In Sri Lanka Water from the tap is not considered to be safe to drink in the country. However if you are using bottled water 1.5 litre for 60-70 LKR in March 2012 please make sure SLS Sri Lanka Standard Institute label is present. Also in some parts of the country you'll find hard water due to the high presence of lime in the soil.Fresh milk, due to the climate, spoils easily, and so is often very expensive. Powdered milk, however, is safe and is often substituted.
Thambili the juice from King Coconut, is very refreshing. It's sold at the side of streets throughout the island, you know it's clean as the coconut is cut open in front of you and it's cheaper than bottled drinks at about R30/- each.
Soft drinks are available almost everywhere, normally in dusty-looking glass bottles. The local producer, Elephant, make a range of interesting drinks - try the ginger beer and cream soda.
"Coca Cola" and "Pepsi" also available in large and small sizes plastic bottles including several local soft drink brands - all available at rapidly multiplying supermarkets all across the country and grocery shops.
The most common local beer is Lion Lager 140 LKR in "wine shops" or 200-300 LKR in restaurants in March 2012. For something a bit different try Lion Stout. It is characterized by it's tar-like oiliness of body and chocolate finish. Other brews include Three Coins, which is brewed by the Mt Lavinia hotel chain, allegedly to a Belgian recipe.
The traditional spirit is Arrack, which costs about 4 USD for a bottle, and is often drunk with club soda. The quality can vary depending on how much you want to pay. However, widely recommended brand would be "Old Reserve" and worth paying 7.5 USD for it.