Although beer and soda is also sold in plastic bottles and aluminum cans, glass bottles are more prevalent for large scale sales. Large trucks carrying crates of glass bottles rumble throughout the country stopping at supermarkets, almacenes
This recycling system also works on a small scale. A deposit is paid for the first primordial bottle. Upon return of the empty bottle you are given a credit towards a full bottle (in supermarkets this happens at the customer service desk). Many prefer to drink soda out of glass bottles because they say it tastes better. But, if you prefer plastic, you can still participate in this eco-friendly practice by purchasing bottles that say retornable on the label.
Freshly pressed sugar cane juice, known as mosto,is a popular summertime beverage. Cold, sticky and sweet, the drink is sold for Gs. 1,000 by street vendors.
Paraguay has a high rate of beer consumption but a limited variety of available brands. The market is dominated by light pilsner-style beers. Though they are not particularly flavorful, beers such as Pilsen, Brahma, and Baviera are refreshing in the Paraguayan heat. Most beer is sold in a three-quarter or one-liter brown glass bottles (the latter are nicknamed nonos). Beer is generally cheap, with a three-quarter liter costing as little as Gs. 6,000. Artisanal beers are also available in limited quantities in specialty stores in Asuncion and the non-Mennonite German colonies such as Colonia Independencia.
Cana is unaged sugar cane liquor similar to rum yet sweeter. Cana packs a punch and is dirt cheap. All major brands offer a Black Label” (Etiqueta) version that is worth the marginal price difference. Popular brands include Tres Leones, Aristocrata (known affectionately as Ari), and Fortm. Paraguayans like to mix cana with Coca Cola. In the countryside, it also consumed with miel negra and/or lemon.
Homemade liquor enthusiasts (German immigrants in particular) take advantage of the full spectrum of fruits available in Paraguay. Strawberry, passion fruit, and guayaba liquors, along with several other flavors, can be purchased from small roadside stands.
Sidebar: At soccer games and large public events where beer sales are theoretically prohibited, beer vendors announce they have leche (milk) for sale instead.