Sri Lanka is hot. I mean really hot. And humid. A great place to see by air conditioned car. Within minutes of being collected at Colombo airport, our driver/guide was singing the praises of what was in his own humble opinion, Sri Lanka’s number one drink; the King Coconut. “You would like to try yes?” We soon pulled up outside a small local store. We exited the air conditioned comfort of our car and into the stifling humidity for a tasty, sweet and cool drink of coconut juice straight out of the shell, tasty, sweet and cool.
At the coastal resort town of Hikkaduwa, seafood restaurants are plentiful and offer a diverse range of local and international dishes. This very tart ginger beer went down well with a delicious spicy crab and prawn curry and a shark steak. Elephant brand ginger beer is brewed in Sri Lanka; it is more gingerish and has more bite than your standard Aussie brew. If ginger beer is not your thing, try a ginger ale or iced ginger tea.
As long as you don’t visit Sri Lanka during the 10 days of the Esala Perahera festival when the sale of alcohol is prohibited, the beer in Sri-Lanka is a thirst quencher that is much loved and appreciated by tourists. Lion is the country’s largest brewer and does a satisfying and popular lager and stout. It also brews a very tangy ginger beer. Lion’s competitor is this very fine Three Coins beer; an all malt lager. Here, it accompanied lunch at the scenic Lady Hill Hotel situated high in the hills over looking the world heritage city of Galle.
Fresh fruit juices are one of the joys of traveling through Asian countries and Sri Lanka has some fresh fruit juice classics. Mixed fruit, mango and lime are the most prolific. After one particular hot and exhausting day climbing the extraordinary Sigiriya rock fortress complex in central Sri Lanka, we guzzled down several chilled fresh lime juices; cheap, cold and refreshing.
Water. Give me water. Sri Lanka may be famous for its tea production, but in reality, it’s easier to get a cappuccino than a cup of tea, the best of which is exported. Neither of these hot drinks however, is a thirst quencher. Bottled water is your indispensable companion in Sri Lanka, always kept close by, it is the traveller’s best friend.