Ultimate Guide to Jamaican Drinks (33 ways to quench your thirst like a local!)

If you are wondering what to drink to wash down all that delicious Jamaican food, or what’s the best way to cool off and relax… this ultimate guide to Jamaican drinks will have you supping cocoa tea for breakfast, swigging on a Red Stripe at Lunchtime and sipping a Magnum Tonic Wine at the dancehall in the early hours!

With a hot and steamy climate in Jamaica, it’s important to stay hydrated and with all the exquisite tropical fruits, natural springs, refreshing beers, and heady cocktails on offer, you’ll be spoilt for choice of what to have for your next liquid refreshment.

Using this ultimate guide to authentic Jamaican drinks, that covers all the locally made brands that are popular with Jamaicans and available island-wide, you’ll be feeling like a local in no time every time you quench your thirst! Let’s Go…

1. Ginger Beer

Jamaican Ginger Beer Image Credit @toni_tourdecomida
Image Credit @toni_tourdecomida

Jamaican-grown ginger is highly prized worldwide for its supreme flavor profile, nutritional benefits, and the spicy kick it imparts when used as an ingredient in recipes.

Thought locally to be beneficial to health and digestion, authentic Jamaican Ginger Beer is a popular non-alcoholic beverage that is drunk by children and adults alike… although it is also popularly used to chase rum!

Jamaican Ginger Beer is typically made with real Jamaican ginger and sweetened with sugar cane to give that one-of-a-kind authentically Jamaican spicy-sweet flavor, unlike the artificially flavored and sweetened versions offered overseas.

If you’re looking for a chaser for Jamaican rum, try a ‘Rum and Ginger Beer’ for an authentically Jamaican-tasting alcoholic beverage!

2. Ting

Ting Image Credit @tingjamaica
Image Credit @tingjamaica

Ting is another highly popular soft drink that has been enjoyed in Jamaica since the 1970s. Made from Grapefruit and sweetened carbonated water, Ting has a mildly sweet, citrusy flavor that is unmistakably Jamaican.

Making up one-half of the iconic Jamaican alcoholic beverage ‘Rum and Ting’, alongside many other cocktails, Ting is a versatile staple chaser that is served at all Jamaican social events from parties to funerals!

3. D&G Soda

D&G Soda Image Credit @dangjamaica
Image Credit @dangjamaica

If you are looking for an authentically Jamaican soda to try when you’re visiting you have to try a D&G soda. Established in Jamaica in 1918 by Eugene Desnoes and Thomas Hargreaves Geddes, D&G produces a range of beverages, including five different flavored sodas that are well-loved island-wide.

With fun flavors that hit the spot when you’re hot and thirsty, D&G has 6 delicious tropically inspired flavors to choose from: Kola Champagne, Midnight Grape, Cream Soda, Pineapple, Green Apple, and Orange. Best served ice cold!

4. Bigga Soda

Bigga Soda Image Credit @bigga
Image Credit @bigga

Bigga is another authentic Jamaican soda brand that is widely available and popular among the locals. As the first locally made beverage developed by The Jamaica Drink Company in 1996, its colorful, fruity flavors have been inspired by the vibrancy of Jamaica and its people.

Best served chilled for a fruity blast of flavor, choose from Ginger Beer, Pineapple, Fruit Punch, Cream Soda, Apple, Orange, Jamaica Kola, and Grape.

5. Bag Juice

Bag Juice Image Credit @freshandexotic1
Image Credit @freshandexotic1

Bag juice, aka ‘Suck-Suck’ is a cheap, colorful ‘juice’ drink made with flavored sugar syrup and water, that is served in a small clear plastic bag. Usually drank by biting a hole in one of the corners and sucking out the contents, bag drinks are thirst-quenching and cheap, although not particularly nutritious!

Bag Juices are commonly sold by street vendors in singles and can be bought in a multi-pack from the supermarket for chilling/freezing at home. Some brands do actually use fruit juices, so check the labels as they have fewer artificial ingredients.

The best way to enjoy a bag juice is by freezing it first, then carefully knock it on a hard surface without bursting the bag, until it has broken up and the insides are all slushy. Bite off one corner and squeeze out the frozen slushy until you get brain freeze!

6. Sky Juice

Sky Juice Image Credit @jamaicanexperiences
Sky Juice Image Credit @jamaicanexperiences

Another childhood Jamaican favorite is ‘Sky Juice’, which is made by shaving off slithers of ice from a huge block into a cup, which is liberally covered in flavored sugar syrup of your choice to produce a sweet, and frosty snow cone.

