10 Popular Guyanese Beverages

Guyanese beverages include alcoholic and nonalcoholic options that are prepared from local ingredients.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Basic Information

Guyanese Drinks: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Sugar, fruit juices, flowers, spices, cassava.

Common Preparing Methods

Distilling, brewing, boiling, fermenting, blending.

Key Taste

Sweet, Bitter, Sour.

Drinking Etiquette

Begins meals with a drink; toast when drinking alcohol; keep the wrists on the table during mealtimes.

Culinary Festivals

Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Holi.

Influence and Fusion

Guyanese beverages are influenced by indigenous, African, and European drink-making traditions.
Origin and Region

Guyanese Drinks: Origin and Region



Culinary Region

South America
Guyana Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Types of Guyanese Drinks

  • Alcoholic

    Guyanese alcoholic beverages include rum and indigenous liquor, with molasses and cassava as popular ingredients.

    These beverages can originate in the indigenous culture or were introduced from the outside world.

    Their alcohol content can be significant

    Some Guyanese beverages are gluten-free, depending on the ingredients.

  • Non-Alcoholic

    Guyanese non-alcoholic beverages include herbal tea, soft drinks, and fruit juices.

    Local ingredients, like fruits and herbs, are their main components.

    These beverages can be served hot or cold.

    Certain non-alcoholic beverages are widely available at Guyanese street stalls.

Guyanese beverages refer to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in Guyana, a country in South America. These beverages have diverse flavor profiles and make excellent accompaniments for local dishes.

Guyanese beverages are mostly made from local ingredients, such as fruits, molasses, and herbs. Many options originated in the indigenous tribes, while Europeans introduced the others.

Rum is an immensely popular alcoholic beverage in Guyana, demonstrating the solid culinary link between this country and the Caribbean. For non-alcoholic choices, Guyanese people go for mauby, a popular soft drink.

First, let’s delve into Guyana’s traditional drinking culture and the global popularity of local beverages. Next, I will talk about the 10 best beverages in Guyana.

For each Guyanese beverage mentioned in this compilation, I will mention its origin, main ingredients, preparation techniques, and, of course, ideal food pairing recommendations. Lastly, I will offer an overview of beverages in Guyana.

The following rules of drinking etiquette lay the foundation for Guyanese drinking culture.

Legal Drinking Age

18 is the legal drinking age in Guyana. People below 16 years old.


Alcoholic beverages are very prevalent in Guyana, and people often toast and clink glasses before drinking beer, wine, or spirits.

Basic Manners

Guyanese people follow the same set of drinking rules as in other countries, such as refraining from drinking with food in the mouth, sipping instead of gulping, and serving beer or soft drinks in cups and glasses rather than drinking them straight from the can.

Next, let’s look at how popular Guyanese beverages are in other regions around the world.

Many popular beverages in Guyana are also household names throughout the Caribbean due to the exchange and shared history between the countries in the region. Rum, mauby, ginger beer, and sorrel drinks are a few prominent examples.

Meanwhile, certain drinks are native to Guyana and are only available within the country, such as kasiri and parakari. They are exotic beverages unique to Guyana.

Both mainstream and unfamiliar beverages in Guyana are worth discovering, and the next section will help you learn about them all.

10 Famous Guyanese Beverages

To enjoy the greatness of Guyanese beverages, you should learn about the 10 most well-known choices in the country. I have included interactive filters to help you navigate this content more easily in terms of popularity, ingredients, tastes, and preparation methods.

Also, check out other filters based on traditional, national, and exotic beverage labels.

  • The most popular Guyanese beverages are widely enjoyed across the country and the region; some even enjoy regional popularity.
  • These beverages are available in various settings, from cafes to homes and social events.
  • Guyana’s national beverages represent the essence of the country’s culture and traditions.
  • These beverages serve as symbols of hospitality.
  • They are deeply ingrained in the country’s history and social fabric.
  • Traditional Guyanese beverages have great historical significance.
  • They have been passed down through generations.
  • These beverages showcase the diversity and richness of Guyana’s regional and culinary heritage.
  • Exotic Guyanese beverages are limited to the country and are challenging to find in other places.
  • These beverages utilize traditional ingredients and preparation techniques that are unfamiliar to people from other regions.
  • These beverages symbolize the uniqueness of Guyanese drinks.
El Dorado Rum

El Dorado Rum

  • Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

El Dorado Rum is a Guyanese spirit crafted by Demerara Distillers, once the country’s second-largest rum producer. It is made from molasses and aged in oak barrels.

As rum is among the most popular alcoholic beverages in Guyana, El Dorado Rum boasts a widespread appeal. Its alcohol by volume (ABV) is approximately 40%.

El Dorado Rum possesses an aromatic profile. Locals often serve El Dorado rum neat, over ice, or as a cocktail component.

The rich flavors of many traditional Guyanese dishes can stand up to the strong, complex notes of aged El Dorado Rum, such as Guyanese pepperpot and souse.

Banks Beer

Banks Beer

  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Banks Beer is a Guyanese beer appreciated in many regions, from the Caribbean to the UK and the United States.

The golden brew of Banks Beer comes from malted barley and hops, but it sometimes features Styrian Goldings hops for a mild metallic and faint citrus hoppy bite.

