6 Famous Chilean Drinks To Experience Like A Local

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You may already know, Chile produces excellent wines, especially red wines, with a growing reputation every year. 

Beyond wines, you’ll find an amazing array of local Chilean drinks.  

Our quest for authentic food in Chile took us across the entire country. From the Pacific Ocean to the Atacama desert, we explored the local Chilean food and popular drinks in Chile.

In this article, we put a spotlight on 6 unique Chile drinks you must try for a local experience.

Are you ready to drink like a Chilean? Let’s go!

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1. Mote con Huesillo  – Traditional Chilean Non-Alcoholic Drink

This Chile Drink Mote con Huesillo is like food by Authentic Food Quest
Favorful Mote con Huesillo

One of the most typical Chile drinks you will find throughout the country is Mote con Huesillo. This drink has a long history dating back to the colonial time period, and the tradition continues today.

Drinking mote con huesillo is a popular way to quench your thirst during the hot summer months.

Mote con Huesillo, roughly translates to peaches with wheat. This drink is made from husked wheat (mote) and dried peaches (huesillo) soaked with sugar water and cinnamon to make a sweet, non-alcoholic drink.

This is one of the most popular traditional non-alcoholic drinks in Chile.

Mote con Huesillo Sign in Santiago by Authentic Food Quest
Vendor sign with different sizes of Mote con Huesillo

This is one of the Chile drinks you can find everywhere from restaurants, parks, street fairs or sold by street vendors. 

This beverage is so popular, that there’s even a saying for it, “Más chileno que el mote con huesillo,” which translates to mean “More Chilean than a mote con huesillo.” 

This refers to the distinctive national pride of this famous traditional Chilean drink.

We first tried this drink at a local fair in the South of Chile, and again on the streets of San Pedro de Atacama

We found it refreshing, though a bit odd with the softened wheat. The sweetened syrupy juice from the dried peaches gave it a delicious flavor that we both enjoyed.

The best part about mote con huesillo is that it is a drink that you can eat as well.

READ RELATED: 10 Popular Chilean Dishes Worth Trying

2. Carmenère – The Emblematic Chilean Red Wine

Chilean Red Wine Carmenere by Authentic Food Quest
Carmenère wine from Cousino Macul Winery

Carmenère is the emblematic red wine of Chile, much like Malbec is to Argentina. The Carmenere vines were imported into Chile from Bordeaux in France. 

In 1867, after the Phylloxera plague wiped out most of the vineyards of Europe the Carmenère was considered extinct.

It was only rediscovered in Chile in the mid-1990s after being mistaken for Merlot.

We first tried Carmenere in the wine regions of Maule Valley and Maipo Valley.  Maule Valley is where Chile’s first vines were planted in the16th Century. 

Read more about our visits to the vineyard and wineries of Maule Valley.

Maipo Valley, located in the Central Valley is where many of Chile’s top red wines come from. 

We tasted Carmenère at several vineyards in this valley including at the famous Concha y Toro.

Deep in color, this red wine is soft and rounded. It has floral aromas as well as berry flavors with hints of smoky tobacco.

Carmenère is one of the most delicious Chilean drinks that you should not miss!

RELATED: Visit 3 Maipo Wineries including Concha y Toro for the Best Santiago Wine Tours

3. Borgoña Drink – Popular Chilean Punch

One of the most popular Chilean Drinks Borgogna Drink by Authentic Food Quest
Sweet and delightful Borgoña

Borgoña is a popular punch prepared with red wine and ripe strawberries. It comes from the Central Valley, Chile’s most productive and internationally renowned wine region.

The Borgoña drink is typically prepared with Carmenère, the iconic Chilean red wine. Strawberries are mixed with the wine and strawberry pieces are added to infuse into the newly made punch. 

Sugar is sometimes added depending on taste preferences.

Making Borgogna in Chile by Authentic Food Quest
Blending ingredients to make the perfect Borgoña

You will find Borgoña at street fairs, restaurants or bars in Chile. This is a refreshing drink that resembles the sangria for the sweetness, though the taste is much more on the berry side.

Be warned, Borgoña is very easy to drink and the portion servings are large. With the mix of sugar and wine, you’ll find yourself tipsy quickly. 

Watch out!

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: From Santiago, take a day trip to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, the famous Garden City. During this all-day tour, you’ll sample a variety of Chilean drinks while exploring more of the country. With a local guide, you’ll explore Chilean food and drinks while learning about the culture and history. Book your from Santiago to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar day tour.

4- Chicha – Traditional Independence Day Drink

Rosemary drinking chicha at Borago restaurant by Authentic Food Quest
Rosemary drinking Chicha from a horn

Chicha is a sweet wine typically made from fermented grapes or apples. It is one of the most traditional Chilean drinks consumed on Chile’s National Day also referred as fiestas patrias.

