15 People Explain The Drinks You Cannot Miss Out On When Traveling In Their Countries

image - Flickr / Rodrigo Tejeda
image – Flickr / Rodrigo Tejeda

Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: If I visit your country/region, what is that one drink I should not miss? Here are some of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.


1. George Graham

Lagavulin Single Islay Malt Whisky, aged 16 years. Scotland.

2. Natalia Polidoro

In Brazil,you shouldn’t forget to try one drink called “caipirinha”. It is a tropical drink, very fresh and can be made of several fruits like lemon, orange, watermelon, peach and others.

3. Steve Black

If you don’t like our British beer, try our delicious cider. Lots of different types and flavours. Scrumpy Cloudy Cider, Cornish Orchards Blush Cider are just two of many.

4. Frederic Clarembeau

If you go to Belgium I highly recommend you to try our many beers; for example Chimay Bleue, Rochefort 8, which are two of my favourites!

I also recommend sweet beers: we have Floris Miel (with honey), Kriek (with cherries), Saison de Mai.

For bitter beers, Duvel Triple Hop, Orval, and many others.

We also craft beers that are only found in Belgium which are fermented with a yeast only found in Belgium called”Brettanomyces bruxellensis.” Those beers are called “geuzes.” They are tart, lightly bitter and very refreshing, a good example of those beers are those from “La Maison Boon.”

And if you have the occasion to book at the abbey of Westvleteren to buy their beer, do it! It is said to be the best beer in the world according to Michael Jackson. If you don’t have the privilege, try the St. Bernardus 12 which is quite similar to the Westvleteren.

We also make cider, some liqueurs (Zizi Coin Coin, with a lemon taste) and Maitrank, a white wine macerated with flowers, sugar, orange peels.

5. Matthew Russell

I’d say that if you come to the UK, you need to drink beer, because it’s one of the things we Brits can really do right.

I’m not talking about the crappy lagers that most UK pubs serve, I’m talking about proper British craft beers. I’m not saying that nobody else makes good beer either, just that British brewing goes back centuries and has a whole range of distinctive flavours. Pale Ales, Bitter Ales, Porter, Stout, Mild… If your experience of beer begins and ends with PBR, you fail at life.

A few of my favourites:

From Yorkshire: Old Peculier

From Warwickshire: Pure Ubu

From Oxfordshire: Hobgoblin

From Cumbria: Cumberland Ale

6. Natalia Romano

In Argentina you should definitely try mate! It’s similar to tea, only it’s a tradition to drink it like this in turns with friends, but you can drink in in a mug (if you drink it that way it’s known as mate cocido).

7. Alex Pak

For the US, after considering the martini… and sweet tea… I think i’m going to go with the root beer float.

8. Anna Demers

If you are in the French part of Canada, I recommend, Sortilège, a whiskey made with maple syrup.

We always had some kind of alcohol with maple syrup but now it commercially produced.

Now, there is another one produced with maple syrup that is a bit sweeter. It is called Coureur des bois.

Apparently, it is preferred by women.

9. Tarun Madan

Mumbai.

First up, Masala Chai. Its a milk tea made with a blend of Indian spices and found everywhere in Mumbai. Match it up with a Vada Pao.

On the cold side, Kokam Sherbat.

It is a juice made of Kokam, a dark red/purple plum, grown only in the region. It has a unique sharp flavor and is a great cooler in the summer heat.

10. Julius Bier Kirkegaard

Denmark, any “region” – we are tiny.

Though I personally hate it (mostly because of friends forcing it upon you at parties), you would have to try akvavit – or as we call it: snaps (and no, it is nothing like that sweet thing you call schnaps).

Have it with herring.

11. Lucas Lundström

Sweden.

The one drink would have to be real Punsch.

Carlshamns Flaggpunsch is one of the major brands.
Punsch is of course not a synthetically fruity and sugary sleazy vodka cocktail, nor is it a big bowl of spirits, sparkly fruit soda and fruit, but a wonderful arrack based liqueur. It is spicy, sweet and around 20-30% alcohol / 40-60 proof (the American ‘proof’ system is bizarre since it is just “the actual percentage of alcohol times 2”).

