Api Morado – Bolivia’s Colorful Breakfast Drink

One of the most popular Bolivian drinks is api morado, usually referred to as just “api”. Made from purple maize, cinnamon, water and sugar, the beverage is colorful, heavy and delicious. And it makes for a hearty breakfast, especially when accompanied with fritters (buñuelos).

Apir Morado drink and pastel fritters

Api is an altiplano drink, popular mainly in the Andean highlands of the country. It makes sense; on cold mountain mornings, there’s nothing better than a steaming hot cup of rich, liquid corn sugar. We tried it a number of times, both in restaurants and from street-side stands. With all the sugar, it might be too sweet for some palettes, and probably isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, but a serving certainly provides plenty of energy for the day.

Pastel Bolivia

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Brad Powell

    So, what’s better, Gluvine or Api ? Or, does it depend on the volume consumed ?

    1. Mike Powell

      That’s a tough call… Api is non-alcoholic, so I guess I’d go with that. Until about 10am, then I would switch to Glühwein.

  2. Fernando Ruiz Vera

    Great breakfast!
    in La Paz, you can’t forget to go to the Titikaka Lake, to the Tihuanacu Ruins and specially go biking th the Death Road to the Yungas Zone, where you can stay for a couple of days enjoying the nature and doing some exteme sports.
    There are a lot of interesting and exciting to do in La Paz…Bolivia is a country without an end in exciting things!

    1. Juergen

      Api gives you the perfect energy boost in the morning! We are loving it. We are planing to spend one week at Titikaka. We did the Tihuanacu ruins this week for the Aymara New Years (we will write about it asap) The Death Road though is not on our list …. we rather go for a similar bike ride when in Cochabamba. As beautiful (almost) and less extreme 🙂

      What are couple of off the beaten track things to do in La Paz. We will be there until July 12th.

      1. Fernando

        in La Paz, you have to go to the Valle de la Luna (the moon’s valley) in the south of the city, it’s a cool geological rocks just like the moon floor!
        I live in Cochabamba, let’s keep in touch when you come over here!!!

        1. Juergen

          Funny .. we just went to the Valla de la Luna yesterday. It was incredible. Yes! We will be in Cochabamba soon!!! So yeah .. we should meet up. Do you happen to know of someone renting apartments short term? Looking forward to Cochabamba and meet with a reader.

  3. The Travel Chica

    That looks delicious! I look forward to trying it for myself in a few months.

    1. Juergen

      The best api and pasteles are from street vendors! Only pick one where you can get the pasteles straight from the frying pan! YUMMY!

  4. Owen Stairs

    Just have to correct something.  Api isn’t made with “corn sugar”.  It’s made with purple corn meal, fruit juice and spices.  High fructose corn syrup is a particularly noxious North American/Japanese invention that has no place in traditional Bolivian cooking.  Of course I’m not saying that Bolivians don’t have a sweet tooth, but one thing is certain, I was much healthier living in Bolivia, eating Bolivian food, than I was when I moved to Canada and ate all the highly processed crap we call food up here…  😉

  5. l' enfant perdu

    for reasons unknown, i was thinking of api this morning and found this site…

    in Copacabana (late March-early April 1973…Austin to La Paz and back again), we enjoyed warm api during the cold nights…

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