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Alcoholic drinks

Whether you are on holiday or just visiting the Dominican Republic, being in a hot country requires some serious liquid refreshment. And while it is true that hotels will give you all the cocktails and beer your body can handle, you should still make an effort to sample some of the local booze direct from the source.  more...


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One of the best reasons to try alcohol outside a hotel is the local beer. The mainstay of beer in the Dominican Republic is Presidente which has a smooth crisp taste and is available everywhere. If you prefer something with a little more aftertaste, then a Bohemia might by more your style. Both beers generally come bottled in three sizes: small, regular and jumbo. Bohemia is the slightly cheaper of the two, but even a jumbo will not cost you more than $130 pesos RD. However, be warned that prices on the beach front or in restaurants can be more than double the supermarket price. At this point you may be thinking ‘I have free beer on tap at the hotel, why should I pay for one?’ The reason is simple: temperature.

Dominicans love their beer ice cold, and in fact it’s the only way to drink it. To get a good sample of this, try going into a colmado and asking for “una cerverza en vestido de novia” - (literally: “a beer in a wedding dress”). If the store keeper is worth his salt, he will open his freezer to reveal a special compartment specially built to house beer bottles, and the bottle he brings out should have frosting - the “wedding dress” - all the way down to the base. The only downside to this experience is that once you have tried a beer like this you’ll be sneaking out of the hotel on a regular basis to quench your thirst.

It would be impossible to write an article on drinks in the Dominican Republic and not talk about rum (also called “ron” or “room”). It has been said that the Dominican Republic could boost their economy by some twenty percent if they exported their rum instead of drinking it, but it wouldn’t be the same country if they did. Rum is classified and priced depending on the age as follows: blanco (white), dorado (golden), añejo (aged), extra or gran añejo, and platinum.

The biggest hitter in the rum supply stakes is Brugal. Their main distillery is located in Puerto Plata and is open for tourists to visit and sample some of their delights. While Brugal is very popular with Dominicans, many foreigners find it to have a harsh biting taste. If you decide to take some of this brand back with you, pick more aged rum - unless you intend to use it for cocktail mixing.

Less popular with Dominicans and slightly cheaper than Brugal is Bermudez rum. This rum is a good option is you prefer something smoother as the taste of this brand is very similar to the famous Havana Club. Bermudez also sell a number of their rums in plastic bottles making them easier to transport both for weight and for avoiding breakage.

For those who are more seasoned drinkers and require more finesse to their choice of beverage, then Barceló is the brand for you. A smooth clear tasting rum that is just as good at room temperature as it is chilled, this rum is great for a personal treat or as a present for your boss. A bottle of gran añejo will only set you back around $14.

There are two other rum treats worth mentioning that no visitor should leave without trying. The first is the freshly opened coconut with a good shot of rum mixed in. Such a simple drink, but you will not find a cocktail to better it. The second is mamajuana - rum that has been cured in a bottle with a mixture of herbs, spices and tree bark. The result is a sweet and spicy flavor with an aromatic smell. Most of the hotels have some mamajuana behind the bar, but if you can find a local who has his own brew then you will be in for a real treat.

As a word of warning, please remember to drink responsibly. It is not uncommon to see the locals riding around with a beer or bottle rum in hand. But there are laws against this and foreigners are much more likely to be stopped than locals. Click Here and check out DR forum

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