Liquors from Panama

In Panama there are different kinds of spirits, and some are unique to this region. The most well-known drinks in the country are Seco Herrerano and Ron Abuelo, but there are also traditional alcoholic beverages like chicha fuerte.

The Seco Herrerano is known as the most popular drink in the country and is a source of pride for Panamanians. Although it is made out of sugar cane juice, it is not rum. It is a transparent, practically odorless alcohol that can be mixed with any beverage to make a cocktail. Many use Seco in place of gin in a tonic, and instead of vodka with cranberry juice (or any other kind of juice) or in a Bloody Mary. Some even drink it with milk. The raw material, sugarcane, is grown in the valley of Pesé in the province of Herrera, hence its name Herrerano.

Ron Abuelo is indeed a rum and the preference across the isthmus. It is produced by aging cane molasses in white oak barrels until reaching the delicious flavor and quality that has earned it a reputation as a world-class rum.

Chicha fuerte is made from germinated corn that is allowed to ferment in earthenware vessels. The ancestral technique of first chewing the kernels and then fermenting them persists in some indigenous communities, such as the Guna Indians, who call it "Inna" in their language. The Ngäbe indigenous group call it "Dö kwaka", meaning "bitter fermented corn drink" or even "spicy fermented corn drink".

With the exception of chicha fuerte, all of these liquors can be purchased in shops, super markets, and corner stores commonly run by Chinese-Panamanians.

Cervecería Nacional brews the beer with highest sales in the country, Atlas. It also produces Balboa, a lager beer, which has the most body and highest alcoholic content of all the domestic beers.

Cervecería del Barú brews the beer called Panama, winner of four gold medals in international competitions, as well as Soberana. Both are very well-received by locals and foreigners alike.