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Must-drink beverages in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a well known holiday destination in Asia, which is visited by hundreds of thousands of travellers every year. Sri Lanka was under the influence of many foreign cultures due to various reasons. Therefore, this south Asian tropical island has a fascinating blend of various cultures and nationals. It is visible in every major aspect of the Sri Lankan life.
Sri Lankan traditional food and beverages can be described as some unique experiences for international travellers. Maybe the food such as rice and curry may show some similarities to Indian and Thai cuisines, But Sri Lanka dishes are a lot spicier than Indian and Thai foods. Traditional Sri Lanka drinks are also shown a lot of differences to other Asian beverages. Following are some of the beverages in Sri Lanka that are considered to be traditional drinks with a unique taste to the island.
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Being a tropical island Sri Lanka is very warm and humid. Therefore, it is necessary to take enough fluid to avert dehydration. The water is freely available throughout the island and can drink. However, if you are a foreign traveller it is highly recommended to drink Mineral water, which is filtered and cleaned.
Maybe you are not aware that Sri Lanka is the producer of world-renowned Ceylon Tea. Tea is not an indigenous drink for Sri Lanka; it was imported during the Dutch colonial period and plantations were started by the British rulers in Sri Lanka. Tea is a leading export product for the island even today. Tea is one of the favourite beverages in Sri Lanka and it is the drink of all classes (rich and poor) of the island. Strong black tea is usually prepared in the average household and mixed with milk and sugar.
Even in local restaurants, they are prepared in the same manner. This favourite drink of local people is dark brown coloured and sweet milky in taste. Some people are adding even spices such as cardamom, ginger, nutmeg etc, to enhance the taste and aroma of milk tea. Tea can be bought in various flavoured such as banana, pineapple, peach, lemon, cinnamon etc.
The flavoured tea also can be bought in Sri Lanka but then it should be consumed without mixing with other ingredients such as milk, and spices. The best place to buy a typical Sri Lankan tea is the street vendors, who are selling short eats and various other types of fast foods by the side of the road.
This can be described as the most natural healthiest drink in Sri Lanka. It is a variety of coconut with the orange coloured outer layer. They are sold in every corner of the island from busy streets in Colombo to most remote villages in the country, on trains, religious sites, long distant buses, in restaurants and pretty much everywhere in the country. This natural drink contains various vitamins and minerals. It is 100% pure and no added chemical in any form.
Undoubtedly this is the most favourite alcohol beverage in Sri Lanka. It is made of distilled toddy or coconut syrup. Some people find it to be similar in taste to Rum, Gin, and Brandy etc. But, different brands give you a different taste. Mostly the arrack is consumed as a mixture due to the high concentration of alcohol. It can be mix with almost any other beverage. The barmen in hotels have their own mixtures for various arrack cocktails. If you like to make your own cocktail try it with fruit juice, cola, water, sprite, lime and ginger beer.
Ayurveda is a leading healing method in Sri Lanka and people of the island are known to be using various herbs even before the advent of western medicine. Herbal drinks are prepared with various types of herbs and they have different taste and aromas. Other than being thirst quencher herbal drinks generate some health benefits. For instance, some herbal drinks are known to be strong antioxidants and works against cancer cells and dilute cholesterol.
Sri Lanka has a large collection of tropical fruits. Papaya, Mango, Avocado, durian, Passionfruit… the list is endless. Most fruits are available on the island throughout the year, while few fruits are seasonal. Sri Lanka is self-sufficient in most fruits such as Papaya, Pineapple, Banan etc. Fruit juice is a very popular thirst quencher on the island. The fruits juices are widely available throughout the island.
The local people use most of these fruits to make delicious fruit juices. Fruit juice can be bought in many places around the country. Even in some places wayside, small boutiques are set up to sell fruit juices.
If you are a traveller on a Sri Lanka trip and check-in to hotels on the way, you will get the opportunity to taste delicious fresh fruit juice, most importantly it is free. Most hotels serve welcome cocktail upon the arrival of their customers, which is most of the time a fruit juice of a cup of tea.