Aguapanela, a wonderful sweet drink with many benefits

Depending on the country we are in, we can enjoy different natural drinks that become, in fact, the main hallmark of that place. In the case of all of South America (as well as of some parts of Central America and the Caribbean), the so-called aguapanela-also known by the name of panela water-, a wonderful drink that is produced from the panela.

And what is panela? As you probably know, panela basically consists of the sugar cane juice, that does not undergo any type of chemical process nor refined, is able to conserve all the nutrients that sugarcane provides us or provides. That is, it is produced from sugarcane juice, which has been solidified.

Among its nutrients we can mention the presence of vitamins (of group B, A, C, D and E), as well as minerals (such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and zinc).

However, we must bear in mind that depending on the country in which we find panela is known by other names. As for example it could be the case of panelón, pepa dulce, piloncillo, raspadura, chancaca, sweet tied or tapa de dulce.

What is aguapanela or agua de panela?

As you will imagine, aguapanela - or agua de panela - is a drink resulting from the infusion prepared from panela. Although there are different recipes, in countries like Colombia or Brazil it is used in the same way as a tea, and it even becomes an alternative to coffee. Moreover, it is even used as a basis for making coffee or hot chocolate.

In addition, in other countries, as for example is the case of Chile or Peru, the common thing is to add a splash of lemon to the drink, and take it in the same way that would be done with a medicinal infusion made with plants and herbs.

But not only can it be drunk hot. In fact, the most common is to consume it cold and / or accompanied by ice, so that it becomes a wonderful drink with great refreshing power.

How is aguapanela prepared?

As we will see in the next section, in which we explain how to make panela water at home, the truth is that the preparation of panela water is very simple.

Basically it is made by placing pieces of solidified panela in water, which can be cold or hot. Then the liquid is stirred until it has completely dissolved.

Aguapanela recipe: how to make it at home

Hot traditional aguapanela

This time we will learn to do the panela water traditional, in the same way that it is made in Colombia, Brazil or Venezuela. Do you dare to elaborate it with us ?.


  • 3 cups of water
  • Panela in pieces (to taste)

How to make panela water:

  1. Put the water in a small saucepan or pan and heat until it boils. When it reaches this state it lowers the fire.
  2. When the water stops boiling add the panela in pieces and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Ready! After this time you can serve it in a cup and enjoy this traditional drink.

If you want you can add a splash of freshly squeezed lemon to the drink, which will bring even greater benefits.

Cold traditional aguapanela

If instead of drinking hot water, you prefer to drink it cold, then we explain how to make it. This option is ideal for the hottest days, when you want to cool off.


  • 1 cups of water
  • Panela in pieces or grated

Preparation of cold aguapanela:

  1. If you are going to use panela in pieces, put the water in a cup and add the panela (to taste).
  2. Then stir well until you notice that the panela has completely dissolved.
  3. In case you use striped panela, you just have to add it to the water and stir a little.

Benefits of aguapanela

Nutritional properties

Panela water is very rich in essential nutrients. For example, it provides interesting amounts of vitamins and minerals. Among the vitamins, the presence of vitamins of group B, A, C, D and E stands out in particular. Among the minerals, we find magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron and calcium.

It treats, as we will see, of a very energetic drink, since it is very rich in carbohydrates, emphasizing the contribution in the form of sucrose and fructose.

Very energetic and caloric drink

Since panela water is made from the dissolution of panela, which is nothing more than the juice of sugarcane, it provides a high amount of sucrose, as well as, to a lesser extent, fructose and glucose.

So, aguapanela is a very energetic drink, whose consumption is not recommended in case of diabetes or by those who are following a diet of weight loss. This article is published for informational purposes only.You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

Panela | Wikipedia audio article (February 2023)