This holiday is celebrated on September 18th and marks the beginning of independence from Spain. On this day, Chile’s President will make a toast with Chicha during the military parade. It is not common to find this Chilean drink outside of this period, and you may need to search for it.  

We had the chance to try Chicha made with grapes at Boragó restaurant in Santiago, ranked as the top restaurant in Chile in 2017.  

We had chicha after a couple glasses of wine and we found it very easy to drink. Maybe our taste buds were already tainted. While sweet, it was not as sweet as a dessert wine.

This is one of the drinks in Chile we would not mind trying again. One of the best parts about the experience was drinking it out of the traditional horn called cacho de chicha.

Don’t miss this typical drink of Chile on your travels to Santiago.

5. Terremoto Drink – One of the Most Unique Chile Drinks

A unique Chilean Drink Terremoto San Pedro de Atacama Authentic Food Quest
The powerful Terremoto local Chilean drink

Another one of the unique and local Chile drinks is Terremoto. It is not found everywhere but should be on your list to try when you visit Chile.

Terremoto literally means “Earthquake” since you are left with the ground and legs feeling very shaky. The terremoto drink consists of pineapple ice-cream, mixed with a sweet, fermented white wine called Pipeño and grenadine.

The story behind this famous Chilean drink is interesting. Legend has it that a few days after the earthquake of 1985, a group of German reporters came to Santiago to report on the damages caused by the earthquake.

The group ordered pipeño wine and found it almost undrinkable. They asked the waiter to sweeten it and he added pineapple ice-cream. When they tried it, they supposedly said Esto sí que es un Terremoto (This truly is an earthquake) due to how strong it was and the name stuck ever since.

We tried this drink in the unique Atacama Desert in northern Chile on a hot sunny afternoon. Having spent the day discovering the incredible landscape of Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), we were in need of something refreshing.

When the drink was served, we were surprised to see it clearly broken up into levels. The grenadine mixture at the bottom and the pineapple ice-cream floating on top.

After stirring it and mixing it together, we took the first couple of sips. Despite being strong and sugary, it was surprisingly quite refreshing. I enjoyed this drink much more than Claire. 

However, I was careful to keep drinking water in between sips.

The Germans were not far from the truth. Terremoto is strong and can leave you shaking at the knees!

6. Pisco Sour – Chilean National Drink and Cocktails

Pisco Sour the national drink of Chile by Authentic Food Quest
Unmissable Chilean Pisco sour

Pisco Sour is the famous cocktail also known as Chile’s National Spirit.  Peru has its own version of Pisco Sour also considered the national beverage. 

Although Chile and Peru dispute the origins of Pisco Sour, the way each country makes it is quite different and worth exploring.

In Chile, Pisco Sour is made from Chilean Pisco brandy, lemon juice from Pica, sugar, and ice. In the Peruvian Pisco Sour, egg whites, bitter drops, and more sugar is usually added.

There are also significant differences in the way the Pisco brandy is made. In Chile, the Pisco brandy is aged in oak barrels which is not the case for Peruvian Pisco. 

You will find Pisco Sour served at restaurants and bars across the country. Tastewise, we found Chilean Pisco Sours to be smooth and easy to drink.

This typical drink in Chile is great to enjoy prior to dinner. Be sure not to miss it on your travels to Chile.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: You can sip on Chile without traveling to the country. This easy to make at home Chilean Pisco Sour recipe will introduce you to the national drink of Chile. Grab the recipe Chilean Pisco Sour – How to Make it Home.

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In Summary

Chilean drinks are as unique and diverse as the food you’ll find throughout the country. Some of the typical drinks in Chile you’ll see everywhere, while others you may need to dig for.

By seeking out these 6 famous Chile drinks, you will elevate your experience from being a tourist to being a local. Immerse yourself in the local Chilean food and drinks culture.

However, if you are going to try all of these Chile drinks, you’ll need some Chilean food to keep you going. 

Be sure to check out our article about the 10 popular Chilean dishes worth trying.

Eat and drink like a local in Chile and savor your local and authentic food experiences.

Have you had any of these Chilean drinks before? Which ones are intriguing to you? Please let us know in the comments below.

Savor The Adventure!

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Borgona one of the best Chilean Drinks by AuthenticFoodQuest

40 comments

  1. Such a nice read. Chile is a dream destination for me and I love to experience places through local cuisines, etc. So definitely bookmarking this for my Chile trip. The Mote con Huesillo seems like something I would really like as well the Borgona. Wine with strawberries? Yes, please!