Given that vodka, beer, mead and so on are pretty common all around this part of Europe Punsch may very well be the only alcoholic beverage that is strictly Swedish. The Swedish East India Company started to import arrack with the arrival of the ship Fredericus Rex Sueciae to Gothenburg in 1733 and with that the punsch was made possible as a smashing success in high society.

It can be had either with ice, or in the winter (especially when served as a compliment to Swedish pea soup) heated to around 40°C / 104 °F.

But while you are here I also recommend our Swedish sweet cider, our elderberry lemonade, our raspberry lemonade, and so on.

……..And really, one drink that I just cannot skip even though I have talked about punsch, is our WONDERFUL Christmas soft drink JULMUST. People know about, and most have probably tried Punsch, since it is a cultural hairloom but few drink it more than slowly sipping a glass or two on Midsummers Eve or with their rare bowl of pea soup. But everyone Loves Julmust by the glass and bottle for weeks every Christmas and Easter. We are only 9.5 million people living in this country and every december we drink more than 45 million litres of julmust.

The Christmas must is a Christmas must. It might as well be the reason the English language uses the word ‘must’ as you do. The English Wikipedia article does not do it justice, and even compare this spicy, malty, Swedish-oriental, aromatic and amazing soft drink to root beer (!). Bisarre. Imagine it more as a malty and aromatic Cola drink with Christmas spices. That gets better the longer you store it, like a fine wine. The taste changes quite a bit every year it gets to rest. Julmust has a really nice fluffy dark brown foam head too, just like some beers. Anyhow, if you are in Sweden around Christmas or Easter do not miss it!

12. Augusto Esteves

In Portugal you should try Madeira Wine (Vinho Madeira, or simply Madeira).

Some interesting facts about Madeira Wine:

  • Madeira was a favourite of Thomas Jefferson, and it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence.
  • George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams are also said to have appreciated the qualities of Madeira Wine.
  • A bottle of Madeira was used by visiting Captain James Server to christen the USS Constitution in 1797.
  • References to Madeira Wine can be found in books, music, and comic books.

13. Onny Carr

California has been luring tourists to our beautiful wine regions such as Napa and Sonoma for decades, but recently we’ve been making waves with our craft beer, especially with the style that’s come to be known as West Coast IPA (India Pale Ale). I find that after a few pints, the characteristic extreme bitterness and “hop bomb” aroma to be overwhelming and the lack of malty flavor to be monotonous, but there’s no disputing that this is a brewing style that flourishes on the west coast of the USA.

One of my favorites of this style is Pliny the Elder, from Russian River Brewing Co.

(Some might say that the limited-release Pliny the Younger is better (and I won’t argue the point), but I’m not willing to wait in line for hours just for a pint!)

14. Mircea Dimian

Romanians have their own spirit drinks made out of fruits. Basically plums, but in the northwestern part of the country you’ll find the most beautiful and interesting drink you’ve ever drunk: Palinca.

It’s basically a double distilled fruit fermented juice.

Trust me, it will knock you off your feet.

15. Panagiotes Koutelidakes

I would make three suggestions; pick one accordingly:

  1. Vinsanto (from the isle of Santorini): a sweet wine with a very high acidity, preferably get a mid-priced-upwards bottle. Goes best with some dessert.
  2. Ouzo (preferably from the isle of Lesbos, a.k.a. Mytilini): a semi-sweet to semi-dry spirit, deriving its distinct flavour from the distillation of alcohol in which the seeds of anise, star anise, and/or fennel have been steeped, plus any number of additional plant matter (e.g. orange peels, figs, etc.) have been also left for some time to impart milder elements that round out the flavour; definitely choose one of the more expensive ones. Best drunk with a bit of water added to it: it actually makes the flavours easier to reach you.
  3. Mastic liqueur (from the isle of Chios); mastic is a resin that saps out of the mastic trees (a sibling to the common pistachio tree!), and only on the south side of the island. As such, it’s a definitively local product; trust me, you will enjoy it a lot! TC mark

These answers originally appeared at Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge.

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