Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
South Africa

You are only moments away

Entertainment
Attractions
Johannesburg
Port Elizabeth
Cape Town
Bloemfontein
Durban
Nelspruit
Pretoria
Polokwane
Kimberley

WWhen you visit foreign shores, one of the novelties is sampling drinks unique to that country. From soft red tea leaves and fermented milk to home-made beers and pub-favoured shooters, these are some of South Africa’s finest drinks.

Here are 11 of South Africa's favourites, not all of which are alcoholic...

Umqombothi

Umqombothi is a traditional beer. Made from corn, it is high in vitamin B and has a lower alcohol content than most commercial beers. This beer is usually drunk in a communal setting where the drink is shared between friends and family. In the past, umqombothi was only drunk by men, despite having been made by the women. Visit The Beerhouse for a taste of this traditional beer.

Witblits

Afrikaans for “white lightning” (and also known as firewater), witblits is a grape-fermented amateur brandy that definitely packs a punch. It’s mostly produced and consumed in the Western Cape and is our version of American moonshine. Grundheim Wines in the town of Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, makes traditional witblits to taste and purchase.

Mampoer

Mampoer is the fruitier alternative to witblits, and is made from peach, apricot, litchi and other available fruits. It is said to be named after the Pedi Chief Mampuru, and is most commonly consumed in the northern parts of South Africa, though it can also be bought online. Groot Marico is a good place to try mampoer in South Africa.

Did You Know?
UUmqombothi is cheaper than commercial lager beers, which are brewed from barley and flavoured with hops flowers.

Amarula

This sweet and creamy liqueur can be added to anything from Irish coffee to ice cream, or simply enjoyed on the rocks. It is made from the fruit of the marula tree, which is a firm favourite among monkeys and elephants who become intoxicated after consuming too much of the over-ripe marula fruits. Visit the Amarula Lapa to learn all about this uniquely South Africa drink.

Van Der Hum Liqueur

This original Cape citrus liqueur combines spices, herbs, sugar, tangerines, potstill brandy and diluted wine. It’s named after its original creator and is a firm favourite among South Africans. A bottle of Van Der Hum liqueur can be bought at most liqueur stores in South Africa if you want to taste it.

Wine

South Africa is known for its internationally acclaimed wines, which are a cheerful mix of upmarket sophistication and variety. Jerepigo, a sweet dessert wine with a dash of brandy, and Pinotage, which is a mix of Cinsaut and Pinot Noir grapes, are two local specialities you don’t want to miss out on! South Africa has some of the most beautiful wine farms and you can buy wine at almost all the farms. 

Beer

For South Africans, beer and boerewors (farmers' sausage) go hand in hand, and it’s not surprising that beer is considered to be South Africa’s unofficial national drink, especially during the sporting season. While we have popular local beers produced by South African Breweries, smaller local and more niche breweries are becoming more popular. Some local craft beers include Mitchell’s, Jack Black, Agar’s, Afro Caribbean, Copperlake, Devil’s Peak, Clarens Brewery, Gilroy’s Brewery, and Sabie Brewing Co. Travel to the Western Cape or KwaZulu -Natal for amazing craft beer routes.

Springbokkies

A springbok is a popular shooter named after the long-legged buck and the same-named South African rugby team that wears gold and green. The drink mimics the colour of the springbok and veld, and the jersey of the Springbok team, by layering creamy Amarula over a vibrant green peppermint liqueur and/or green crème de menthe. It’s served in bars around the country and is popular during the sporting season—regardless of the team's performance on the field. This potent, sweet little drink can be ordered at most restaurants in South Africa.

Amasi

This non-alcoholic, thick and slightly sour milk can be bought at most shopping centres around the country and is a great source of probiotics. Amasi is made by fermenting fresh milk for a few days in a calabash (traditional) or plastic container (modern), leading to a high lactic acid content. Studies have shown that Amasi promotes an improved immune response in the body and better absorption of vitamins and minerals in those who consume it regularly. This drink can be bought at most South African supermarkets.

Rooibos

Rooibos is made in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape and is shipped and sold internationally under the name of “red tea” and “red bush”. It is unique since it is only grown in two specific valleys in South Africa, in the Western and Northern Cape. The slightly reddish tea is packed full of antioxidants and is often added to other teas to enhance their flavours, such as South African honeybush, hoodia and buchu. If you love this tea, then the Rooibos Route in Clanwilliam is just for you.

Mageu/amaHewu

Mageu, a non-alcoholic drink made from fermented mealie pap (traditional South African porridge), looks like a thin carbohydrate-rich porridge that is drunk on its own as a meal replacement. It’s made by adding flour or sorghum to maize porridge, then adding water and leaving it in the sunshine to ferment for a day or two. It’s high in vitamin B and probiotics and is said to improve digestion. You may just have to make this one yourself if you are wanting to taste it. Here is a recipe.

Related articles

10 great restaurants in South Africa

10 great restaurants in South Africa

South Africa’s streets, shores and vineyards are lined with so many incredible restaurants, it’s a hard task narrowing them down into a short bucket list.

Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Gin is the buzzword on everyone’s lips in Cape Town at the moment.

The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela of the Pilanesberg

The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela of the Pilanesberg

In the north-eastern corner of the Pilanesberg, where the Big Five roam the plains and platinum sits in abundance under the soil, you’ll find the ancestral home of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela people.

South African wines

South African wines

South African wines are simply an infusion of the old winemaking methods combined with new ones to create modern bottled poetry for you.

Great small-town foodie stops

Great small-town foodie stops

It’s often worth it leaving behind the big lights and taking a road tip to explore small-town cuisine, or even making a trip of it and spending a night or two and exploring what else is on offer.

Traditional African food in South Africa

Traditional African food in South Africa

The food story of South Africa.

The 10 best restaurants in Joburg

The 10 best restaurants in Joburg

Just like the city itself, the dining scene in Jozi is constantly changing.

Port Elizabeth rising as a globally competitive city to live, work, play & invest

Port Elizabeth rising as a globally competitive city to live, work, play & invest

It has earned a nickname as a Friendly City, owing to the generally hospitable nature of the inhabitants and a welcoming endowment of natural and social heritage.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy