Delicious Must-Try Drinks in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country famous for its spicy food and varied cuisine, and while you could write a whole book about the food in Sri Lanka, we shouldn’t forget the drinks in Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka is a perfect destination for those looking for cheap holidays, and since food and drinks in Sri Lanka cost close to nothing, you can indulge in eating and drinking all day long.

Here are some popular drinks in Sri Lanka, you must try:

Ceylon Tea

Sri Lanka is the third largest tea producing country in the world, so it is no surprise that tea is one of the most common drinks in Sri Lanka.

Tea plants were introduced by the British in the 19th century, and today you can enjoy a cup of the finest Ceylon tea in tea houses overlooking the beautiful tea plantations in the highlands.

Just remember that Sri Lankans like their tea sweet – VERY sweet, so if you don’t want a massive sugar kick then ask the waiter to only put one or two tea spoons of sugar in your cup.

King Coconut Juice

King coconut palm trees line the beaches and surround the homes of locals, providing shade from the sun along with a thousand other ways to use the coconuts growing at the top.

This orange coconut is very important for the Sri Lankan people, who refer to it as a “living pharmacy”.

Our taxi driver bought us a couple of coconuts from a street stall and while the seller hacked a hole with his machete knife the driver told us all the possible benefits this “natural energy drink” apparently had.

Sri Lankans use the King Coconut, also known as Thambili, in everything from cooking to Ayurvedic medicine.

It’s much sweeter (and tastier) than the green Young Coconut and the perfect thirst quencher, you can find it for sale on the streets everywhere.

Toddy & Arrack

Toddy is a light alcoholic drink (4%) made from fermented coconut palm sap, and is usually served in Toddy shacks around the country.

Every morning at dawn, toddy tappers climb onto the palm trees along the coastlines of Sri Lanka and harvest the palm sap from unopened coconut flowers - every tree can provide up to two liters of this stuff every day.

The sap ferments immediately into toddy and becomes mildly alcoholic.

You drink it like beer, but don’t expect it to taste like it – toddy definitely has an acquired taste – don’t believe anyone who says that it tastes like cider, it’s more like vinegar!

Arrack is one of the most traditional drinks in Sri Lanka which is distilled from toddy or palm syrup, and has a much higher percentage of alcohol (60 – 90%).

The golden colored drink is often regarded as the national drink of Sri Lanka, and tastes like something between Whisky and Rum.

Many people mix it with Sprite, ginger beer or Coke into a cocktail – you can get both these drinks from the local Toddy shacks.

Faluda

Faluda is like a liquid dessert – a sweet combination of milk and rose syrup with poppy seeds and jelly pieces.

It’s a muslim specialty, sometimes served with cashew nuts and ice cream – yum!

Elephant House Ginger Beer

Elephant House Ginger Beer is a popular Sri Lankan soft drink prepared with natural Ayurvedic ginger (one of the few to do this in the world) grown from local farmers in the hill-country.

The drink proclaims to have Ayurvedic properties, helping digestion and relieving drowsiness from a heavy meal.

It’s really tasty and is a perfect match with spicy foods.

What are your favorite drinks in Sri Lanka?

20 Responses to Delicious Must-Try Drinks in Sri Lanka

  1. Explura April 16, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Nice article..
    Have you been yo malaysia or India before?
    I love your blog

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 16, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Hey – thank you – yes we have been to both Malaysia & India – we will be heading back to Malaysia again in 2 weeks – love it there! :)

  2. Bali Villa Holidays April 18, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    One of the post I like about in this blog. Readable and photos are not overused to accentuate the story.

  3. Ryan April 19, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    I have a huge sweet tooth, so naturally tracking down faluda is now a mission of mine.

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 22, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      I have a serious sweet tooth as well, if you don’t find a place that has it you can always try to make it yourself: http://www.falooda.in/index_falooda.php

  4. For 91 Days April 21, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Ohh .. we haven’t tried Faluda yet!!! Know of a good place in Galle to try it?

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 22, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      You can try at the Indian Hut, it’s on the menu but they don’t always have it. Otherwise, try their Woodapple juice with ice cream, it’s delicious!

  5. For 91 Days April 21, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Ah .. have you tried to mix ginger beer and arrack? Yummy!!!

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 22, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      We had it with Pepsi – really nice, but I heard that it’s even better with ginger beer so we’ll try that next time!

  6. Claire April 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Fresh lime soda (sweet) – so refreshing on a hot day!

  7. Devantwist April 23, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Helllloooo,will you join me in a drink party from sri lanka 7star tarrisgril  hotel……….

  8. Kristina April 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    You make mi want to try that  “natural energy drink” :)))

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