Drink Your Way Around The World

One thing is for sure, food is an important part of travel – we’re planning a trip to India in a few months mainly because we’re longing for the amazing curries you get there!

However, drinks have just as much of a cultural tradition and heritage around the world – here we will explore the different drinks from around the world.

Kava – Western Pacific

Kava is a drink derived from the roots of a plant grown in the western Pacific. Vanuatu is known for making the strongest Kava, and it’s a drink which holds mild tranquilizing properties.

It’s common throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia (including Hawaii), Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia. Kava is meant to relax you without disrupting mental clarity, and is not drunken as a substitute for alcohol.

The grey watery drink is simple, it’s ground root/bark mixed with a little bit of water.

There are special Kava bars where you can visit and try the drink, and you may be served processed Kava which isn’t as strong.

They also have Kava Cola, an anti-energy- soft drink. So typical Vanuatu!!

Vanuatu is known for having the strongest Kava of all islands, and there you usually drink it before a meal, and unlike other islands, they don’t add any extra flavor.

It’s not the tastiest drink, and your tongue gets numb immediately, but it’s an experience for sure!

Mint Tea – Morocco

When you’re in Morocco you will end up drinking more mint tea in one week than you have drunken in your whole life. Mint tea is everywhere, and in every shop you enter they will bring you a tray with mint tea within less than a minute.

It’s likely that you will end up spending most of your time drinking tea in shops than anything else, even shopping, as it’s impolite to refuse.

However, the mint tea deserves some credit, it’s simply the best mint tea in the world (my own opinion).

The Moroccan tea is green tea with mint leaves, it occupies a very important place in Moroccan culture and is considered an art form. Morocco is one of the biggest tea importers of the world.

It’s a tea of hospitality, and whether you’re in a Moroccan family’s home or shop, they will bring you their hospitality drink before you blink.

Unlike Moroccan food, cooked by women, this tea is traditionally a man’s affair: prepared by the head of the family.

Glögg – Scandinavia

Glögg is from the beginning not a Scandinavian drink, the Romans used to heat their wine and spice it up to make it drinkable.

Different spices, but still the same concept. The Scandinavian Glögg is a mulled wine, only served during the Christmas period.

The Scandinavian Glögg is a spiced dark red wine, hot, sweet and bitter at the same time, and often consumed with almonds and raisins, together with some gingerbread.

It’s so tasty that you think you can drink a whole bottle, but already after two shots it will be too much.

If you’re in Scandinavia over Christmas, do not miss this drink, Christmas mood is guaranteed!

Lassi – India

Similar to smoothies, but better, in my opinion. It’s a healthy drink that cools you down in the hot weather. Unlike many other drinks, the Salt Lassi is great for the digestion (something you want in the land of spicy curries).

Lassi is made from buttermilk, which makes the whole drink taste completely different. It’s a healthier option than milk, containing tons of good bacteria that strengthens the immune system.

Health benefits aside, I could drink Lassi all day long..!

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, and I never drink coffee without adding milk and sugar – with one exception: Lao coffee. This is hands down the best coffe I’ve had, and the fact that I could actually drink it without adding one spoon of sugar – says a lot…

Lao coffee

Lao coffee

Greek Frappe – Greece

If you can only drink one Frappe in your life, let it be in Greece!

Frappe is a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee. Once invented from an experiment by a guy who couldn’t find any hot water, and blended his coffee with cold water in a shaker, this drink has become an important part of Greek coffee culture.

You can choose between three different degrees of sweetness, and are usually served a glass of water with the coffee. It’s the ultimate cooling drink on a hot day.

Don’t confuse this drink with the Starbucks’ Frappuccino, they’re simply not at all the same!

Sangria – Spain

Sangria is one of my favorite drinks. It’s fruity, sweet and chilled, served in 1 Litre containers with thinly sliced fruit. It’s very much of a “social-drink” that you share, like punch, on parties, but also served in pubs shared with a group.

From what I’ve been told by my very patriotic Catalan uncle, the “real” way of drinking Sangria is by this special wine container with a long pipe, which I found pretty fascinating.

You use it very much like a watering can, but put the wine out really fast so it creates a bow in the air, and then catch the line of wine.

Be warned, it can get really messy. They must practice with water or something until they learn, because it’s pretty much an art form..!

Pálinka – Hungary

At 8 o clock in the morning we were greeted by the guest house owner who immediately poured up a glass of Pálinka each.

Fruit brandy with 60% alcohol volume (it gets up to 86%) for breakfast is no biggie in Hungary. In fact, a traditional Hungarian greeting is “Pálinkás jó reggelt!” which means “Good morning with pálinka!”.

Pálinka has an important role in traditional celebrations and social occasions, and has a history dating back to the fourteenth century. You can buy Pálinka everywhere, but it’s very common to make your own as well.

(photo credits: heardsy)

41 Responses to Drink Your Way Around The World

  1. Jane January 9, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    what a wonderful idea, so many drinks to try!

    • Nathan Schacherer January 9, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      hehe thanks, yeah and so many more we could have added!

  2. Nathan Schacherer January 9, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    cool – thanks for sharing that link Clark 🙂

  3. GlobalButterfly January 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I would also add: Mojito-Cuba and Caipirinha-Brasil. This post was NOT good to read, because I’m trying to stay away from alcohol for a month. Gotta loose this holiday weight, but now I want some Sangria hahaha.

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks for adding those! I’ve never tried Caipirinha, but I have heard of it.
      Haha a little bit of Sangria won’t hurt 😉

  4. Anonymous January 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I really liked the sangria’s in Spain, they were delicious. But after reading more about the mint tea in Morocco, it makes me want to go there!

