Chicha is Colombia’s centuries old, much beloved, weird alcoholic beverage. Every country has one. Chicha is a fermented corn drink that has deep pre-colonial roots, and locals say there’s a certain way to drink Chicha. And if you drink enough of it, it could make you hallucinate.
Meaning, you can’t simply sip it or down it like you would a regular alcoholic drink. (You could, but you wouldn't enjoy it.)
We visited a shop in Bogotá called La Bendita, where the back room has been lovingly crafted into a museum dedicated to chicha and the ritual behind it. The owner of this place is a man who calls himself “El Cacha” and he painstakingly describes every detail of each step of the drinking ritual. For El Cacha, this is a true passion. He says this is a spiritual drink, not something you drink just to get drunk.
If you follow this ritual step by step, it’s supposed to make you feel more spiritually centered and invigorated. Does it? I think it depends on how much you’re willing to play along… but sure.
Watch the full video to see what the ritual is, and why they do it.
For the record, Chicha is an acquired taste. To us, it tasted like apple cider vinegar with strong corn undertones. We asked our Colombian fixers if they like this drink, or if in general Colombians like it, and the answer was a resounding no.
But nonetheless, it’s a part of the Colombian cultural tapestry that some locals are determined to keep alive (a trend we noticed throughout Colombia).
<div class="mv-widget" data-widget="poll" data-id="dFk0bqki2Z8AHCrRHdxTjihZyHo" data-width="100%" data-height="auto"></div>
<script src="//d6launbk5pe1s.cloudfront.net/widget.js" async></script>
Pablo Escobar's hippos are thriving - and multiplying - in Colombia, years after his death
'Tejo' is a Colombian game that combines gun powder, heavy iron discs and beer
There's a really dark side to elephant rides for tourists in Southeast Asia