Every day, we all drink different types of beverages such as soft drinks, coffee, water, among others. Depending on where we are, we will find traditional local drinks , such as green tea in East Asia, mate in Argentina and tereré in Paraguay and other South American countries.
What is a tereré drink
The tereré drink, commonly known as Paraguayan tereré , is a traditional infusion that is consumed mainly in Paraguay, although it can also be found in other areas of South America such as southern Bolivia, northeastern Argentina and some locations in Brazil. This drink does not have an exact origin, since some affirm that the tereré was consumed by the Guarani around the 17th century, and others maintain that this infusion was drunk by the soldiers who fought the Chaco War that took place between 1932 and 1935.
Now, what is a tereré drink? This infusion consists of a combination of different ingredients, among which its content in yerba mate, bombilla and cold water stands out, although other herbs, ice and/or fruit juice can also be added. Some of the herbs that are usually added are mint, lemon verbena, kokû, horsetail and others.
Thanks to its ingredients and the fact that it is served ice-cold, tereré is used to calm the high temperatures in Paraguay, since it is a very refreshing drink . It is also a drink that is consumed after eating, during the chat between family or friends that is usually held at the table. It is prepared in a horn called guampa, which is used as a drinking vessel.
Although tereré is a traditional after-dinner drink in Paraguay, it has gained popularity in other regions of the world thanks to its richness in nutrients. Tereré stands out for its content of folic acid, theophylline, caffeine, tannins, vitamins (especially A, B, C and E) and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Courtesy of these nutrients, some of the most important benefits of tereré are:
- Stimulating properties : tereré has caffeine, so its consumption can be useful to increase performance and concentration, whether in studies or work.
- Cardiovascular properties : its richness in antioxidants helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, thus helping to prevent some cardiovascular diseases.
- Antioxidant properties : in addition to the previous benefit, the tereré helps to delay the cellular oxidation of the skin and, consequently, its aging, since it protects it from free radicals.
- Thermogenic properties : tereré increases body temperature, which helps speed up our metabolism and, therefore, favors the burning of fat in the body.
- Diuretic properties : this infusion helps eliminate the accumulation of fluids and toxins in the body, increasing the amount of urine.
- Digestive properties : it favors the digestion process and prevents related problems such as stomach pain, gas and/or abdominal swelling.
You must bear in mind that many of the benefits of tereré are provided by the yerba mate with which it is prepared.
How to prepare tereré
Now that we know the properties and benefits of this refreshing infusion, below we will explain how to prepare tereré at home. Before you get down to it, look for the following ingredients and utensils:
- 1 liter glass jug
- yerba mate
- Juice of 2 lemons (if you don't have them, you can use grapefruit)
- Ice cubes
How to prepare tereré – step by step:
- Add the juice of 2 lemons to the glass pitcher along with the ice cubes. If you do not like lemon, you can use grapefruit juice or the citrus fruit that you like the most.
- Fill a cup half full with yerba mate, then insert the bombilla and a few other ice cubes.
- Fill the cup where the yerba mate is located with the fruit juice from the glass pitcher.
- You will have the tereré infusion ready. Repeat this process as many times as you want until you notice that the juice is no longer cold or the mate has lost its flavor.
Tips for preparing tereré
Although we have given you a recipe with the basic ingredients of any good tereré, there are other elements that you can add to prepare the infusion exactly to suit you . You can, for example, vary the fruits and add others other than lemon. Of course, orange, lemons and all citrus flavors will always be better, as they have a great capacity to flavor the water.
Aromatic herbs are also your best allies to prepare tereré. Peppermint, cocú, burrito, boldo, cinnamon, cloves and other essences combine very well with water and the flavors of mate.
When you pour the flavored water into the glass with the mate, let it sit for a while so the water can seep all the way down and wet most of the mate. Make sure to insert the bulb all the way down. And of course, don't forget to be generous with the ice!