Coyol wine

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Coyol wine, or chicha de coyol is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from the sap of coyol palms. It originates from Nicoya, Costa Rica but extended to southern Mexico and certain regions of Central America like Nicaragua and Honduras[1] Juticalpa in Honduras, the rest of Costa Rica, and Río San Juan Department and Chontales Department, Nicaragua are all known for their traditions of coyol wine.[2][3][4][5]

In order to produce the wine, the trees are cut down and drained of their sap, which is left to ferment in the sun. The result is a cloudy, pale yellow, moderately alcoholic beverage. Coyol wine is most commonly produced and sold by private vendors, often seen selling the drink on the side of country roads and at small kiosks in used plastic bottles that originally contained water, soft drinks, or other similar beverages.[6]

Coyol can also be drunk directly from the hole where it collects in the palm trunk, using a straw or a piece of bamboo.[7][8]

The wine is purportedly unique in that it causes inebriation not primarily by its alcohol content, but through enzymatic action triggered when one drinks it and then receives significant sun exposure[citation needed]. It is popularly claimed that one can become inebriated at night, regain sobriety by the next day, and then undergo inebriation again in the morning without consuming any more, merely by being exposed to the sun again.


  1. ^ Balick, M J (1990). "Production of coyol wine from Acrocomia mexicana (Arecaceae) in Honduras" (PDF). Economic Botany. 44 (1): 84–93. doi:10.1007/BF02861070. S2CID 19598714.
  2. ^ "Juticalpa". CD VIDA. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  3. ^ Castrillo, Wilberth Villalobos (2014-02-04). "Coyoleros of Nambi: Fighting for Their Tradition". The Voice of Guanacaste. Archived from the original on 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  4. ^ "To The Cry of Guipipia, Santa Cruz Stands Tall as the Costa Rican Folk City". Inside Costa Rica. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  5. ^ Sequeira, Mercedes (2012-02-19). "Recibe machetazo por rechazar chicha de coyol". El Nuevo Diario. Managua, Nicaragua. Archived from the original on 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  6. ^ "Homebrewing in Costa Rica". GuanacasteCostaRica. 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  7. ^ Reyes, Germán. "El vino de coyol delicia natural que sólo se deja beber en verano". Terra Verde, (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-03-10.
  8. ^ Rothschuh, Tatiana (2007-03-27). "Un muerto por intoxicación con chicha de coyol". El Nuevo Diario (in Spanish). Managua, Nicaragua. Archived from the original on 2014-03-10. Retrieved 2014-03-10.

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