | Irish Coffee

(Irish whiskey, coffee and cream cocktail)

While coffee cocktails have been around for some time, the Irish coffee is said to have been invented in the 1940s on a cold winter's night at an Irish airport to warm up some recent arrivals. An American imbiber brought the recipe back to the United States, where a team perfected it at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. Read more »


Beverages | Kvas Image

(Russian fermented rye beverage)

Kvas (квас) is an ancient and beloved beverage from Slavic Europe. While it is basically a low-alcohol beer, it is enjoyed as a soft drink, even by small children. Factory-made versions have been available for some time and many are quite good. But homemade will always be best. Often spelled "kvass." Read more »


Beverages | Lassi Image

(Indian yogurt drink)

Lassi is a cooling yogurt beverage originally from the northern part of India. Traditionally lassi is unsweetened and has a pinch of salt and some spices mixed in. More recently, sweetened fruit lassis have become very popular drinks, both in India and around the world. Read more »


Beverages | Lemonade

(American lemon beverage)

Lemonade and its basic theme of lemon juice, sugar and water is a popular drink around the world. It is a summertime favorite in the United States, where ramshackle stands selling glasses of the sweet-tart beverage are a favorite way for children to earn a little spending money. Read more »


Beverages | Limoncello Image

(Italian lemon-flavored liqueur)

This popular after-dinner liqueur from the south of Italy is classically made with lemons from the Isle of Capri. Families all along the Amalfi Coast make their own with lemons from backyard gardens. Read more »

Masala Chai

Beverages | Masala Chai

(Indian spiced tea)

Indian masala chai, often known simply as chai in the English-speaking world, should be spicy, milky and strong. There is no one true recipe for masala chai. Adjust the spices to your taste. Any black tea will do, but Darjeeling or Assam is best. Tea vendors in India are known as chai wallahs. Read more »


Beverages | Michelada

(Mexican spicy beer cocktail)

Cervezas preparadas, or "prepared beers," are popular throughout Mexico. What goes in a michelada varies by region, but the simplest version uses lime juice and hot sauce to give beer a spicy kick. Pair a michelada with a hot bowl of pozole, and you have the perfect hangover cure. Sometimes called a chelada, the name is Mexican slang for "my chilled one." Read more »

Mint Julep

Beverages | Mint Julep

(American, Southern bourbon cocktail)

The mint julep is a long-standing favorite beverage in much of the Southern United States. Traditionally served in silver or pewter cups, this lightly sweet, minty, boozy concoction is the perfect foil for a hot, humid Southern evening. The mint julep is the traditional beverage of Kentucky's famous Derby in the spring. Read more »


Beverages | Mojitos Image

(Cuban rum, lime and mint cocktail)

This mojito is Cuba's answer to the mint julep -- perfect on a hot summer day. Mojitos have been around since at least the mid-1800s. They were reputedly one of Hemingway's favorite drinks. According to a quote attributed to him, those at "La Bodeguita" bar in Havana were the best. Read more »

Mulled Wine

Ingredients | Cinnamon Image

(English spiced wine)

Mulled wine, as this warm spiced wine is known in England, is popular throughout northern Europe around Christmas. In France this warming winter beverage is known as vin chaud, in Italy as vin brûlé. Germans drink Glühwein. The Swedish name for it is glögg. Read more »

Piña Coladas

Beverages | Pina Colada Image

(Puerto Rican pineapple-coconut beverage)

This drink — whose name simply means "strained pineapple" — was invented in the 1950s or 1960s in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by either Ramon Marrero at the Caribe Hilton or by Don Ramon Portas Mingat at Barranchina Bar , depending on whom you believe. Whoever made it first, it's delicious. Read more »


Beverages | Pinolillo Gourds

(Nicaraguan, Costa Rican cocoa-cornmeal beverage)

Pinolillo, also known as pinol, is a cornmeal and cocoa beverage very popular in Nicaragua. So popular in fact, that Nicaraguans often refer to themselves as pinoleros. Costa Ricans love it too. Rich and somewhat gritty, pinolillo is an ancient drink and is traditionally served in a dried gourd shell. While instant powder can be bought in many Latin markets, here's how you can make your own. Read more »

Pisco Sour

Beverages | Pisco Sour Image

(Chilean-Peruvian brandy cocktail)

Pisco is a type of brandy made from muscat grapes that is found in Peru and Chile. Even though it is named after Peruvian town, both countries claim the pisco sour as their national drink. Read more »

Planter's Punch

Beverages | Planter's Punch

(Caribbean rum punch)

Depending on whom you believe, planter's punch was either created by the wife of a Jamaican plantation owner, or at the Planter Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. Regardless, this fruity punch has become a popular beverage to serve to guests throughout the Caribbean. Recipes vary widely, but they all contain rum, lime juice and a sweetener or other fruit juices. Read more »