There’s nothing like enjoying a cold beer in the sun or an aperitif before a holiday feast. We might have our preferred beverage when we’re at home but once abroad, it’s great to try something new. Here are some suggestions for exotic concoctions on your travels.
Raki is the unofficial national drink of Turkey and tastes just like Greece’s Ouzo. Nicknamed Lion’s milk, this brew is an unsweetened anise-flavoured alcoholic drink. Sometimes, ice cubes are added, which, when diluted, cause it to turn a milky white colour. Hence the name Lion’s milk. Usually, you drink Raki with meze – a selection of hot and cold appetisers but never make the mistake of ordering just one glass for yourself. It’s poor etiquette not to order a bottle for the table. Even if you order a bottle for the table and no one drinks it but you, hold back as it has an alcohol content of 40%.
Although brandy sour is a cocktail, it is considered to be an unofficial national drink of Cyprus. There is also another, Ouzini. The brandy produced in Cyprus isn’t as strong as Cognac or Armagnac and has almost a caramel after-taste. Although, brandy sours are available worldwide, the only similarity the Cypriot version shares are the brandy and lemons and Cyprus exports an abundance of these. The rest of a Cypriot brandy sour involves Angostura bitters or Cypriot Cock Drops as well as soda water, although some prefer to use lemonade. The cocktail is then topped up with ice. Sounds delicious!
While you’re in Malta, try some Bajtra. Produced mainly on the Maltese Islands, it’s a liqueur made from prickly pear and has a yummy, sugary sweet aftertaste. Another local liqueur worth trying is Anisette, made from aniseed. Of course, if you’re in need of a cold beer, you’ve got to try Cisk, the Maltese national beer.
Toddy is a light alcoholic drink (4%) made from fermented coconut palm sap, and is usually served in Toddy shacks around the country. If you manage to be up at dawn, look out for the toddy tappers. These guys climb onto the palm trees along the coastlines of Sri Lanka and harvest the palm sap from unopened coconut flowers. Amazingly, each palm tree can produce up to two litres of palm sap every single day. You drink Toddy the same way as beer, but it tastes nothing like it. Toddy is somewhat of an acquired taste veering towards vinegar.
Slivovitz is a strong, alcoholic and made from distilled, fermented plum juice. It’s a bit like brandy and is often called plum brandy in English. This clear liquid is the national drink of Croatia, where about 70% of plum production goes into slivovitz. This is strong stuff, with an alcohol content that varies from 40-70% by volume.
Now time to try everyone of these! Have you tried any of these alcoholic drinks? Which was your favourite and which one would you avoid?
Discuss in the comments box below.