When visiting a new country on vacation or for work its always enjoyable to partake in the local speciality. We have put together this informative guide of national beverages from around the world to help you join in with the locals and their favourite alcoholic and non-alcoholic tipples.
While a lot of these national beverages can be found across the world, sampling the local thirst quencher in its home country is always slightly better. From England to France to Mexico, find out more about these countries national beverages.
National Beverages Around the World
If there is one thing that England is famous for its tea! It is without doubt the national beverage and can be found at any café or restaurant. Despite originating from India and China, tea is now considered as English as the White Cliffs of Dover. Milk and 1 sugar for me, please!
Dating back in its current form to the 17th century in England, gin has been a staple for most liquor cabinets for centuries. Its resurgence in recent years has seen gin bars and specialists appearing in towns and cities across the country. With an almost never-ending range of flavoured gins now available, it is one of the most popular spirits in the UK.
One of the most unique soft drinks in the world, Irn-Bru is a carbonated, sugary drink famous for its almost neon orange colour. While it is available in a multitude of countries across the world, its accessibility in certain locations is limited to specific retailers. The recipe used in the United States for the beverage differs slightly from the Scottish original due to certain ingredients being banned by the FDA!
The name says it all. Scotch Whisky is without doubt the most synonymous drink with the tartan clan. Not to be confused with the American alternative, it is made from malt or grain (and in certain cases a blend of the two), Scotch Whisky is distilled for a minimum of 3 years in oak barrels. Available throughout the world, it is drunk either on its own (neat) or with a mixer. However, most Scottish Scotch drinkers will simply sip their Scotch neat.
This simple, yet refreshing carbonated water is a staple for most restaurants and bars across France. What makes this sparkling water stand out from its counterparts is the taste. The carbonation of the water is natural and the water is collected from a spring in the French village of Vergèze. The gas and water from the spring are collected separately with the gas being reintroduced to the water during the bottling process.
The history of red wine in France can be traced back as far as the 6th century. Many of the regions of red wine production have been crafting this beautiful dinner accompaniment since then. Ranging from high-end, internationally acclaimed bottles through to those more affordable for the average household, France is synonymous with wine production. Matching your wine to your food is also key in French restaurants. Red wine being best served with cheese, red meats and other rich flavours.
This espresso shot based coffee can be found in any coffee bar in Spain. The name originates from the process of making the drink where you would cut or ‘cortar’ equal parts of espresso with steamed milk in a small glass. The steamed milk reduces the bitterness of the coffee whilst still providing that caffeine hit. Don’t expect to get a cortado in a takeaway cup however, it is most commonly sipped in a coffee bar while relaxing.
Served cold, Sangria is a mix of red wine, fruit, herbs, water, and spices. Full of flavour and perfect for a hot day on the terrace, this beverage is a staple throughout Spain and has made its way across Europe as an ‘exotic’ summer drink which is easy to prepare at home. There is however nothing better than sipping Sangria in the Spanish sun.
Served in Japan since the 12th century, green tea is refreshing and healthy. Full of antioxidants and other stress relieving properties, this hot beverage has seen its popularity surge in the west in recent decades with the increase in healthy living lifestyles. Green Tea is perfect for sipping while taking in the stunning landscape of the island. Definitely one of the healthiest national beverages.
Despite being officially considered a rice wine, Sake has more in common with traditional beer due to its brewing process. Unlike many other alcoholic beverages, Sake can be sampled chilled, at room temperature or heated. While drinking Sake heated is predominately done during winter, the choice of temperature is down to the individual. The majority of restaurants in Japan offer Sake.
Japan recently launched their ‘Sake Viva!’ campaign in an attempt to increase younger drinkers in the country. While this may sound confusing at first, it is an attempt to increase tax revenues from the sale of alcohol in country.
While it may now be considered a global brand, Coca-Cola is American through and through. Starting life back in the late 19th Century, the original recipe contained coca leaf which in turn meant that each glass contained 9 milligrams of cocaine! In the early 1900’s the recipe was changed to remove active coca leaves and therefore removing any cocaine.
The company is now worth an estimated 87 billion dollars and has become one of the most recognisable brands across the world!
Primarily made from corn, Bourbon has been distilled in the US since the 18th century. Jack Daniels is considered to be the biggest brand of Bourbon in the world. Kentucky and Louisiana are the destinations for Bourbon lovers to visit in the USA with a multitude of distilleries across the states.
Simply translated from Spanish, agua fresca means ‘cool waters’. These refreshing beverages are made from blending fruit, seeds, flowers and cereals with water. Perfect for the hot Mexican sun, these non-alcoholic beverages can be found throughout the country at almost any retailer.
Distilled from the blue agave plant, Tequila from Mexico has a different connotation in Mexico than the UK. In Mexico, Tequila is traditionally sipped neat and can be alternated with a side serving of sangrita. Sangrita is a sweet, sour and spicy drink made from orange juice, grenadine and chilli sauce. Tequila in Mexico can only legally be produced in limited areas within the country and carry the name Tequila.
More information about National Beverages and their countries of origin with Cactus:
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