Dieciocho, a time for Chileans to celebrate the country’s independence from Spain, is marked by huge celebrations across the country as well as with close knit family parties and barbeques. Whatever the venue, however, all fiestas patrias festivities are sure to include massive amounts of delicious food and tasty drinks.
Celebrations are sure to include many favorite Chilean classics and drinks that shine at this time of year. This is Chile has put together a list of some of the most popular choices to help you get a true taste of el dieciocho.
Terremoto: This drink, whose name literally means “earthquake” is known to pack a serious punch. It is made with a pipeño wine, a sweet white wine made in Chile with a very short fermentation period, a little bitters or fernet and grenadine, topped with pineapple ice cream. Although a favorite for fiestas patrias, take care with the terremotos as their sweetness can mask its alcohol content and leave you as rocked as the name suggests!
Borgoña and Clery: These two drinks are Chilean classics that highlight the country’s great wine, which is probably why they are so popular in the central region. Both are a mix of wine and fruit, the borgoña using red wine while a clery calls for white. Add a little sugar, some chirimoyas, strawberries or maybe even peaches and you are all set!
Chicha: There are many versions of chicha, but the kind most enjoyed during the fiestas patrias is made with fermented grape juice with orange slices thrown in for extra flavor. In the south of the country you can find chicha made from apples as well. The drink is very traditional and really adds a rustic flavor to any celebration. The best place to find a good glass of chicha is at a fonda or a vendor who has prepared the drink for the occasion, as it is hard to find in traditional supermarkets.
Pajarete: A favorite from the North, this sweet wine is similar to the pipeño used in terremotos only a little thicker, more fragrant and less alcoholic. It is popular in the Atacama and Coquimbo regions in the far North of Chile.
Piscola: And for those looking for an easy classic there is always piscola, a simple but tasty mix of pisco, a grape based alcohol native to Chile and southern Perú, and cola. It is also very easy to make variations substituting other sodas to suite your tastes.
Of course there are many more options for any dieciocho drink menu, and many ways to enjoy the fiestas patrias, just remember to celebrate responsibly!