There are some drinks you have to try when you travel to a foreign place. When it comes to drinks worth tasting to celebrate the place you travelled to, the list can go on and on. Because almost every place has it’s local drink, that the citizens are extremely proud of. This is why choosing only 10 beverages you should to try while abroad was not an easy task. If it’s possible, I always pick diversity, and this time it was actually the best rule of all. So that whenever you feel like becoming a local for a little while, you know what to order.
1. CHACHA IN TBILISI
I recently got to meet some wonderful people from Georgia (the country in Eastern Europe, not the state in America) and I got a present from them. It was a homemade Chacha. It was the first time, that I heard of this drink, so I was really curious, what was that. My friends explained, that it’s a sort of brandy made from grapes… well actually it’s from whatever is left from grapes after preparing homemade wine (which is also a source of pride for Georgians). I tasted it. It’s really strong and has a specific, sweety taste, which however do not disguise the alcohol. So if you are in Tbilisi, be sure to try it, but just a little bit.
2. COGNAC IN YEREVAN
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Let’s stay in that region of the world for a little longer. Less than 300 km (186 mi) from Tbilisi lies the capital of Armenia – Yerevan. Did you know, that Armenia is the origin country of cognac? So no wonder armenian cognac is arguably the best in the world. Although technically, due to French trade mark rights it’s not supposed to be called cognac, but brandy. Call it whatever you like, but the drink is tasty and pretty strong (about 40% vol.). Stars on the bottle indicate years that the liquor was aging. And, naturally, with every star comes higher price. But if you’re ever in Armenia, cognac is the liquor to taste.
3. CHAMPAGNE IN PARIS
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Those French guys knew what they were doing, registering all those names of alcohols. This way it seems that only original cognac comes from western part of the country and the origin of only true champagne is the north of France. This sparkling wine is associated with celebration, so there is absolutely no other way to celebrate the visit to the city of love than with a glass of champagne.
4. GOLDWASSER IN GDAŃSK
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Yet another registered trademark is Goldwasser – 35% vol. liquor, that comes from over 1000 years old Gdansk. It’s root and herbal taste is enriched by real, 22 or 23-karat gold flakes, sunken at the bottom of the flask. Gdansk Goldwasser recipe has been kept a secret for almost half a millennium and toasting this city’s long and stormy history is definitely a good idea.
5. SLIVOVICA IN BELGRADE
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Slivovica is a sort of Rakija made of plums. The one you can buy in shops usually has about 40% vol., but the one you might be treated with by Serbs at their home will probably be stronger (50-60%). It is one of the most popular drinks in Serbia and there are many occasions, when you traditionally drink it. Weddings, baptisms, visiting friends, funerals, joining the army… you name it. So take a shot and take a shot of Slivovica in Belgrade – just for fun!
6. RUM IN SANTO DOMINGO
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We all remember this hilarious scene from 2003 blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean”, don’t we? Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) sets the rum storage on fire so that she and CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) could be saved from the desert island. However, there are better ways to use rum – one of them is celebrating your stay at the capital city of the Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo. Because burning it would be such a waste.
7. KWETE IN KAMPALA
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If you’re in Central Africa, you may come across Kwete. It is a traditional beer brewed from fermented cereals like maize, malt, millet and sorghum. The drink is sweet and sour and it has a light brown color. Every traveller, that arrives to Uganda should drink to the beauty of the region and hospitality of it’s citizens.
8. ALE IN LONDON
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Now, this is a drink that needs no introductions. Thick dark beer with a specific, strong taste is probably the best, when you drink it in a typical british pub during a Premier League match. All of you, who already had the opportunity to taste Ale in London would probably agree that it’s worth the effort, am I right?
9. SAKE IN TOKIO
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Sake is a Japanese beverage made of fermented rice. You can hear it being compared to wine,but it’s production is actually pretty close to brewing beer. There are a lot of different types of sake that vary in voltage (usually from 15% to 20%) taste and ways of serving you can order sake in 40-50°C (104-122°F), room temperature or chilled).
10. LONG ISLAND ICED TEA IN NEW YORK
Photo Credit: Nathan Wind as Cochese via Compfight ccLong Island Iced Tea in New York is probably one of the worst things you can do while traveling on the East Coast… And that’s why I’m suggesting it. Order one drink that contains some of the most popular beverages in the world and let your hair down for one night. BTW, did you notice the pretty metaphor? A drink that consists of alcohols from all over the world in one of the most culturally mixed place in the world. With a drink like that, you don’t have to have a last paragraph…
…but I’m going to write one anyway. Because this is my second post about alcoholic beverages (the first one about some drinking customs around the world). And in this one I’ve been encouraging you all to drink heavily, so at this point you must think I’m an addict. I am not. I just strongly believe, that drinks are a part of cuisine and culture. So to prove to you that I know other ways to get to know culture, I will suggest you reading Martta’s text on dancing, because she’s collected some of the most interesting dances in the world. For your enjoyment.