Top 50 National Drinks
Top 50 National Drinks
So what's your favourite?
1. Caipirinha, Brazil - The ever-popular national cocktail of the party capital of South America – made with sugar cane rum, sugar and lime. Brazil’s caipirinha is as refreshing as the sea breeze you’ll feel as you take in the sunset at Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro.
2. Vodka, Russia - Nothing says Russia like a clear bottle of strong vodka! A national favourite since the 14th century, vodka has been warming the hearts of Russian’s for years. A clear, strong spirit made from water and ethanol, it can be used as a shot, in cocktails or with a mixer.
3. Sangria, Spain - A heady punch formed from wine, chopped fruit, sugar and a dash of brandy, this invigorating drink was designed with the southern Spanish sands in mind. It was originally named ‘Sangre’by Portuguese peasants meaning ‘blood’ because of its appearance. Sangria is particularly popular in the summer months and is often served in pitchers.
4. Soju, Korea - A slightly sweet spirit made from rice or other starches such as potatoes. Whatever you do, don’t pour your own glass of soju; it is tradition to allow others to serve you, and to serve others in return whenever their glass is empty.
5. Tej, Ethiopia - This rather delicious-looking and sweet-tasting beverage is a honey wine (aka mead) flavoured with twigs from the gesho plant, a type of African shrub. More often than not it is brewed at home (though it is available in bars too) and is served in a vase-shaped container called a berele.
6. Coconut Arrack, Sri Lanka -The world’s largest producer of coconut arrack, Sri Lanka’s national drink has a taste somewhere between whisky and rum.Whilst Arrack is drunk across South East Asia, Sri Lanka has been producing it for the longest amount of time and is the largest manufacturer. Harvested by workers known as toddy tappers it only has two ingredients. Fermented coconut sap and water.
7. Jenever, The Netherlands - Originally made as a medicine, Jenever is a strong juniper based liqueur. It is also known as ‘gin’.
8. Single Malt Whisky, Scotland - Made from malt barley, wheat or rye, Scotch Whiskey or just ‘Scotch’ has been brewed in Scotland since the late 18th century. It has five categories (single malt, single grain, blended malt, blended grain and blended) it is left to age in oak barrels for three years at least.
9. Mojito, Cuba - A Cuban classic made up of white rum, sugar, lime, mint and sparkling water.
10. Sake, Japan - Although 95% of sake drunk in the Western world is made in the United States, sake is undoubtedly Japan’s national drink of choice. Made from rice (‘rice wine’) the drink originates as far back as the eighth century. It has a bitter taste and a far higher alcohol content than most wines. With its first known recording in the 3rd century there are now over 80 types of sake rice in Japan.
11. Tea, India - Theworld’s second most popular drink after water has been named India’s national drink. Although commonly seen as the quintessential English drink, it has been awarded national status in 2012 by Indian authorities, to coincide with the birthday of the first Assamese tea planter.
12. Jack Daniels, U.S.A - Possibly the biggest brand of alcohol that exists, this famous Tennessee bourbon whisky is aged in oak barrels to give the distinct smoky infusions associated with Jack Daniels. A celebrated drink in the southern states of America but also on a global scale.
13. Ouzo, Greece - A potent white spirit with an aniseed flavour. This exclusive Greek product has a minimum alcohol percentage of 37.5%, but typically is much stronger, close to 50%. The European Union recognizes that only produce from Greece and Cyprus may be officially labelled as Ouzo. The drink of Greece is usually served with small fresh fish, olives, and feta cheese.
14. Maghreb Mint Tea, Morocco - Commonly served all over the Western Arab World but most commonly found in Morocco. Unlike Maghreb food, which is prepared by women, tea is the preside of the head of the family and is considered an art form. It is always served to guests and it is rude to decline. In some places pine nuts are added and when mint is in short supply it can be substituted for wormwood.
15. Tequila, Mexico - Who knew the byproduct of a plant could be just so tasty? Harvested from the nectar of the nation’s favourite blue agave plant, there is very little reason to deny Mexico’s local drink of choice. Except a killer hangover, perhaps….
