Your trip to Costa Rica includes excursions to beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests and thrilling zip-line rides. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to sample unique Costa Rican cocktails with the nation’s most-popular liquor. Made from sugar cane that flourishes in Costa Rica’s fertile fields, guaro is a clear liquor with a neutral flavor similar to vodka. You’ll see the popular brand Cacique Guaro sold across the country and most watering holes use guaro to mix multiple cocktails.
If you imbibe in Costa Rica, a good way to start is with a Guaro Sour. The national drink is simple, refreshing and a longtime favorite of locals and visitors alike. Besides guaro, the drink has club soda, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a pinch or two of raw cane sugar. It’s the perfect cocktail for relaxing by the beach or refreshing after a day full of tropical adventures.
Almost as famous as a Guaro Sour, the Chiliguaro is a hot shot you are bound to come across in a Costa Rican bar. Recipes vary and there are actually contests to see which bartenders make the best mixes. But it’s basically guaro, hot sauce and lime juice. Salt the rim and down the eye-popping fireball to drink like a true Costa Rican.
Another awesome shot with guaro, the Miguelito is enjoyed in beach bars all along the scenic Costa Rican shores. Mix guaro with coconut water and a dash of unsweetened condensed milk, chill with ice and then pour the shot. Some mixologists like to add a splash of fruit juice for more flavor.
While the famed Coco Loco may have its roots in Colombia, the cocktail gets a Costa Rican customization with guaro. Served in a fresh green coconut that’s best opened with a swift machete chop, Coco Locos vary but usually include cream or coconut milk, liqueurs and splashes of fruit juice. Enjoy them frozen or over ice for a refreshing drink that’s as tasty as it is picture-perfect for Instagram.
The phrase “Pura Vida” means many things in Costa Rica. While literally translating to “pure life,” it’s used to say hello, goodbye and just to wish chill-out vibes. This laid-back local credo is captured in the drink of the same name. Much like rum punch, the cocktail has varied recipes. Many mix in triple sec, pineapple juice and orange juice, while you often see splashes of Sprite and grenadine. Pour into an ice-filled mason jar and garnish with a slice of fresh fruit. It doesn’t get much more chill than an iced Pura Vida!
Another Costa Rican take on a classic, the Colada Fresca departs from a traditional Piña Colada with guaro and spiced honey syrup. Add in coconut water, mandarin lime juice and chunks of fresh pineapple. The concoction is then mixed in a cocktail shaker and served with ice and a garnish of fruit. Just like a Piña Colada, you can also get it frozen.