An Andean Drink With Long Island Roots

Sergio Miranda honed his new bottled chicha business at Fordham and Stony Brook Southampton.


By Florence Fabricant

Chicha, a centuries-old South American drink made from fermented corn, is often associated with Peru and the Incas. But Sergio Miranda, who is from Colombia and is selling a bottled version, said it was actually popular throughout the entire Andean region beginning in pre-Columbian days. He said his chicha recipe came from his grandmother. It’s pale yellow, cloudy, slightly fizzy, modestly sweetened, sharpened with lime and rounded with cinnamon and cloves for a nicely quenching drink. It has a mere 0.5 percent alcohol and added probiotic yeast. Today’s bottled Peruvian chicha, usually purple and made industrially from purple corn, is often quite sweet. Mr. Miranda started on his chicha project while he was an undergraduate at Fordham University. Eventually he began working with the East End Food Institute, a culinary incubator at Stony Brook Southampton. He uses organic corn grown nearby in Sagaponack, N.Y., and sells his chicha at local farmer’s markets and online.

Inti Chicha, six 12-ounce bottles, $27.50, intichicha.com.

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