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Chicha de Jora: History and Preparation of an Emblematic Peruvian Beverage

Chicha de jora is an emblematic Peruvian beverage with a taste longing for the ancient Inca time, still keeping its artisanal preparation since millenary times.

Favorite Beverage of the Inca Nobility

This traditional beverage made from corn was created by chance during the government of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui. A heavy rain spoiled the silos in which collected corn was stored, causing grains to get fermented and originate malt that was thrown away.

The legend relates that a starving local found the thrown away beverage in the trash, and drank it all up, getting completely inebriated. After such humble origin, chicha de jora turned into the main beverage of the Inca nobility and was used in important religious ceremonies in honor of wacas (sacred places) and apus (Inca gods)

Upon arrival of the Spanish, the Inca Atahualpa offers the Dominican priest Vicente de Valverde a gold-made kero (a drinking vessel) of chicha de jora. The European threw away the beverage, thinking that the Inca wanted to poison him; however this act is an Inca tradition to start a conversation.

Chicha de jora today

Today chicha de jora keeps its status of ceremonial beverage in the Peruvian highlands to be served during festivities in honor to Incas such as the Inti Raymi. This delicious corn liquor is also used to prepare typical dishes such as Seco de Cordero and Adobo Arequipeño, strengthening its taste.

Learn how to make artisanal chicha de jora


– 1 kg of jora corn (malted corn)
– ½ kg of brown sugar
– ½ cake of chancaca (unrefined brown sugar).
– 3 litres of water.


– Soak the Jora in warm water for half an hour.  Then, change the water and leave it soaking for another half an hour.
– Strain jora corn and let it boil in three liters of water over a low heat for eight hours, stirring constantly.
– When boiling, do not let the jora corn reduce, so warm water must be added to maintain the level.
– Add sugar and chancaca until they dissolve, and let the beverage cool down.
– Pour the chicha in clay pots and cover it with tamis through which air can be filtered
– Leave the chicha for 8 days, after such time, skim the foam, strain the sediments and sweeten it to taste.

Finally, it is time to serve this delicious and genuine Peruvian liquor that has delighted people for many centuries.

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