I visited a Santiago institution, La Piojera, to try their famous Terremoto (earthquake) drinks. We were warned by several people to guard our belongings and generally avoid it at night. Obviously I went at 8pm with 5 gringos who (mostly) don't speak Spanish. Read this guide to enjoy your own terremoto at La Piojera.
AN INTRODUCTION TO LA PIOJERA
The place is decked out in Chilean flags, resembling Independence Day year round. There are singers, guitars strummers and a party atmosphere any time you go.
Scroll down for a video!
The patrons range from working class Santiguinos to curious visitors like us who hope to feel the power of a terremoto.
Fun fact: Piojera translates to "fleahouse" and was nicknamed as such by President Arturo Alessandri Palma on his visit in 1922.
WHAT’S A TERREMOTO?
Back to those terremotos - what exactly are they? Fermented wine, grenadine (or fernet) with a dollop of pineapple ice cream. They're cloyingly sweet, and surprisingly strong. So strong, in fact, that they don't let you have more than one. If you do dare to have a second round, you'll be given a replica (aftershock), which is a smaller version of the terremoto.
Legend has it that you can also order a third (smaller) version of that, but no one has lived to tell the tale.
So, how were they?
Pretty f*kn strong. I was 3/4 through my drink before the room was spinning, and I found myself laughing a little too hard at Mike's "jokes."
Here's a terrible photo I took of my terremoto!
On the other hand, Mike chugged through almost two of them and befriended a lesbian Chilean couple sitting next to us. One of them worked at a mining company, and as a result, had developed a terminal illness. The night at La Piojera was their last hoorah.*
*Please remember that this could be entirely fabricated because we still can't understand Chileans very well.
Here's a video of him with his new best friends:
And that's a wrap on our first dive bar in Santiago.