You will often see Sky Juice vendors set up in the local towns, with a line of eager customers waiting for their cup of pillowy flavored ice!

7. Box Juice

Box Juice Image Credit @islanddairies
Image Credit @islanddairies

With a more practical free-standing container than a bag juice, box juices are similar in that they are usually cheap, concentrated juice or artificially flavored, and sweetened non-carbonated juice drink that is typically drank straight from the box.

There are many different brands and varieties of box juice, some of better quality than others. Often found in the freezer, or drinks chillers, these drinks are often sold by street vendors and are best served cold.

8. Tru Juice

Tru Juice Image Credit @trujuice
Image Credit @trujuice

If you are looking for a fruit juice drink that contains 100% pure fruit juice, Tru Juice is the go-to home-grown Jamaican brand to look out for. Considerably more expensive than regular juice drinks, Tru Juice prides itself on using fresh tropical fruits for its delicious and nutritious fruit juices that are processed in Jamaica.

Delicious as an accompaniment to breakfast, a healthy beverage during the day, or as a chaser for dark or white Rum, Tru Juice will definitely give your day that tropical flavor!

9. Malta

Malta Image Credit @maltajamaica
Image Credit @maltajamaica

Malta is a Jamaican drink made by the D&G group, that is popular as a non-alcoholic beverage. With a unique malty, flat, but fizzy flavor it has an unusual taste that is loved by Jamaicans but is somewhat of an acquired taste if you aren’t used to it!

10. Jelly (Coconut) Water

Coconut Water Image Credit @blessedandgiftedja
Image Credit @blessedandgiftedja

What can be more refreshingly and thirst-quenchingly Jamaican, than a freshly harvested young jelly coconut that is drank straight from the husk?!

Full of electrolytes and valuable minerals and vitamins, coconut water has a mildly flavored sweet coconut flavor, that is highly beneficial to the body.

Popularly believed to ‘wash off your heart’ in Jamaica, fresh coconut water is sold island-wide by roadside vendors who skillfully chop the tops off the husks with a machete, to create an opening to drink from. Once the sweet coconut water has been drunk, they will cut the husk in two and create a little spoon from the husk in order to coax out the soft, jelly coconut flesh which is edible.

11. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane Juice Image Credit - @blessedandgiftedja
Image Credit – @blessedandgiftedja

With so much sugarcane produced in Jamaica, you could be forgiven for assuming sugarcane juice would be a widely available beverage. Although sugarcane juice is well loved by Jamaicans, there aren’t that many vendors selling it ~

With many beneficial health benefits, Sugarcane Juice is refreshing, good for you, and not as sweet as you’d imagine!

12. Natural Fruit and Vegetable Juices

Natural Fruit Juice

With a hot and tropical climate, Jamaica has many delicious fruits on offer that are used to make mouth-watering beverages. So whether you prefer juices or smoothies you have to sample a freshly made beverage made from the fruits that are in season.

Jamaican favorites include Sour Sop Juice (Guanabana), June Plum, Guava, Passionfruit, Mango, Orange, Pineapple, and Beetroot.

13. Peanut Punch

Peanut Punch Image Credit @chefricardocooking
Image Credit @chefricardocooking

Peanut Punch is a delicious milk-based beverage that is made from raw peanuts, that are blended with water, condensed milk, vanilla essence, and nutmeg to make a creamy, nutritious, and filling drink.

Some people like to add oats and/or a shot of rum to the blender to give the drink a little more body and flavor. As this drink is full of peanuts which are packed with protein it is sometimes drunk as a light meal replacement.

14. Nutriment

Nutrament is a well-loved milk-based drink that is touted as a protein-rich, energy drink in Jamaica. With its rich and creamy milkshake consistency and plenty of different flavors, this drink is popular with all ages.

Often used as an ingredient in Jamaican punches, such as Guinness or Peanut Punch, it gives a creamy, rich flavor and gives the mixture more body which makes it more satisfying and filling.

15. Sorrel

Sorrel Image Credit @littlejamaica_uk
Image Credit @littlejamaica_uk

Christmas festivities in Jamaica aren’t complete without a huge jug of spiced sorrel juice to drink. Made from fleshy hibiscus flowers that are carefully picked by hand, before being washed and steeped in boiling water with sugar, ginger, and spices, before being strained and chilled.