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 9:59 am #

      I’d go as far as saying that Morocco is worth a visit JUST for the tea! 😛

  5. Magda @Destination WorlD January 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    I’d add pisco sour in Peru and Chile – it’s a mix of pisco (a vodka made of grapes), raw egg whites (whipped) and lime juice. Delicious!

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      Oh yeah I’ve heard a lot about Pisco, can’t wait to try it.

  6. Anonymous January 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Great round-up! I love Moroccan mint tea, even though I haven’t had the chance to go to Morocco yet–someday! I drank crazy amounts of sangria in Spain–you just can’t beat it 🙂

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      Haha you’re right about that, few things can beat a good Sangria 😉

  7. Cailin O'Neil January 10, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    I’ve had lots and lots of Kava in Fiji (and in London from some Fijians I came across) and I’ve drank mint tea in Morocco and Sangria in Spain. My favorite was the Kava although probably not the tastiest! I couldn’t finish my mint tea in Morocco because it was just too much for me (and I had purchased it, if it had been offered to me I definitely would of finished it). I’ve also had Gluvine in Germany similar to the Glogg and tiger milk aka horchata in Spain which was an interesting drink.
    Great post, definitely my kind of thing! haha 🙂

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      I agree, Kava is quite special, not very tasty, but it’s a weird feeling when your tongue gets all numb.. maybe the Kava soda would be something for you? 😛

  8. Joya January 10, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    I know from experience that a frappe on the beach in Greece is amazing!

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 10:05 am #

      I agree, a Frappe really adds that little extra on a sunny day at the beach

  9. Andrewcolvill January 10, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    what about some ayahuasca in Peru!

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Hey Andrew! I’ve never tried that drink, will make sure I do when I get the chance. Thanks for adding!

  10. Annie January 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    What a great idea for a post! So many awesome drinks listed, some I’ve tried and some I’m putting on my list!!

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 9:59 am #

      I’m glad you liked it Annie, definitely put these on your list!

  11. Ayngelina January 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Great round-up, I’ll add in a bit of flavour from Latin America as each country has its own delicious drinks:

    Horchata from Mexico and
    chicha morada from Peru

    • Sofia January 10, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks Ayngelina for adding some Latin flavors to the list, they sound really interesting!

  12. Efstathia Tzotzokou January 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    It’s quite obvious, but after visiting Italy I become addicted to espresso!! In Greece, also, they bring you a glass of water despite your order, and they refill it if you ask. I’m greek and I find it really weird that in many countries you have to pay extra to get something as simple as water with your drink. Great article, btw!

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 7:51 am #

      Hey! thanks for sharing your thoughts and visiting our site 🙂

  13. Anonymous January 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I’d love to try Kava … I’ll have to plan a trip to Vanuatu if I get back to NZ!

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 7:49 am #

      oh Kava is strange, but Vanuatu is simply AMAZING!!!! expensive but so amazing!

  14. Sarah Wu January 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    I already liking the title “Drink Your Way Around The World”. my favorite is Sangria form Spain. I would love to try the real authentic thing there one day.

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

      The Sangria in Spain is the best I’ve had, any small corner pub makes great Sangria, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

  15. BeersAndBeans January 11, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Great list. Most of the drinks are new to me, so I’m excited to try them out in the future. Another great Latin America drink is the Michelada: a concoction of hot sauce, tomato juice, lime and beer served over ice with a salted rim. – Randy

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      hot sauce and beer? haha that sounds really..interesting.. ;P

  16. Andrew Murray January 11, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    I’ve had plenty of mint tea and sangria but I’ve never tried any of the other drinks. If I ever make it as far as Vanuatu I will definitely be ordering a Kava!

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

      If you ever go to Australia or New Zealand Vanuatu isn’t very far from there, and is definitely worth a visit 🙂

      • Andrew Murray January 12, 2011 at 2:44 am #

        Maybe Australia but I’m still trying to get Laura to fill out her working visa application lol ><

  17. Brooke vs. the World January 11, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    ooh I like 🙂 I want to try one of each!

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 7:50 am #

      hehe great! 🙂 wouldn’t that be ONE wonderful day!

  18. KimKs January 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Yum! We loved the mint tea in Egypt. Great post! You’ll love the food and tea in India too. Amazing!

    • Anonymous January 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

      I do! We’re planning on going to India in a few months just because we miss the food so much! It will be my third time there, so exciting!

  19. Siddhartha Joshi January 13, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    Hmmm…all of them sound and look so tasty 🙂

    Maybe I can add a bit about lassi, it can be sweet as well as salty. It could be served as plain lassi, or with dry fruits and various flavors like khas, rose, and so on. As you move across the country, the texture of lassi also changes. The lassi in north would be much thicker than the ones you get in the west. But they all taste great 🙂

  20. Alicia January 13, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    What a very interesting documentation… I would like to try them all. I agree with you that traveling is also about foods and drinks aside from the tourist spots and it is such a wonderful experience to try the specialty of every places we visit, isn’t it?

  21. enrolled agent cpe January 14, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    A province in the Philippines is known for “kapeng barako” which is their own blend of dark and rich coffee that can surely keep you awake. There’s also the Alamid coffee, I’ll let you guys do a little research about that interesting drink.

  22. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy January 14, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Very nice post and great pictures! Agree with you completely about the relationship between beverages and cultural nuances. Fun getting to know people, countries and culture through their cuisine and beverages. Personally, coffee is my passion. However, my family and I enjoyed drinking “Glögg” during travels in that part of the world.
    Thank you for your great insights,

  23. Gemma January 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    I LOVE mint tea. Looks like I’m headed to Morocco!!