Drink Your Way Around The World

Updated:

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.

Drink Your Way Around The World

Kava – Western Pacific

Drink Your Way Around The World - Kava
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 coffee 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.

How Wine Paid For My First Trip To Europe

Back in 2004 I wanted nothing else but to leave New Zealand …

I HATED my life there, and felt like I wanted to leave everything behind and go as far away as I could, but before I could do so, I needed to get enough money to buy a plane ticket out of there.

So I got a job at a vineyard working 12 hour night-shifts every day for 8 weeks, making 12 dollars an hour.

It’s not the best place to work if you want to save money for a round the world trip, since it’s a pretty crazy job BUT if you like wine – you will love working there…

Working in a vineyard you learn so much about wine, and realize that wine is not just a drink, but something more.

How Wine Paid For My First Trip To Europe

The progress from picking the grapes to the finished product is a long, dangerous journey – and you truly get a whole new perspective on how wine is made, finding out many things you really don’t want to know.

I never thought that wine could be such a scientific process, and yes, I screwed up more than just a couple of times…

One night at 3am I had to go on top of a 15 meter high wine vat and pour over 20 kg of sugar inside to help the fermentation process.

At the time, I was sh*t scared of heights, but I was the new guy so I had to get up there and do it.

I poured the huge bucket of sugar in as fast as I could so I could get down faster.

Little did I know that if you pour it slightly too fast, the sugar will react with the wine and can explode – spraying wine everywhere!

I turned around, and suddenly heard a loud rumbling noise from inside the vat – the whole thing exploded over my head, drenched me in wine and covered the guys 15 meters below – I had wasted 50+ liters of wine all over the ground in under 2 minutes… :S

Working there I drank more wine than water, not while working, but whenever we had finished we could basically drink as much wine as we wanted from all over the world.

A few of my favorite international wines were Chateau La Lagune from France and the Innocent Bysander wines from Australia.

We joined the official wine tours and got to taste and compare different wines, all from the cheapest wine to one of the world’s most expensive (which for the record tasted like sh*t, all the money was spent on the gold label).

We learned that good wine doesn’t have to be expensive, and that expensive wine doesn’t have to be good.

When the season was over, we were all given 12 big bottles of wine, which we by that time had learned how to finish pretty fast.

I left with not only enough money to buy my ticket to Europe, but with a new interest for wine, something which I had never paid much attention to before.

Wine tasting and wine tours are often something of a luxury event, but in New Zealand and Australia it’s actually really affordable, and many vineyards (although not the dodgy one I worked at) let you see the whole process of how wine is made.

So if you want to do something slightly different on your next trip to Australia or New Zealand, visit a vineyard – it really is a great experience!

(photo credits: 1 – heardsy)

41 thoughts on “Drink Your Way Around The World”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

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

  7. 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

  8. 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? 😛

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

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

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

  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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,

Comments are closed.