Once chilled this delicious, refreshing spicy beverage is best served over ice and is taken to the next level with a shot of rum!

15. Irish Moss

Big Bamboo Irish Moss Image Credit @bigbambooja
Image Credit @bigbambooja

Irish Moss is a thick and very unique-tasting Jamaican beverage that is usually made from a mixture of sea moss, spring water, milk, and spices. The original recipe was brought over to Jamaica by the Irish, hence the name ‘Irish Moss’, but it has been adapted and Jamaicanized with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg, amongst other things.

Sea moss is a powerhouse of essential minerals, in fact, it contains 92 of the 102 minerals the body needs to function in optimal health. So you can see why this is a popular ‘health’ drink consumed in Jamaica. Big Bamboo is a popular Jamaican brand that includes extra ingredients, to give a different flavor, such as peanut, strawberry, and vanilla.

16. Blue Mountain Coffee

Blue Mountain Coffee Image Credit @islandcoffeesltd
Image Credit @islandcoffeesltd

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is highly prized around the world as one of the finest and most balanced coffees. With an intense aroma, sweet, floral taste, bright acidity, and almost complete lack of bitterness, authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the rarest and most expensive coffees.

Grown on the cool and misty peaks of the Blue Mountain range in eastern Jamaica, the adequate rainfall and rich fertile soil have excellent drainage, which provides the perfect environment for the cultivation of world-class coffee beans.

Although the Blue Mountains reach elevations of over 7,000 feet, only the coffee grown at elevations of between 3,000 and 5,500 feet (1,700 m) can be labeled and sold as authentic Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. As this area has a steep and hilly terrain the coffee plants can only be tended to by hand, making it very perilous, labor-intensive, and time-consuming.

17. Bush Tea

Bush Tea Image Credit @blessedandgiftedja
Image Credit @blessedandgiftedja

It is said that there is a Jamaican bush tea to alleviate, prevent and/or cure every ailment, which most Jamaicans will swear by. With all the blessings of a rich history of using botanical herbs, leaves, roots, and barks, drinking bush tea is a respected and widely used method of ‘self-medicating’.

Whether it be peppermint or ginger tea, to add digestion, sour sop leaves to calm the nerves, or cerasse to purify the blood, Jamaicans believe in the power of drinking bush tea!

18. Cocoa Tea

Chocolate Tea Image Credit @thatgirlcookshealthy
Image Credit @thatgirlcookshealthy

Jamaican Cocoa Tea / Chocolate Tea is made from 100% raw chocolate balls (instead of cocoa powder), that are grated and melted down into warm spiced milk. Its taste is rich, smooth, and creamy with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Loved by all ages this delicious and nutritious hot drink will go down a treat and you’ll be craving more!

Authentic Jamaican Cocoa Tea is similar to your regular Hot Chocolate, but it’s elevated way above that level! If you notice a slick of oil in your cup you know you’re drinking the real deal as this indicates the natural fats in the chocolate ball has melted down. YUM!

19. Red Rose Tea

Red Rose Tea Image Credit @loushansupermarket
Image Credit @loushansupermarket

If you prefer to drink a regular cup of black tea, Red Rose Tea is the go-to Jamaican tea bag brand for a strong cup of tea. Generally served with condensed milk and sugar, this sweet tea is sometimes enjoyed in the evenings with some water crackers or a sweet biscuit/cookie or two!

20. White (Overproof) Rum

White Rum Image Credit @wrayandnephewuk
Image Credit @wrayandnephewuk

Jamaica and rum have a relationship that started way back in 1494 when Christopher Columbus, the first of the colonists arrived in Jamaica. Known and loved for its unique flavor, or ‘funk’ Jamaican Rum has a distinctive fruity, smooth taste and a special quality not found in other rums.

This trademark ‘funk’ is brought on by the strict rules that have to be applied to the production for it to be classified as Jamaican Rum. This includes that the rum must be produced in a certain geographical area, using a set method of filtration and fermentation, that often includes ‘wild’ fermentation.

Although Rum was initially introduced to Jamaica in 1494 by Christopher Columbus, it wasn’t until 1655 that the British took over and brought commercial rum production from Barbados. Rum quickly became a currency that required manpower to produce the sugarcane, this created a despicable cycle that required and enabled the plantation owners to exchange rum for more slaves to keep up with the work.

