Around the world in 20 drinks
We take a look, and taste, at some of the national drinks from our top destinations. All in the name of research of course…
Ponche Kuba: This cream liqueur is a thick creamy tan coloured drink typically sipped around the festive season. It’s very sweet and has a high alcohol volume.
Coecoei: A centuries old recipe this local Aruban liquor was first made by Indian tribes. It has a distinctive red colour thanks to its prime ingredients—the sap from the “kukwisa” or agave plant, which is mixed with rum and cane sugar.
Rum: With numerous distilleries, including the infamous Mount Gay plant, you can’t visit the island without sampling the endless varieties of rum. Rum punch is also a firm favourite that you have to try out. If beer is more your thing, grab a Banks; the light and refreshing local beer is readily available and a perfect accompaniment to your days in the sun.
Grogue: The national drink of Cape Verde is a rum distilled from sugar cane. Add lime and molasses and you have yourself the local cocktail ‘Ponche’.
Cuba libre: The national drink of Cuba celebrates its independence. A simple tipple of rum, lime and cola; you can’t go wrong with a Cuba libre.
Mama Juana: Concocted with rum, red wine, and honey soaked in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The taste is similar to port wine and the colour is a deep red. It’s a rich affair and perfect for an after dinner aperitif.
Tea: The national drink in Egypt, is taken very seriously and is prepared using the Turkish method. Egyptian tea is typically black and sour and is generally served in a glass, sometimes with milk. It may not be the brews we make back home but it is certainly worth a try.
Baobab Juice: Made from the fruit of giant baobab trees, this pale brown, non-alcoholic drink is full of vitamins, calcium and fibre making it a treat for everyone and one that doesn’t give you a hangover, maybe it could even be a hangover cure?
Feni: A spirit produced exclusively in Goa, there are two types; cashew feni and toddy palm feni, depending on the original ingredient. Feni is classified as a “country liquor”, and is therefore not allowed to be sold outside the state of Goa, making it a must try whilst you are enjoying the country.
Carib: The local beer is brewed on the island and can also be found in St. Kitts and Tobago. It is pretty much available on tap so you don’t have to miss out on this refreshing brew.
Red stripe: So this beer may be readily available at home but you can’t visit Jamaica without grabbing an ice cold red stripe that had been produced on the island since 1928.
Raa/Toddy: Whilst alcohol is readily available at most resorts, being an Islamic nation, it is not promoted on the islands. Instead Raa and a toddy, a traditional drink tapped from palm trees is the local drink you should sample if you are looking for an immersive Maldives experience.
Rum: Like many other islands with sugar cane in abundance, rum is a hot favourite in Mauritius. Mauritian rum is smooth, light and comes in many different forms from dark and white to obscure flavours.
Tequila: The infamous national liquor of Mexico, is a spirit made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila and the Mexican state of Jalisco. Like champagne, it is not a true tequila unless produced in those states. The possibilities of tequila drinking are endless but a visit to Mexico wouldn’t be complete without trying the renowned Margarita, the classic cocktail consisting of tequila, triple sec and lime.
Toddy: This mildly alcoholic fermented drink is tapped from palm trees and drunk across Sri Lanka. It’s an acquired taste but one you can’t miss.
Cane Spirit Rothschild: Often abbreviated to CSR this supersweet drink is distilled from fresh sugar cane which is found in abundance on the island. The fiery white rum is often mixed with the local grapefruit soda Ting for a refreshing beverage.
Bounty Rum: The soft honey-tasting blend of rum is often referred to as the spirit of St. Lucia due to its popularity among tourists and locals.
Sea Moss: The national drink is worth a try and typically found when you head to the beach. A mixture of sea moss, limes, water, milk, and spices, this is a virgin cocktail to be enjoyed by all. Like most of the Caribbean if you are looking for the local alcohol then rum is a firm favourite.
Regency: This locally made brandy can’t be missed. Whilst other spirits including rum and whiskey can be found in abundance, the Brandy is a favourite famed by locals and tourists alike.
Rum: Being a former sugar cane colony, Tobago is famous for its Rum. Popular brands include Black Label and Vat 19 by Fernandes and White Oak, Old Oak by Angostura. Like Grenada and St Kitts you can always pick up the locally brewed Carib beer.
So there you have it, 20 national drinks from our most popular destinations.
Have we missed any or do you have any other favourites from your travels?