The region’s soft drinks are as varied as the people who drink them. Skip the Sprite and order one of these on your next visit.
1. West Indian Queen Cream
All cream sodas have vanilla flavoring, but some have more than others. Take this one, for example: Found on most Caribbean islands, it’s almost overpoweringly sweet – it was traditionally served atop vanilla ice cream as a sauce. With a thick and long-lasting head, we dare you to drink it from a pint glass without getting a moustache.
2. Red Solo, Trinidad and Tobago
This saccharine sorrel soda is as red as a cherry lollipop. Locals love pairing it with roti, a street food featuring savory filling wrapped in flatbread.
3. Cola Couronne, Haiti
The name of this gold-colored elixir is deceiving for English speakers – though it’s called “cola,” the soda is actually fruit-flavored, with hints of orange, pineapple and banana. It is, without question, the most popular soft drink in Haiti.
4. Tiger Malt, Barbados
This nonalcoholic carbonated beverage is everywhere in Barbados, from convenience stores to bars. Like most malts, it’s made from barely and hops. Bajans drink it with condensed or evaporated milk.
5. Ting, Jamaica
Simultaneously tart and sweet, this soda is made from grapefruit concentrate and often contains tiny pieces of pulp. Locals love mixing it with citrus vodka to make a boozy beverage know and Ving. A Ting and patty – a pastry with fillings and spices – is a popular snack.
6. West Indian Queen Pineapple
In addition to its popular cream soda, West Indian Queen makes a variety of flavors like lemonade, banana and pineapple. Each is sweet and sugary with real pieces of fruit, evidenced by the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
7. Coco Rico, Puerto Rico
In Spanish, the name of this soda means “delicious coconut” – and that pretty much says it all. The beverage is made with natural coconut concentrate and is delicious over ice. It also works well as a mixer with white rum, gin or vodka.
8. Country Club, Dominican Republic
This amber beverage boasts subtle fruit notes and minimal fizz. In a nod to the Dominican style of dance, the original flavor of the soda is dubbed “Merengue.” Other flavors include orange, strawberry and raspberry.