After slavery was abolished in 1893, many of the original distilleries closed down with only six remaining today that are owned by four companies.

Jamaica is known for its Overproof White Rum which has up to 70% alcohol volume and is probably Jamaica’s number one best-loved alcoholic beverage. With brands like J.Wray & Nephew and Rum Bar being the most popular among Jamaicans.

White Rum can be enjoyed over ice (think fire water), or chased with a soda, like Ting, Ginger Beer, or coke. Many cocktails using rum are made with either milk or fruit juice base which are both equally delicious.

21. Dark Rum

Appleton Estate Dark Rums Image Credit @appletonestatecan
Image Credit @appletonestatecan

Jamaica not only produces some of the strongest white rums it also produces some of the most highly respected dark rums in the world too, which are known for their ‘funky’ distinctive taste (see white rum).

With several brands on offer, each has its own individual take on the rules for making Jamaican rum to create its own unique flavor profile.

Appleton Estate Rum is one of the oldest rums produced in Jamaica and carries both special, limited editions and vintage variations of their rum including 8, 12, 15, and 21-year-old rums. If you’d like to experience a rum tasting tour, they are held at Appleton Estate where you have the opportunity to taste several of these amazing varieties.

22. Rum Cream

Rum Cream Image Credit @portofcalljamaica
Image Credit @portofcalljamaica

If you like boozy, creamy ‘Irish liqueurs, then Rum Cream will be your new favorite drink in Jamaica. With a moreish and totally delicious mix of aged rum, cream, and a hint of tropical fruit and spice enhancements, this beverage is best served well chilled (or on the rocks!).

There are several brands of authentic Jamaican Rum Cream in Jamaica, each with its own fan base who will swear it is the best! The most popular brands are J. Wray & Nephew, Sangsters, and Rum Bar Rum cream.

Although this drink tastes like a chocolate milkshake it has a high level of alcohol, so take care when drinking them as they go down easily and will get you intoxicated fast!

23. Coco Mania Rum

Coco Mania Rum Image Credit @atiliquorstore
Coco Mania Rum Image Credit @atiliquorstore

This coconut-flavored rum is made by J. Wray & Nephew and at 35% Alc/Vol, it has considerably less alcohol volume than its 70% overproof rum.

Used to make cocktails its deliciously sweet, smooth, fresh coconutty flavor is the perfect base for any number of carbonated, milk, or juice-based chasers.

If you love Pina Coladas, why not make your own version using Jamaican Coco Mania Rum?!

24. Campari

Campari Image Credit @du.liquorstore
Image Credit @du.liquorstore

Jamaicans certainly aren’t afraid to drink bitters, as they believe its consumption has numerous health benefits. So when this Italian aperitif was introduced to Jamaica with its distinctive red color and bitter taste, created from a unique blend of herbs, it became a super popular choice when drinking socially.

Campari is now blended and bottled in Jamaica under the license of J.Wray & Nephew, which is now a subsidiary of The Campari Group.

Enjoy Campari on the rocks, or mixed with fruit juice for a delicious cocktail.

25. Red Stripe Beer

Red Stripe Melon Image Credit @beautifulsavage876
Image Credit @beautifulsavage876

An ice-cold Red Stripe Beer is the ultimate Jamaican beverage on a hot day, that has been enjoyed by Jamaicans since 1934. Crisp, light and refreshing, Red Stripe Beer is now sold in several flavors such as Sorrel, and Watermelon, which are well worth trying if you like a little sweetness to your beer.

Red Stripe Beer was created by the partners of D&G who opened the highly anticipated Surrey Brewery, in Kingston Jamaica in 1927 to grow their existing portfolio of locally produced beverages. A year later in 1928, the first Red Stripe Beer was brewed, which was more like a heavy, dark ale.

It wasn’t until 1934 that the recipe for the light, golden Red Stripe was perfected, which is still brewed today and well-loved by both locals and visitors to the island.

26. Dragon Stout

Dragon Stout Image Credit @dragonstoutja
Image Credit @dragonstoutja

Dragon stout is a dark, smooth liquid that is similar to Guinness and is popularly drank by Jamaicans at either room temperature, or chilled. The difference lies in the taste though, as it is creamy, with hints of molasses, milk chocolate, and coffee.

Brewed in Jamaica since 1920 by D&G Brewery, it is drunk by the working man as a source of strength and vitality and is often used as an ingredient in oats drinks and milky concoctions, like peanut punch.

