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Bar None – one of the best parts of travel is exposure to new cultures and traditions.
One of the aspects of travel that I enjoy the most is trying out local food and beverage. Specifically, I like to try out the adult beverages. Below you’ll find a quick cheat sheet should you end up in one of these places on your world travels. Eating local food, and having a local drink not only is a rewarding experience when you’re there, but the next time you see the drink, you’ll be instantly taken back to “that time when.”
Korea – SOJU
- It’s a clear, rice/wheat/barley wine, that is normally consumed “neat.” You can drink it hot or cold. You’ll often see it chilled and infused with cucumber in summer months. My first experience with Soju was in College when a friend of mine’s family sent her a huge case of Soju. Ever since then, whenever I see it I think of that experience. I’ve never been to Korea, but will be sure to try it when I visit.
Scotland – SCOTCH
- Probably not a big surprise here, but Scotch can ONLY be made in Scotland. And lemme tell you…there are tons and tons of different “styles” of scotch. From the Islays that offer a peaty flavor to the sherry cask aged Macallans. When you visit, I’d highly suggest trying flights of Scotch to see exactly what your palate prefers.
Peru/Chile – Pisco
- You can’t visit Peru or Chile without trying Pisco. A Brandy inspired drink that dates back to the 16th centuries and was developed as an alternative to Orujo that Spanish settlers were used to back home.
Dominican Republic – Mama Juana
- Don’t confuse Mama with Mari or you’ll end up with a completely different experience and potentially behind bars. MAMA JUANA is made from rum, red wine and honey that soaks with bark and herbs. Like Port? You’ll gonna befriend MAMA real quick.
Spain/Portugal – Sangria
- Pretty sure everyone has heard of Sangria. It is delicious, and a perfect hot summer afternoon drink. But, did you know that it’s called that because of Sangre, which means blood? You could even convince yourself that it’s healthy because Sangria is normally made by soaking chopped citrus fruits in wine. Now, that’s my kind of fruit salad 🙂
Jordan – Arak
- A cloudy 50% alcohol drink derived from Anise. Add a little water and ice and you’ve found yourself a great drink to end a long hot day. Arak is found all across the “Levant,” and varying countries even offer Arak derived from raisins and dates.
- Like Sambuca or other liquorice flavored drinks? You’re going to like Ouzo. Shoot it, sip it, or pour it over ice and dream of living the island life.
Singapore – Singapore Sling
- Where was the Singapore Sling birthed? None other than the legendary Raffles Singapore in the infamous Long Bar. Be prepared to fork over a small fortune, but enjoy throwing your peanut shells on the ground in the only place that allows littering in all of Singapore. Enjoy your gin based, pineapple adorned drink in one of the most famous hotels in the world.
Phillipines – Tuba
- I bet you didn’t think you could make wine from the sap of Palm Trees…think again and have a glass of Tuba. Yum, yum, yum.
Cyprus – Zivania
- Zivania has no sugar, no acidity, and is derived from Pomace. You absolutely cannot visit Cyrpus without trying some Zivania. Rumor has it…Zivania dates back to the 1500s – all the more reason to indulge.
United States – BOURBON
- Much like Scotch is only from Scotland, Bourbon is ONLY from America. I’ve long thought that it had to be from Kentucky, but that’s wrong. In order for something to be called Bourbon it has to be 51% corn based, made in the US of A, and aged in a brand new charred aged while oak barrel.
Turkey – Raki
- Similar to Ozuo, Sambuca and other Anise flavored drinks ( are you sensing a theme for the region?) this is a popular drink in Turkey and is often served with the rich, fresh, seafood found throughout the country. Enjoy a few hours a Hammam, and toss back a bit of Raki as your muscles recover.
France – Champagne
- Don’t you dare order Prosecco or sparkling wine if you visit France – you must have Champagne. Only one region of France can produce what we all know as Champagne, and there isn’t anything like drinking Champagne in Champagne.
Brazil – Caipirinha
- Made from muddles limes, sugar cane, and Cachaca, this is the UBER famous Brazilian cocktail. Trust me, the hardest part is having just one…they go down SMOOTH. Some stories about the origin include one that suggest that original concoction included garlic, honey, and lemon and was intended to combat the Spanish Flu. Um, could modern medicine include tasty cocktails as homeopathic remedies 😉
- One sip of this sugar infused, mint muddled, Rum drink and you may never want to leave your barstool. Mojitos long ago made their way to the states and can be found at your local Chile’s as well as the most hipster of all hipster bars. Everyone likes a tasty Mojito.
Japan – Sake
- This rice wine can be served hot or cold, and when in Japan – let your server or sushi chef choose. Sake can enhance Japanese food to the next level.
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