16. Caesar (cocktail), Canada - This estranged brother of the Bloody Mary is a dubious sounding concoction – a mix of vodka, a tomato juice and clam both called Clamato, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. As with a Bloody Mary, the Bloody Caesar is served in a tall, salt rimmed glass with a stick of celery and a slice of lime. Surprisingly, over 350 million Caesars are served every year; try it to find out why.
17. Limoncello, Italy- A sweet and zesty liqueur, limoncello is made from lemons and syrup. The bright yellow drink is usually sipped slowly.
18. Mount Gay Rum, Barbados - Known as ‘the rum that invented rum’, Mount Gay Rum is the oldest known brand of rum in existence, having been produced since 1703! Made with the finest local sugar cane and coral-filtered water, this is the unequivocal taste of Barbados.
19. Absinthe, France - Any drink that has previously been banned internationally is worth trying! Once the tipple of tortured artists like Charles Baudelaire and Vincent Van Gogh, the bright green sprit can be anything between 45%-74% alcohol, and should be sipped in the bohemian backstreets of Paris.
20. Mekhong Whiskey, Thailand - One of the most popular liquors in Thailand, Mekhong (which is actually closer to a rum than a whiskey) has been aiding merry-making in SE Asia for over seventy years. Buy yourself a bottle at the Full Moon Party – it will certainly set you up for the night!
21. Pisco Sour, Peru - A frothy delight, the Pisco Sour is a mix of the Pisco liqueur, lime juice, egg white, syrup and ice with a few Angostura bitters thrown in. It can also be made with coca leaves or fruit, like in Chile.
22. Champagne, France – Produced in the Champagne region of France, the elegant, sparkling white wine is made from green grapes. It was made famous through its association with the anointment of French Kings.
23. Brennivin, Iceland - A brand of schnapps that is considered to be Iceland’s national liquor. Made of fermented mashed potatoes it is colloquially called ‘Black Death’ and a literal translation of Brennivin is ‘burning wine’. Tempting.
24. Singani, Bolivia –Singani, a type of brandy, is Bolivia’s national liquor and created from a genus of the Muscat grape, which can be found growing in the south of the country. It was created in the 1500s by locals who distilled wine made by Spanish colonists in the Cinti Valley in Chuquisaca.
25. Schnäpse, Germany - Distilled from fermented fruits, schnäpse is a strong, colourless liqueur. The word means “swallow” in German.
26. Kava, Fiji -This traditional drink of many pacific islanders is not an alcohol, but a plant-based creation with sedative and anaesthetic effects... the gritty taste and muddy colour might not instantly appeal, but the warm fuzzy feeling that washes over you is a unique experience for many.
27. Tatanka, Poland - Dubbed ‘apple pie’ given its sweet ‘desert-like’ taste, tatanka is a mixture of zubrówka vodka, apple juice & cinnamon. Best served chilled with a twist of lemon and ice.
28. Kumis, Mongolia- Kumis is a drink made from mare’s milk. It is sweeter than cow’s milk and when fermented, is made alcoholic.
29. Irn Bru, Scotland - Okay. So technically not the Scottish national drink but commonly referred to as such. It is the number one selling soft drink in the country and is also sold around the world in areas with large Scottish communities.
30. Singapore sling, Singapore - Originally made in the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar in around 1915, this legendary red cocktail is a blend of gin, Bénédictine, pineapple juice and Cherry Heering with a foamy top (due to the Sarawak pineapples).
31. Mate, Argentina - A little like tea, Mate is made by pouring hot water over dried leaves, yerba mate leaves. It is served in a calabash gourd and drunk through a metal straw.
32. Tuica, Romania - A strong spirit, Tuica is made from plums with an alcoholic content of between 45%-60%. Made in time for Christmas, it is distilled in brass stills using charcoal or wood as its heat source.
33. Columbian Hot Chocolate, Columbia - A staple drink for the vast majority of Columbian households, typically accompanied with bread and cheese that is inserted into the chocolate.
34. Pálinka, Hungary - Invented in the Middle Ages, the traditional drink is a brandy made from locally grown fruit. Regularly used fruits are plums, apricots and pears with some bottles containing the whole fruit inside.