    Reply
    • Thanks Bilyana for your wonderful feedback. Chile is indeed a wonderful country to visit. So diverse and rich culturally. We really enjoyed our stay there and wish we could have stayed longer. So much to explore and discover. Hope you can get there soon and enjoy some of the amazing drinks and delicious foods. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!!

      Reply
  2. Oh wow! One pitcher of Borgoña please. That sounds absolutely lush! As for the first drink, we have something similar in the Philippines called Halo Halo.

    Reply
    • Hi Anna! Borgoña is such an easy drink, I was so surprised to like it so much 🙂 Halo Halo sounds interesting! I heard it for the first time in a recent food twitter chat. Can’t wait to try it, we’ll be in Manilla in October.

      Reply
  3. Great list. I hadn’t heard of some of these before. I love Pisco Sours though! I prefer the Chilean way of making them, but mostly because egg whites in drinks kinda creep me out.

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  4. Wow, the first one sounds really delicious but I’m just not sure how I’d feel about the wheat being in the bottom.

    @spreadingJOY
    Marie

    Reply
    • Thanks Marie for your comments. One of the most surprising things about mote con huesillo was actually how delicious it was. It’s a very popular drink and super sweet. The wheat gives it a lot of flavor and the combination with the peaches is quite interesting! It’s definitely worth trying out.

      Reply
  5. I’ve been to Chile quite a few times but only had the mote con huesillo and of course the Pisco sour so far. I’m heading back in September so will remember the other ones for sure!

    Reply
    • So glad to hear Anto that you will have another chance to head back to Chile and try the other drinks. Our goal with authentic food quest is to share the knowledge the ahead of time, so that travelers like yourself don’t miss out. Do let us know which other ones you try and what you think of them 🙂

      Reply
  6. Oh, the Borgoña looks tasty. I can see why you’d need to watch out drinking it. I could probably drink a couple quickly then pay for it later 🙂

    Reply
    • You are right Dana. The local drinks are intriguing and dangerously strong…one does need take care…though as part of drinking the local culture, it’s a small price to pay 🙂 Appreciate your comments.

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  7. These all sound interesting, and I love to only drink local beverages when I travel. I do the same with food. Pisco Sour and Borgoña would be the ones I’d like best, I think.

    Reply
    • Hi Alina, that’s great that you only drink local beverages when you travel. What are you favorites so far? From which countries? These ones from Chile are all worth trying at least once, then settling back with your favorite. The Pisco Sour was one of our favorites 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  8. OK you had me at wine…any kind of wine! I had no idea what huge amount of diversity there was in wine there. The terremoto is hilarious and actually I’d love some right about now. Looks like a trip to Peru is in store. Forget about machu pichu I want the wine tour!

    Reply
    • Thanks Mary for your comments. Actually, all these unique drinks are from Chile. Much more than just wine. Though the wines are wonderful, especially the reds – Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon. Hope you can visit soon!!!

      Reply
  9. I don’t know a single thing about Chilean drinks other than wine! This was a nice informative post, and I learned that pisco sours are also popular in Chile (I drank them in Peru)! I would be interested in trying all of them, but in particular the Mote de Huesillo. A drink made from dried peaches, wheat and sugar sounds very interesting!

    Reply
    • So glad you found the post informative and interesting. You are right, both Peru and Chile claim the Pisco Sour…and it is prepared differently in each country. Mote con huesillo – different textures and flavors, but a wonderful combination. Hope you can try it at some point soon 🙂 Cheers Katie.

      Reply
  10. Well, I feel like I really failed to do my homework before we went to Chile. All we had was the pisco sour and the carmenere (though we were there for a wine trip). I don’t remember seeing the Mote con Huesillo. I would have loved to try it, even though it does sound more like a snack than a drink 😉

    Reply
    • Hi Laura…no worries that you missed many of the drinks on your last trip to Chile. There can always be another one, right 🙂 The Mote con Huesillo is a very local drink and one is available everywhere, even in grocery stores. Quite tasty and filling at the same time. Did you enjoy the wineries? Cheers

      Reply
    • The vineyards are amazing, with some of the best and largest wineries in South America. If you make it to Chile, visit the largest vineyard in the world – Concha y Toro – it is quite an experience! Have you tried Carmenere wines?

      Reply
  11. #5 with the pineapple ice cream sounds good.. but it also sounds wickedly refreshing! Anything that resembles an earthquake should probably be drank with a little caution, right?

    Reply
    • You bet Sara…stay away from #5 Terremoto, it is so strong….but refreshing with the ice-cream. The funny thing is that after you feel “shaky” Chileans serve a smaller version called “after-shock.” Caution is key 🙂 Thanks so much!

      Reply

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