Each place, each country, each region of the world is known for its distinct food habits. There are many different cuisines that you may want to sample from, but what about beverages and drinks? Here is our collection of 10 unique drinks from different parts of the world that you must try once. Some of these are alcoholic, some are not. Some again are made up of local ingredients, but each is worth a try.
Country: Fiji Islands
Kava is a much loved drink of the Pacific Islanders. In Fiji, it is often called a national drink, but also widely consumed in other places of the South Pacific such as Hawaii, Polynesia, and Micronesia. The Kava drink is made from the diluted extract of the root of the Kava plant. It is said to be very soothing to the nerves and very calming as well. Initially, considered a purely ceremonial drink, the Kava is now a proven remedy for many minor ailments such as anxiety, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and even muscle pains. Kava is now exported to many parts of the world. So don’t miss this drink.
Lassi is India’s anytime drink. Indians can start their day with lassi, drink it as an accompaniment with lunch or supper, and drink it any time of the day. Lassi is a yogurt-based drink. The thick sweet version is popular in Punjab and north India while the rest of the country prefers the salted lassi tempered with mild spices such as asafoetida and cumin powder. Lassi is an excellent drink when it comes to preventing heat induced maladies and heat strokes. The very popular sweet lassi is often served with saffron, mango, or rose flavourings and topped with clotted cream.
Raki is one of the drinks that must top your list of must-trys on a trip to Turkey. This fruit-based, anise-flavored drink is one of the few liqueurs widely consumed in the country. It is made from the pulp and skin of grapes, plums, and figs. Before consumption, Raki is diluted to form a turbid white drink. It is a popular apéritif and often paired with meze or fish. Raki is very often referred to as Aslan Sutu or Lion’s Milk. The popular World Raki Festival of Adana has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years.
When we speak of drinks in Japan, Sake often comes to mind. But here is a unique drink you may want to try next – the Hirezake. It is a combination of a fried, grilled, or charred puffer fish or fugu fish fin served with warm rice wine or sake. Do try this drink only at a popular sushi restaurant, since the fish is known to be toxic and the preparation requires precision and experience. The Tora Fugu is a highly preferred fish for the Hirezake. Given the deadly level of toxicity of this fish though, it is clear that this drink is certainly not for the fainthearted.
One of the best known cures for a hangover, they say, is a Prairie Oyster. It does not sound like a drink but it is. The drink is made from Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce with a whole raw egg in it, seasoned with salt and black pepper. The egg dropped into the drink is unbroken and gives the impression of an oyster, hence the name. The Prairie Oyster is also called a Prairie Cocktail but it is completely non-alcoholic. A similar alcoholic beverage called Amber Moon is made by adding vodka or whiskey to this drink.
Country: South Africa
This emerald green drink from South Africa is right out of the storybooks of yore. Springbok or Springbokkie is made with Amarula cream liqueur, white creme de menthe or peppermint crème and cream. Named after the South African national rugby team, the drink features the team’s jersey colors – green and gold. The creme de menthe is first poured into a shotglass. Over it, the Amarula is poured taking care that the two do not mix. Amarula, the world’s second best-selling cream liqueur, imparts the drink a distinctly caramel and citrus taste. It is a natural favorite in the country during the rugby season.
Yak Butter Tea
Country: Tibet (China)
Butter, some say, makes every food taste better. Tibet, at least, seems to think so. Yak butter tea is widely consumed across Tibet and in the Himalayan belt. Yak milk is a wholesome and nutritious drink, delicious by itself. When tea is brewed in this milk and topped with a measure of salty yak butter that melts in the heat of the tea, it imparts a sense of comfort and warmth like no other drink can. The traditional recipe of this po cha (butter tea) calls for brewing Pemagul black tea for many long hours. Modern Tibetans, however, use regular tea leaves.
The Kaffepunch or the coffee punch is a popular drink in Denmark. It is made by dropping a coin into a shallow coffee mug and adding coffee to it. Then schnapps is added to the coffee till the coin is visible again. The Kaffepunch is much stronger than your regular cup of coffee and a favorite around the New Year’s time. The origins of the Kaffepunch are traced back to Fano, a tiny island off the Danish coast. Coffee drinkers across the world have adopted various versions of this drink.
Lambanog or coconut wine is one of the most potent alcoholic drinks produced in Philippines. The wine is made from the sap of an unopened coconut flower which is first fermented and then distilled. Though most kinds of wines are known to be mild, the Lambanog, with about 85 percent alcohol content, is sure to pack a punch. Drinking the Lambanog was a popular social activity in the Philippines. It was accompanied by music, dance, and festivities. Even without these, the drink can certainly make you merry enough to party. Lambanog is now bottled and exported across the world.
The only complaint you may have with your beer is that it looks boring. Japan’s Abashiri Brewery solved this by coming up with a Rainbow Beer. The brewery has come up with a whole range of colors – blue, green, red, pink, orange, silver, and others. Indeed, these beers are flavored but what is unique is the fact that the beer is said to have melted iceberg water in it. Rainbow beer is becoming popular in other countries too but when in Japan, do not give this drink a miss.
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