How and where to enjoy a drink in Sri Lanka
Given the tropical heat, you need to constantly hydrate your body. Should you get bored of your trusty mineral water, Sri Lankan shops will offer you a variety of freshly made fruit juices. Passion fruit is one of the most popular choices. You can also try ginger beer, made from locally sourced ginger, proven to give relief from spicy food and indigestion.
If you are wary of hygiene, opt for coconut water from the king coconut palm trees. Coconut water is safe and delicious. It rehydrates well and children love it. Coconut water is a natural coolant, and most importantly, found everywhere along the streets.
Those looking to have a taste of alcohol should try the local toddy made by fermenting coconut palm sap collected from unopened coconut flowers. You can find toddy shacks all along the road. This is probably the Sri Lankan equivalent of beer and contains only 4% alcohol. Westerners find the taste comparable to mild vinegar.
Arrack, distilled from toddy, is more palatable, and considered to be the national drink. Similar to whisky or rum, it is mixed with ginger beer or coke and served in toddy shacks.