Every county has its own flag and colors, but each nation also boasts official items such as national birds, costumes, and even alcohol! One might say that you can tell a lot about a culture by its favorite drink, and we agree. Trying out national drinks from around the globe is one easy way to get in touch with global culture! Curious to learn some of these national drinks and cocktails? Read on!
For those of you not familiar with this drink, Fenet is a bitter grape alcohol made with herbs other spices. Unlike the ingredients most of us are familiar with, the spices of Fenet include rhubarb, myrrh, chamomile, aloe, and saffron. It is generally drunk alone, but can also be mixed with coffee. Want to try the stuff Argentinians really love? Go with the Fratelli Branca brand.
Australians enjoy rum. More specifically, they love Bundaberg Rum, a brew made in Bundaberg, Australia. If you happen to visit the area, you can take a tour of the distillery where this rum is made! Be sure to take a photo with the Big Bundy Bottle, a gigantic statue of the iconic Bundaberg Rum bottle.
Rakia is a type of European brandy made of grapes, apricots, and plums. There is some disagreement about where rakia originated, with various European countries claiming to be the place of origin. Bulgaria has a pretty strong case, though—archeologists discovered a fragment of a rakia distillation vessel that dates back a thousand years.
Canada: Canadian Rye Whiskey
In order to count as legit Canadian Rye Whiskey, a spirit has to be mashed and distilled in Canada. Then it must sit around in Canada for a three-year-long aging process. Rye Whiskey is made of rye rather than just corn, of course, and it has an alcohol content over 90%, in many cases.
Moutai is China’s nationally-recognized brand of Baijiu. This clear alcohol is made of fermented sorghum. The Moutai Company began during the Qing dynasty, and it eventually came to be state-owned. Of course, it is served at official events, but it is also very popular with the Chinese populace.
Akavit means “water of life.” This drink is quite popular all across Scandinavia, and it has been for about 700 years. The drink is made with spices, the most important of which is either caraway or dill. Akavit is almost always part of important celebrations, such as weddings and holidays.
France: Calvados Brandy
While there are a variety of brandies that qualify as France’s national drinks, one of the most popular hails from Normandy. Calvados Brandy is a made from apples, and it has probably been around as long as the Normans have been tending orchards. Today, the drink is still taken very seriously. You will likely have the chance to taste this if you have a multiple-course meal in Normandy.
Puerto Rico: Piña Colada
Did you know that the piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico? This cocktail was created at the Caribe Hilton International Hotel by a bartender in 1954. It was made the official drink in 1978, and today, it’s globally famous.
The only place that feni is produced is Goa, India. Actually, this is also the only place that it can legally be sold! There are two variations of feni. One is made with cashews, and the other with toddy from a coconut palm. India has plans to introduce a tourism market where visitors can see how cashews are harvested and made into feni.
“Dawa” means “medicine” in Swahili, the language of Kenya. While its ability to cure physical ills is debatable, it’s no secret that many hope Dawa will cure ills of the heart! This cocktail is made of vodka, honey, sugar, and lime.
Surprise, surprise! Mexico’s national drink is made of tequila, of course. This drink is made from blue agave, which grows in Guadalajara and Jalisco. To make tequila into a Paloma, you mix it with grapefruit soda and serve it with a salt-lined glass and a lime.
South Africa: Amarula
If you enjoy cream liqueur, you’ll be sure to like Amarula! South Africa’s national drink is made with the fruit of the marula tree, a plant native to Africa. The resulting drink has a relatively low alcohol content of just 17%, and it is very creamy.
St. Maarten: Guavaberry Rum
St. Maarten covers half of a tiny island in the Caribbean. While this island was once filled with sugar cane plantations, its only current export is Guavaberry Rum. If you want to try this, you won’t have a hard time finding a place to do so on the island! Be sure to enjoy a complimentary tasting at the Guavaberry Emporium in Philipsburg, where you’ll be served by women in cultural costume.
This may not be a familiar word to Western ears, but it’s certainly well known in the Middle East! This popular drink is made of doubly-distilled Suma and anise. Generally, the drink is mixed with cold water and ice. This drink was a favorite of Turkey’s first president.
United States: Moonshine
Moonshine is the most interesting of the States’ five national drinks. Many countries have two or even three, but leave it to the United States to claim no less than five! Perhaps this is a reflection on the varied culture of the States at large. Moonshine is a type of alcohol made from corn mash and distilled at home. The fact that moonshine is an official beverage in the States will offer a bit of humor to those who are familiar with the country’s former ban on alcohol, which is what initialed the widespread use of moonshine.
Vietnam: Rượu nếp
Don’t ask me how this is supposed to be pronounced! If it’s easier, you can just call it by its English translation: “northern glutinous rice wine.” This can actually take the form of either a pudding or a drink.
Put away that beer and try something new! There is an endless array of interesting alcoholic beverages out there. Why not give on a try? Who knows, you might like it.