Let’s face it: What turns out to be Chilean’s favorite drink, doesn’t look too appealing at first sight. You know those drinking games with one cup in the middle which gets filled with all kinds of alcohols that the loser has to drink in the end? Well – no offense – but this is what Terremoto somewhat looks like. As soon as you try it, though, you will instantly realize that the taste has nothing to do with the mentioned appearance. The unusual mix of Pipeño, Fernet Branca and pineapple sorbet has a sweet and very unique taste. The beverage ranges somewhere between a long drink and a cocktail. Terremoto is a staple in bars and pubs across Chile and probably the country’s most signature drink, along with Pisco.
The name “Terremoto” is Spanish for “earthquake” as this drink will make your legs feel shaky. The sweet flavor of the fermented white wine in combination with the ice-cream will hardly let you feel the alcohol. But don’t underestimate its effect! After all, there is a good reason for the drink’s name – in a country that has been suffering a lot from the natural force. After the first glass, the next round is often called a Replica or ‘aftershock’. Chances are high that you will feel the aftermath much more than the first Terremoto. But since the refreshing drink is so incredibly delicious, there is no way that you will stop after your first glass.
While drinking Terremoto is common at any time of the year, consumption peaks during Fiestas Patrias, For an entire week, the country celebrates its independence from Spain with all the cultural treats it has to offer. So what could be better than a large cup of Terremoto in one hand and Chilean Empanadas in the other at these festivities that Chileans often refer to as “Dieciocho”.
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The Origin Of The Name Terremoto
Who actually invented the traditional drink is not entirely clear. Most sources award the creation to a well-known restaurant-bar in Santiago called El Hoyo which literally translates to “The Hole”. But also others like La Piojera and El Rincón de los canallas claim it as their own. In any case, it is a modern adaptation from the drinks that Chileans used to consume for special occasions. These were formerly made from champagne and pineapple sorbets.
But who came up with the unusual name? The legend actually starts with a severe earthquake that had struck Santiago in March 1985. Some German reporters came to the city to report about the incurred damages. Since it was extremely hot outside, the reporters asked for a refreshing drink to cool them down. Instead of just serving a plain cold wine, the waiter Guillermo Valenzuela allegedly added some ice-cream to the glass. When they tried the mixture, they supposedly said “Esto sí que es un Terremoto” – this truly is an earthquake. Since that moment the drink has been called Terremoto.
Even though we encourage you to go to Chile and get the real deal, good news is that you can simply have your first try of this easy-to-make cocktail at home. Learn how to make the traditional Terremoto drink with our authentic recipe below. The pineapple ice-cream makes it the perfect summer drink that will make you feel like you are on vacation!
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More on Food & Drinks // Chile