Costa Ricans like to drink, but they don't like drunks.
Most Restaurants serve a good variety of alcoholic drinks. Imported drinks are expensive; local ones are quite cheap. There are several brands of local beer. Pilsen and Imperial are both good, popular beers; Imperial is the largest-selling beer in the country its nickname is una águila for the black eagle on the label. Bavaria has a gold foil around the cap and is a little more expensive and supposedly more full-bodied than the first two, though it's hard to tell the difference. Also a local version of Heinecken is made , which costs about the same as Bavaria. Most of these are 4% or 4.5% alcohol. Rock Ice with a 4.7% alcohol content has a slightly more bitter taste. Other beers are imported and expensive.
Local beers cost about US$ 60c in the very cheapest bars, about US$ 1.25 in average bars and restaurants and almost US$ 3.00 in some of the fancy tourist lodges, restaurants, hotels and resorts.
Most Costa Rican wines are cheap, taste cheap, and provide a memorable hangover. Recently, 'La Casa de Garita' produced locally by an Italian vintner, has been reviewed as an acceptable table wine, though it isn't easy to find. Good imported wines are available but expensive. Chilean brands are you best bet for a palatable wine at an affordable price.
Sugarcane is grown in Costa Rica, so liquor made from this is cheap. The cheapest is guaro, which is the local firewater, drunk by the shot. Also inexpensive and good is local rum, usually drunk as a Cuba Libre (rum and cola). Premixed cans of Cuba Libre are available.
Local vodka and gin aren't bad, but whisky is poor. Expensive imported liquors are available, as are imported liqueurs. One locally made liqueur is Café Rica, which predictably is based on coffee and tastes like the better known Mexican Kahlua.
Text by Lonely Planet.
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