Drinking all over the world!

World Best Bar

Apr 11, 2018

Drinking all over the world
Both intrepid travellers and dedicated booze hounds alike will want to immerse themselves in the local bar scene during their trip. The speciality drink of a region or country is an important expression of their cultural heritage and, in some areas, is even considered sacred.


So, take a trip with us around the world in 15 drinks to find out exactly what you should have in your hand when raising a glass abroad.


1. Schnapps – Austria

The alpine terrain and climate of this mountainous land requires a strong brew to help you feel toasty inside. The word ‘schnapps’ is derived from the Germanic phrase ‘to swallow’, and although it can refer to any kind of alcoholic drink, the term is usually reserved to describe the fruit or herbal liqueur that it’s best known for. Prost!


2. Pastis – France

As French as frog legs, this anise-flavoured apéritif is THE definitive drink of France. It’s usually drunk in measures of 5:1 (water to Pastis), but it’s been enjoying a summertime renaissance of late, in which pétanque players have started ordering it at 8:1 in a wine glass over ice to serve as a refreshing alternative to rosé wine. Santé!


3. Ouzo – Greece

Here’s another anise-flavoured apéritif, similar in taste to Pastis or Sambuca. It’s usually served chilled over ice and sipped slowly as you enjoy mezedes (appetisers) of octopus, calamari and fried zucchini. Stin ygeiá sas!


4. Aperol Spritz – Italy

Italian summers are long, hot and thirsty. To combat this, the Italians invented the iconic Aperol Spritz cocktail. The bitter orange apéritif is poured over ice in a wine glass, topped with Prosecco and garnished with a slice of orange. Tasty. Saluti!


5. Sangria – Spain

Named after the Spanish word for blood, sangre, this fruity punch is made with red wine, sliced fruits, orange juice and brandy. It’s usually served in a pitcher and is best shared with friends. Enjoy it with tapas in the warm afternoon sun. ¡Salud!


6. Port – Portugal

Port is most commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine given its (usually) rich and sweet flavour. Several different styles of Port exist, including red, white, rosé and the aged-style, Tawny Port. This fortified wine is produced using grapes exclusively from the Douro Valley, which is found in the northern provinces of Portugal. Felicidades!


7. Tequila – Mexico

Tequila is a regionally-specific spirit made from the blue agave plant. A type of mezcal, tequila is set apart from its cousins by being produced solely from the blue agave plant rather than a mix of other strains. To drink tequila like a local, order it neat and sip slowly. ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!


8. Sake – Japan

Known as the ‘oldest spirit in the world’, sake is a form of fermented rice wine that can be drunk either hot or cold or even ins a cocktail and is typically served alongside a traditional Japanese lunch or dinner. When drinking sake in Japan, it’s important to remember to never fill your own cup but to wait for the host to do so instead. Kanpai!

9. Soju – Korea

Korea’s drink of choice is a clear and colourless spirit that’s often compared to vodka, despite it’s slightly sweeter taste. Soju dates back to the 13th century and was first introduced during the Mongol invasion of Korea. Traditionally, it’s made with a grain, such as rice, wheat or barley, but to cut costs, modern producers often use other starches, such as potatoes or tapioca instead. Geonbae!

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10. Cachaça – Brazil

Cachaça is the main ingredient used in Brazil’s much-loved national cocktail, the Caipirinha. Often referred to as Brazilian rum, cachaça has carved out a spot for itself on the spirit world stage; aged cachaças are gaining a reputation for being a delicious alternative to a post-prandial digestif. Tim-tim!


11. Pisco – Peru

Peru’s pisco is a yellowish-amber brandy that’s produced in the winemaking regions of Peru by distilling fermented grape juice into a high-proof spirit. Developed in the 16th century by Spanish settlers looking for a more economical alternative to orujo (a kind of imported pomace brandy), this spirit has risen to world prominence in recent years with the introduction of the Pisco sour cocktail. Once again, ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa’ dentro!

12. Maotai – China

Classified as ‘sauce-fragranced’ due to its soy sauce-like aroma, maotai (or moutai) is a strong Chinese spirit that’s made by distilling fermented sorghum. It’s actually classified as a type of baijiu with its name being derived from the eponymous town in which it is produced. Given its hefty price tag, Maotai is usually reserved for special occasions and is often enjoyed at state functions. Gānbēi!


13. Guinness – Ireland

Ireland’s top drink is a rich and tangy stout that was originally produced in Dublin, the capital. Although there are now over 50 countries producing this bready brew, the Irish maintain that the special waters of Dublin imbue a distinct and superior taste that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Find out for yourself! Sláinte!


14. Brennivín – Iceland

Also known as the ‘black death’ (fun crowd, the Icelandic), Brennivín is a type of schnapps that’s heavily flavoured with caraway, cumin and angelica. It’s the traditional drink of the midwinter feast of Þorrablót, where it is served as a chilled shot alongside fermented shark meat. Skál!


15. Kumis – Mongolia

This tipple is unique in that it’s distilled using a fermented dairy product rather than a grain or fruit. Originally, Kumis was made using a mare’s milk, but due to limited availability, it’s now often produced with a cow’s milk. It has a slightly sour taste with a bit of a bite and is served chilled. INEEKh!


With this guide in hand, you’re ready to hit the road (and the bar!) Prost! Santé! Salute! Cheers!


Photo by @moutaiaustralia on Instagram

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