A touch of straw-like taste usually complements the light sweetness of this beer. Dishes like fish cakes, cook-up rice, or fried bakes are excellent for complementing this flavor profile.



  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Exotic
  • National
  • Traditional

Mauby is a famous soft drink in Guyana, though it is also popular in many Caribbean countries. Arguably the most famous non-alcoholic beverage in Guyana, it is made from the bark of the tree of the same name.

Sugar and mauby tree bark are boiled together to create a brown liquid to make Mauby. Traditional Mauby was fermented, but today’s commercial versions favor boiling the ingredients.

Mauby offers a sweet taste similar to root beer, but its aftertaste is slightly bitter. This unique flavor goes well with sweet treats like black cakes, custard blocks, and pine tarts.

Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Ginger beer is a well-known non-alcoholic beverage in Guyana. First brewed in England, it was introduced to this South American country during colonial times.

The main ingredients of ginger beer are zesty ginger root, brown sugar, and yeast for fermenting the mixture. The result is a bold, refreshing beverage that pairs well with pine tarts, mithai, and black cakes.

In Guyana, ginger beer is trendy during Christmas. The local version sometimes has a dash of champagne yeast for a spirited, alcoholic variant.



  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Sorrel, also known as hibiscus tea, is a well-known beverage in Guyana. Locals prepare it from hibiscus flowers and spices.

While many Caribbean countries enjoy sorrel, the Guyanese version is distinct in some ways. For example, this beverage calls for only cloves and cinnamon and can be prepared with fresh sorrel blossoms.

Sorrel is one of the most beloved non-alcoholic beverages for Christmas, so Christmas staples like black cakes, Guyanese pepperpot, and carne de vinha d’alhos are natural accompaniments.

Peanut Punch

Peanut Punch

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Peanut punch is a Guyanese alcohol-free beverage similar to a milkshake. It combines peanut butter, milk, spices, and optional fruits (like bananas) into a thick and creamy drink with a bubbly profile.

Peanut punch is renowned for its rich protein and energy content. In Guyana and many Caribbean countries, street vendors usually sell peanut punch in glass bottles.

Such light dishes as pholouries, fried bakes, and cassava bread are excellent Guyanese dishes for accompanying peanut punch.



  • Alcoholic
  • Exotic
  • Traditional

Kasiri, also known as kaschiri and cassava beer, is a Guyanese beer brewed from cassava. It has its roots in indigenous cuisine and is also well-known in several South American countries, especially Suriname and Brazil.

The process of making kasiri involves pressing grated cassava in a cylindrical basketwork press and fermenting the pulp.

Kasiri is sometimes used to make cassareep, a dark, viscous syrup that is a core ingredient of Guyanese pepperpot. Therefore, it is reasonable to pair these two together.


  • Alcoholic
  • Exotic
  • Traditional

Parakari is a Guyanese alcoholic beverage of indigenous origin. Deeply rooted in the customs of the Makushi tribe, parakari is an integral part of their vibrant culture.

People make parakari with cassava and ferment it with enzymes or saliva. Traditionally, the cassava is chewed to kickstart the dual fermenting process.

Afterward, the cassava is rinsed, drained, and turned into bread. Then, the bread is broken up and allowed to ferment again to create parakari.

Given the roots of parakari, this beverage should go with native dishes like Guyanese pepperpot, cassava bread, or farine.

Lemon Hart

Lemon Hart

  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Lemon Hart is a well-known rum from Guyana. It was named after an English businessman who contributed greatly to Caribbean rum and was once the rum supplier for the British Navy.

Made from molasses, Lemon Hart is an amber-colored rum with the unmistakable richness of molasses and the intriguing aroma of spices. Its intricate flavor is reminiscent of dry fruits, caramel, and bittersweet chocolate.

In terms of accompaniments, Lemon Hart works well with various kinds of dishes, like callaloo, metemgee, souse, and fish cakes.



  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Swank, literally “full of life energy,” is a type of Guyanese lemonade. Locals often serve it alongside light dishes like cook-up rice, plantain chips, and egg balls.

The standard ingredients for swank are water, brown sugar, and lime juice. The use of brown sugar gives this sweet and tart beverage a pale chocolate-like color distinct from your regular lemonade.

Do you want to know more about Guyanese beverages? Read on to uncover helpful facts!

What Is Special About Beverages in Guyana?

Rum Guyana
Rum is a hugely popular beverage in Guyana.

To give you a picture of beverages in Guyana, I will cover the legal drinking age, drinking etiquette, and responsible drinking.

Drinking Age

You have to be 18 years old or older to purchase alcoholic beverages in Guyana.

Drinking Etiquette

Meals often begin with a drink and flavorful culinary creations in Guyana, with the host being the one who initiates it.

Rum is the most common alcoholic beverage in Guyana, and most people enjoy it with toast.

When enjoying Guyanee beverages with local food at a formal meal, remember to keep your wrists on the table but not your elbows.

Responsible Drinking

In general, Guyanese people are heavy alcohol consumers, and alcoholic beverages, especially rum, are widely served. However, you can always ask for non-alcoholic drinks.

Do you have more Guyanese beverages that can be added to this list? Don’t hesitate to show me in the comment section! And don’t forget to share this list with your friends.

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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