27. Stones Ginger Wine

Stones Green Ginger Wine Image Credit @stonesgingerwine
Image Credit @stonesgingerwine

Stone’s Ginger Wine was first made in London in the 1700s and was popular as both an aperitif and for its purported health benefits.

With its spicy taste and versatility as a stand-alone alcoholic beverage or a chaser, it is a popular choice with Jamaicans that don’t want to drink hard liquor.

28. Red Label Wine

Red Label Wine

J .Wray & Nephew is the brand behind the super popular Red Label Wine, which is a ready-to-serve aperitif that is fruity and sweet.

Popularly drank chilled, straight from the small glass bottle this dancehall favorite packs a punch and will get you tipsy in no time.

Red Label Wine is also used as an ingredient in baking, such as Jamaican Christmas Cake.

29. Magnum Tonic Wine

Magnum Image Credit @magnumtonicwine
Image Credit @magnumtonicwine

Popular as an aphrodisiac and used to ‘build (sexual) stamina in Jamaica this tonic wine is sweet, with fruity floral notes, and as such it is super easy to drink the whole bottle quickly… But beware! Magnum Tonic Wine is a strong drink that takes some getting used to.

No party is complete without Magnum on offer, but when consumed in tandem with other strong liquors like white rum it can make you feel giddy!

30. Rum Punch

Rum Punch Image Credit @kissforbreakfast
Image Credit @kissforbreakfast

No two people will create a rum punch in Jamaica using the same ingredients, and that’s ok! Whether you mix it with grapefruit, orange, pineapple, or lime juice, grenadine, or a quantity of ting or ginger beer, you’ll be sure to be enjoying the concoctions on offer.

Best served ice cold, rum punch is sweet and tropical and totally moreish and will give you a real taste of Jamaica, as everything will be ‘irie’ after drinking a few glasses of this!

31. Guinness Punch

Guinness Punch Image Credit @mommys.punch
Image Credit @mommys.punch

Made with a combination of milk, oats, vanilla, spices, and a whole bottle of Guinness, this delicious punch is creamy and sweet with a depth of flavor from the dark stout and a thickness from the blended oats.

Often drank to build the body, it is a popular drink with adults and is so moreish you will have no problem drinking off the whole jug to yourself!

32. Lasco Food Drink

This magical bag of powder constitutes in water to create a creamy, rich, and totally satisfying milkshake-like drink. Full of vitamins and minerals, with both soy and milk powder this delicious drink is often given to the young and elderly as a body booster.

Available in many different flavors including Chocolate, Carrot, Peanut, Malt, and Vanilla. It can also be used as a milk replacement in hot drinks and on breakfast cereals.

33. Jamaican Spring Water

Spring Water Image Credit @lifespanspringwater
Image Credit @lifespanspringwater

Jamaica is blessed with numerous freshwater springs across the island. Many of which are carefully managed and bottled for sale to the general public, including some varieties that are alkaline.

Check the label for ‘Spring Water’ as some popular brands including ‘Wata’ actually consist of filtered water and not pure spring water. If you want to keep hydrated in the Jamaican heat ensure you drink plenty of natural spring water.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jamaican Drinks

What is a popular drink in Jamaica?

Natural Fruit Juices, coconut water, sodas, and spring water are popular non-alcoholic choices.

If you want something alcoholic, Rum and Ting, Rum and Ginger Beer, Rum and Boom (energy drink) and Rum and Coke are popular drinks in Jamaica. Campari is another popular spirit, alongside Red Stripe Beer, Dragon Stout, Red Label Wine, and Magnum.

What is the official drink in Jamaica?

RUM! Whether it is Wray & Nephew or Rum Bar Rum, the love for rum in Jamaica is real!

What alcohol do Jamaicans drink?

Jamaican Rum is undoubtedly the most commonly drank alcohol by Jamaicans. However, Dragon Stout, Red Stripe Beer, Red Label Wine. Magnum Tonic Wine, Campari, and Guinness are other popular local alcoholic drinks.

What cocktails are in Jamaica?

Jamaican Rum is often the most popular base for cocktails in Jamaica, although Campari and Stone’s Ginger Wine is also popular. Mixed with various fruit juices of milk bases, Jamaican cocktails are heady and exotic. The Dirty Banana, Bob Marley, and Planters Punch are some examples of cocktails that are popular with visitors to the island.