With its breezy beaches, clear turquoise water and lush green hillsides, Panama is the idyllic location to celebrate life with a cocktail. From the national drink of seco con leche to tropical creations and Caribbean inspired drinks, there are plenty of ways to drink up in honor of the isthmus nation. If you can’t actually make it to Panama, you can always mix-up a Panamanian inspired cocktail at home and drink enough to at least pretend you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach. Or, impress your friends with your worldliness at your next party and offer a Panamanian inspired bar menu.
Pina Colada: If you like dancing in the rain, you’ll probably enjoy this fruity, tropical drink. It can be found all over Panama and when made with fresh pineapple is truly delicious. The cocktail mixes ice, rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice. If this drink alone doesn’t transport you to the tropics, jazz up the glass with little umbrella and put on your bikini.
Seco Con Leche: Seco is a traditional distilled liquor made from sugar cane juice. The cheap 80 proof liqueur is the national drink. The most traditional (though admittedly not most delicious) way to drink is seco is mixed con leche, or with milk.
Panama Cocktail: This drink became extremely popular in the early 20th century when everything Panama became trendy upon the completion of the Canal (it is required you drink this cocktail while wearing a Panama hat). The cognac based drink mixes white creme de cacao (a clear, chocolate flavored liqueur) with equal parts brandy and/or cognac and heavy cream served over ice. You’ll practically feel like Teddy Roosevelt touring the canal with this drink that packs a punch.
Cervezas Panama (aka BEER): There are 4 different beers made in Panama, each having its own flavor profile. Balboa is a big seller and is a strong, full bodied beer in the style of European stouts. Atlas is a popular light beer that is much like many big brand American beers. Panama beer is a great light beer with a strong flavor–my personal favorite. Sobersana is much like Atlas and is a light, American style beer. The best thing about Panama beer? They only cost US $0.50-$1.00 at the bars.
Panama Red: Panama’s take on the margarita. Mix tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour mix and grenadine syrup for a sweet and tangy treat.
Panama Jack: Mixing orange and pineapple juice with rum and pina colada mix will give you this delicious Panamanian inspired cocktail.