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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 6 Cocktails from Sri Lankan Arrack – Taste the Spirit of the Island
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6 Cocktails from Sri Lankan Arrack – Taste the Spirit of the Island

Arrack is one of the most popular spirits among Sri Lankan locals. Made from the sap of coconut flowers, it's a beverage that packs a punch and has a distinct taste. So, if you're in Sri Lanka and are looking to try out some of the local beverages, here are 6 arracks cocktails you should try.


The Tusker

If you like your drinks rich and frothy, the tusker is for you. This cocktail derives its namesake from the majestic straight-tusked pachyderms that were once common throughout the island. The essence of the drink is mixing arrack with peach bitters and egg whites. A healthy dose of lime is also added for extra zest. This combo of tarty fruit combined with the heartiness of egg whites and the punch of the arrack makes for a surprisingly delicious mix. In fact, this cocktail was so loved that it even won the Manchester Arrack Trail Award once. Now, if you ever find yourself enjoying some delectable Sri Lankan cuisine at a prominent restaurant in one of the properties at hotel chains like Aitken Spence Hotels, be sure to order yourself a tusker and see what it's all about.


The Aliya

This is another cocktail that's named after the gentle giants that roam around Sri Lanka's wilderness. In fact, the term "aliya" directly translates to the word "elephant". The aliya cocktail is a classic Sri Lankan drink and is said to have been a favourite of even the Sinhalese Kings of old! The mix is quite simplistic but perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Sri Lankan island life. Here the arrack is mixed with fresh coconut water and coconut water ice! It's refreshing and quite tasty, so be on the lookout for this fabulous drink if you're taking it easy by the beach.


The Kandy

If you're ever touring through the central hills of Sri Lanka, be sure to try out this signature cocktail named after the region's capital. This is definitely one of the fanciest Sri Lankan arrack cocktails you can try out; it contains creme de cacao, Frangelico, vanilla, and some trusty orange juice for good measure.


The Island Currency

If you want your cocktails to be sweet with a tropical twist, this drink is the way to go. Once you take a sip of the island currency you'll be greeted to the sweetness of pineapple and the subtle spiciness of paprika syrup. Then let the arrack wash over you with its warm taste and musty aroma.


Toddy Tapper's Punch

It's thanks to the toddy tappers that everyone gets to enjoy a hearty glass of Sri Lankan arrack, so it's no surprise that they've gotten a drink named after them. This is essentially fruit punch mixed in with arrack and it makes for a great combo! Most toddy tappers have this drink for tea time and it's recommended you try it out like that too – it's quite the pick-me-up.


Milk Punch

Milk punch will take a few hours to prepare but be assured that it's worth the effort. Arrack serves as a base for an aromatic mix of local seeds and spices that's topped off with a cold serving of coconut milk. You can even add a bit of rum and brandy to give it an extra kick or some lime for zest.