35. Bajtra, Malta - With a pale pink sheen and a sugary sweet aftertaste, Bajtra is an entirely unique liqueur. Produced mainly on the Maltese Islands, but particularly popular in the United States, this addictive spirit can be enjoyed alone or, alternatively, mixed into a long drink assemblage.
36. Kopi Luwak, Indonesia - Formed from coffee berries that have been ingested and promptly deposited by an Asian mongoose (known locally as a Civet), only the brave and cash-ready dare try Indonesia’s most costly coffee.
37. Guinness, Ireland - Dating back to Dublin’s late 18th Century, this opaque dry stout is packed full of salubrious nutrients. It’s been scientifically proven and everything.
38. Hawaiian Sea Breeze, Hawaii - A refreshing mix of vodka, cranberry and pineapple juice, this lethal local mélange blends perfectly with the Hawaiian tropical beaches.
39. Sherry, Spain – A little like white wine, sherry is made from grapes, but is darker, heavier, and sipped slowly. There are 12 different types of sherry, including dry, pale cream, Oloroso and Dulce/sweet.
40. Mountain Dew, USA - Masterminded in the US, this citrus-flavoured injection of pure caffeine (and all kinds of E-numbers) has caused a lot of controversy over the years. Being banned in several countries, however, makes this fizzy formula all the more tasty…
41. Sambuca con Mosca, Italy - Sambuca served in a glass with three coffee beans which represent health, happiness, and prosperity. Sipped at a leisurely pace creates a distinction from flaming Sambuca.
42. Cachaca, Brazil - This spirit is a distinct rum variety native to Brazil. 2 billion litres are produced annually with only 400 million litres exported. This leaves 1.6 billion litres for domestic consumption, accounting for 11 litres per Brazilian.
43. Aguardiente, Colombia - Although variations of this drink (which roughly translates as ‘firewater’) can be found in several countries throughout South America, it is perhaps most popular in Colombia. It is made from sugarcane and has an aniseed taste, and in Colombia is typically drunk neat.
44. Inca Kola, Peru - One of only two countries globally that outsells coca cola in the soft drinks market. A bright yellow coloured drink with a sweet taste that resembles the flavour of bubble-gum.
45. Greenlandic Coffee, Greenland - This is no ordinary coffee. It is served with Grand Marnier, whiskey, Kahlua and whipped cream, and due to its heady mix of alcohol is usually set on fire before drinking. It is served in a Bordeaux glass and, perhaps unsurprisingly, is very popular with locals and visitors alike.
46. Maotai, China - Named after the town in which it is produced, in Guizhou province, Southwest China, this national liquor is distilled from fermented sorghum, a type of cereal crop. It is often served to visiting heads of state, notably to Richard Nixon in 1972, and is exported all over the world.
47. Rakia, Slovenia /Albania/Bulgaria/Bosnia/Herzegovina/Croatia/Macedonia/Montenegro /Serbia/ Turkey - Made predominantly with fruit, the beverage is distilled and fermented with an alcohol content of 40% to 60% (home brewed versions are usually significantly stronger). Fruits include apricots, plums and grapes with honey or herbs occasionally added.
48. Chay, Azerbaijan – Although alcohol is available in Azerbaijan, most of the population are Shiite Muslims, so therefore abstain, instead preferring to consume Chay, a type of black tea. It is traditionally drunk with a lump of sugar in the mouth, through which the liquid is strained.
49. Coca Cola, USA – The incredibly popular carbonated soft drink ‘Coca Cola’, is one of the biggest drinks in the world and is consumed in more than 200 countries. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Coca Cola was first produced as a patent medicine in the late 19th century before dominating the soft drink lists in the 20th century.
50. Chicha, Venezuela – Made with boiled rice, milk and sugar, this refreshing drink is bought from street vendors. It is thick and white, like eggnog. In other South American countries it is fermented and made alcoholic.
Surprisingly, over 350 million Caesars are served every year; try it to find out why
By Themes (All Destinations)
- Central America
- Middle East
- North America
- South America
"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it" - Rosalia de Castro