Different drinks around the world showcase the different flavor profiles of the cultures they derive from, allowing you to get fresh mixology perspectives from the distinct beverages of the country’s that you visit when looking at the 10 most popular drinks from around the world.
Some of your best travel experiences stem from sampling the new, exciting, and possibly unique tastes of the countries you visit and offer better insight into the historical and contemporary lives of the locals that you can sample.
Regional drinks and national cocktails embody the spirit of a country, celebrate its seasonal ingredients, and innovative mixologists, and you may sip on these 10 popular drinks the next time you travel abroad.
This Spanish wine mixed with cut fruits like apples, oranges, lemons, and berries, was named after “sangre,” the Spanish word for blood. The wine absorbs the natural sweetness from the fruits and may also contain added sugars from orange juice, honey, or brandy. Sangria can also be made using white or sparkling wines, but the most popular selection remains the traditional red variety. The sweet, fruity flavors balance with the bold reds, and Sangria is typically enjoyed warm on frosty evenings or cold on warm, summer nights. Whether wandering Barcelona’s busy streets or passing through Andalusia, you will find sensational varieties of sangria.
Soju is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in South Korea, and it is considered their “National Drink.” Proper Soju has a taste comparable to vodka but with a more welcoming sweetness, and it is typically brewed from sweet potatoes. Historically, Soju was produced from rice until 1965 when the government banned the use of rice to brew alcohol. Today, Soju brewers continue the craft with sweet potatoes or tapioca, owing to the unique and palate-pleasing sweetness of modern renditions. Travelers will find bottled Soju in supermarkets around Korea but may also enjoy incredible brews at authentic Soju maker’s tasting rooms.
In Japan, traditional rice wine spirit is made from fermented rice and given the name Sake. The popular drink can be served hot or cold, acting as a digestive stimulant after a large meal or refreshing shooter before mains respectively. Sake is Japan’s national drink, and is served for both formal occasions such as national holidays and ceremonies while poured from a traditional bottle called a tokkuri or as a go-to bar beverage served in glass bottles or Sake sets. Visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, or the rural villages in Japan’s countryside, you will enjoy unique brews of Sake and discern the nuances in each Tōji, or master brewer’s, recipe.
The popular gin-based drink in Italy was born in Florence in 1919. The original recipe stems from the classic Americano, a cocktail of Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda. However, the patron, the famous Count Camillo Negroni, wanted a stiffer taste, inspiring bartenders to add gin into the normal mix. The lack of syrup or sugar keeps the flavor genuine and strong, providing a simple balance perfect as an aperitif. The Negroni family’s iconic beverage has since become an Italian staple, and you will order more than a few during your travels from Florence to Rome, Venice to Bologna, and more.
The signature cocktail of Brazil stands out among fabulous cultural spirits for its ability to let a small number of ingredients shine. Curated using only lime, sugar, and a raw sugar cane liqueur known as cachaça, the Caipirinha has a refreshingly tangy flavor accentuated by the ease of its production. After its creation, locals believed the Caipirinha was a poor man’s drink due to the crude taste and high alcohol content of the main ingredient, cachaça. Today, you will relish traditional-aged flavors of Cachaça made in barrels of indigenous Brazilian wood as you sip on Caipirinha at chic cafés of Rio de Janeiro or dine with a local family in the favelas.
The herbaceous aroma of Fernet leads to the familiar strong flavor of black licorice accentuated by bitter aromatics. The spirit, considered a digestif, originated in Italy but grew popular in Argentina after the Great European migration to South America. The Córdoba Province in Argentina and its capital of Buenos Aires became the heart of Fernet, consuming over 792,000 gallons of fernet a year. The digestif was created to aid with digestion after a meal with a mix of ingredients like myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, and saffron with a base of distilled grapes but many consumers enjoy drinking Fernet with coffee or Coca-Cola.
The herbaceous flavors of Jägermeister were cultivated in the city of Wolfenbüttel, Germany using 56 different herbs and spices. An American liquor import company helped turn the image of a spirit drunk by older, blue-collar Germans as a digestif into an alcoholic beverage synonymous with young, vibrant party-goers. The mixture of ingredients like anise, saffron, ginger, juniper berries, sugar, and caramel provide the spirit with its distinctive flavor associated with the unique image of the Christian cross hovering between the antlers of an elegant stag. There is nothing like a Jägermeister shot glugged down in Berlin’s exuberant bars and clubs.
The enticing spirit of Maotai has a history in China’s Guizhou Province dating back more than 2,000 years, with secret family recipes handed down through the generations. It remains one of the most popular and sought-after spirits in China due to a range of intricate production methods utilizing organic sticky sorghum. The brewers’ attention to detail in the nine different distillations, and a maturation process in specific ceramic pots has resulted in the acknowledgment of Maotai as China’s national spirit. You may enjoy its distinct flavors during tours to family-run restaurants for dinner or visits to bustling food markets in the evenings.
Gin is sweeping the globe and its rise in popularity brings eager travelers to the bustling cities and rolling countryside of England to tuck into an authentically prepared and traditional Pimm’s Cup cocktail. The gin-based drink is made with Pimm’s Original No. 1 Cup, and was originally invented as a medicinal tonic in the 1840s and marketed as a way to improve the health of the consumer. While no longer considered a digestive aid, Pimm’s remains a popular cocktail in summer when mixed with lemon-lime soda and garnished with fresh fruits and refreshing herbs and spices.
The rum-based drink remains popular amongst travelers visiting tropical destinations across the world, and the fragrant and fresh drink symbolizes both the relaxed ambiance of your destination and the promise of exciting social happenings. Although commonly found in restaurants all over the globe, traditional Mojitos were mixed in Cuban bars using a simple recipe of white rum, sugar or sugar cane juice, lime juice, soda water, and mint. The light, tantalizing cocktail is a refreshing beverage for travelers escaping the hot Cuban sunshine or party-goers hanging out in the stylish seaside cafés of Havana.
Planning to travel to the sparkling, vivacious beaches of Havana or retreat to the rolling lemon hills of Spain’s Andalusian countryside? Check out Zicasso’s Trips of a Lifetime to discover your dream itinerary to the best travel destinations around the world, each home to their own cultural and national drinks to try while you travel. There’s nothing quite like sipping Sake in Japan or making memories at magnificent markets with a Chinese Maotai in your hand. So, speak to a travel specialist today by filling out a Trip Request or calling us on 1-888-265-9707.