The Best Places to Drink in Peru

The iconic pisco sour is Peru’s national drink, but there are plenty of other must-try beverages around the country. Check out coca tea and the different alcoholic and non-alcoholic corn-based drinks, for starters. The Amazon is home to various sweet and flowery elixirs, many of which are said to be aphrodisiacs. And Peru is also one of the world’s most important coffee producers. Here are the best places to drink around Peru.

201 Jirón Ucayali
Pisco, a distilled grape brandy, is the Peruvian national liquor. Arguably the most popular way to drink pisco is mixed into a Pisco Sour, the famous national cocktail. The most classic version of this drink combines pisco with key lime juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and angostura bitters. You will find Pisco Sours nearly anywhere you go in Peru, and you may well encounter the cocktail in bars around the world. However, it all began in Lima. The Pisco Sour was first created in the 1920s at the Hotel Maury Bar in Downtown Lima, which is still an symbolic place to enjoy the beverage.
730 Avenida Alfredo Benavides
Chicha morada is a typical Peruvian corn-based beverage that is popular among all the regions. Unlike its cousin chicha de jora, this is a non-alcoholic drink. Chicha morada is prepared from a base of Andean purple maize. Traditionally, the purple maize is boiled with chunks of pineapple, quinces, cinnamon, and cloves until the maize is soft and the liquid has taken on a deep purple color. Pardo’s Chicken is a classic Peruvian food chain that specializes in chicha morada. Try it with the pollo a la brasa – the Peruvian roasted chicken.
Hot chocolate may not sound like a Peruvian classic. However, this country grows some of the best cacao in the world, and sampling the local chocolate can be an exquisite experience. Be sure to visit the ChocoMuseo, a Latin American chocolate museum and workshop chain with locations in both Lima and Cusco. Here, you will find hot chocolate prepared fresh from pure, organic cacao bars – a truly decadent experience. You can customize your drink from a wide variety of chocolate types, based on place of origin and percent of pure cacao.
Jirón Carabaya 100, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
In a rush to make it to the Monastery of San Francisco in historic downtown Lima, I almost missed this place. The bar is located on a corner, behind wood and glass doors. “Hemingway” was my first thought as I passed in a rush—I knew I had to come back, and I did. Inside this historic bar with a Spanish atmosphere is a place I imagine Hem would have felt comfortable to drink a rum or brandy and contemplate his prose. The floors are tiled with a comfortable amount of grit. Behind the bar are rows of liquor showcased by a ceiling mirror. On the bar is a large espresso machine and a meat carving station for ham or chicken sandwiches. The waiters are dressed in black and white uniforms. The ceilings rise tall. And on the wall: black-and-white pictures of bull fights.
Calle Las Begonias 450, San Isidro 00027, Peru
The Westin brand’s first foray into South America was, at least when it opened in 2011, the tallest building in all of Peru. That distinction has since been taken over by the Edificio Banco Continental (BBVA) nearby, but the glass-and-steel tower designed by Peruvian-born, Miami-based architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia stands over one of the busiest intersections in the city, and is still one of Lima’s most recognizable landmarks. While it was designed primarily to fit the needs of the growing number of high-end business travelers (the largest convention center in the city is attached to the hotel), the high-profile team, including interior designer Tony Chi, added on artfully modern touches. The striking interiors incorporate pre-Colombian motifs and gold, silver, and bronze finishes. The hotel is a hub of activity, with a full-service spa and high-end shopping, plus a lobby bar and lounges that serve as impromptu meeting spaces.
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