Beer popularityThe most popular alcoholic drink in Latin America is, by far, beer. Corona (Mexico), Skol (Brazil), and Águila (Colombia) are the most valuable beer brands in the region, and craft beer is becoming increasingly popular. The market value of Latin American craft beer exceeded 12 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 and is expected to keep growing.
South American winesWine is another alcoholic beverage widely consumed in South America. Chile and Argentina are the biggest producers and have become recognized as worldwide powerhouses. Argentinian wine is mainly produced in the province of Mendoza, especially the red varietal “Malbec”, which is globally known as Argentina’s signature wine.
In Chile, some of the most grown red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Chilean white wines are also worldly acclaimed, with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay being some of the favorites among wine connoisseurs.
Local treasuresDespite the popularity of beer and wine, and given the cultural diversity of the region, what particularly shapes the alcoholic beverages market in Latin America is its variety of local liqueurs and spirits. Some of the best-known typically Latin American alcoholic drinks include cachaça, pisco, rum, tequila, and mezcal.
These beverages are produced based on a variety of local ingredients such as sugar cane (cachaça and rum), agave (mezcal and tequila), anise (Colombian aguardiente), and grape (pisco). While most are native to specific Latin American countries such as Brazil (cachaça), Colombia (aguardiente), Mexico (mezcal and tequila), Chile, and Peru (Pisco), others are distinctive of the region on account of their global popularity. Rum, for instance, though produced in different areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, is mainly known as a typically Cuban distillate. Another beverage widely consumed in South America is fernet, a bitter herbal liqueur native to Italy. Particularly in Argentina and Uruguay, it is usually prepared as a cocktail mixed with Coca-Cola.