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10 must-try beverages from around the world

Published August 22nd, 2012

You’re in a new city. Unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells surround you. It’s been a long day of sightseeing. Your memory card is full and your feet are weary. It’s time for a drink. You take a seat at the closest bar - but what to order? You’re not sure how to say ‘vodka coke’ in the local language, and even if you could you’re bound to get a few strange looks. So you look to the locals and the liquid in their glasses for ideas. After all, you know what they say; when in Rome… or Spain… or Mexico.

To ensure you never have to face judgemental looks from the bar man, here are ten beverages to try on your next international holiday.

 

Singapore Sling in Singapore

Ingredients: Gin, Benedictine, Cherry Heering and pineapple juice

The famous Singapore cocktail was invented before the year 1915 by a bar tender working at Long Bar, located in the city’s Raffles Hotel. Today the bar is still in operation and still serving the traditional Singapore Sling.  Pull up a stool at Raffles and enjoy the pineapple garnished tropical cocktail, an ideal refresher for Singapore’s humid weather.

 

Sangria

Sangria in Spain

 

Sangria in Spain

Ingredients: Wine, chopped fruit, brandy and sugar or honey

It may be served around the world, but Spain is the traditional home of Sangria. Served in a bowl similar to punch, Sangria is best enjoyed on a balmy Spanish afternoon with friends.

 

 

Pisco Sour in Peru

Ingredients: Peruvian Pisco, lime, syrup, egg white, Angostura bitters and ice

It may have become a hallmark on cocktail lists around the world but few concoctions can compare to the Pisco Sours served in Peru. After all, the traditional blend features Peruvian Pisco, a grape brandy produced by wine makers in Peru. Though the cocktail dates back to the early 1920s in Lima, the original Pisco Sour was actually invented by an American bar tender. Since then the recipe has been refined to the perfect blend of sweet and sour. Cheers!

 

Kava in Fiji

Ingredients: kava root powder and water

It may be an illegal hallucinogenic in Australia but in Fiji, Kava is the national drink. The beverage is made from straining pounded dried Kava roots with water through a muslin cloth. The taste is slightly bitter and peppery and has numbing qualities, including numbing of the mouth. Try it at a traditional Kava ceremony for a unique beverage experience.

 

Pina Colada in Puerto Rico

Ingredients: rum, cream of coconut and pineapple

The official beverage of Puerto Rico, the Pina Colada is like a summer holiday in a glass. Tropical, creamy and with a little kick, the cocktail dates back to 1954 where it was created by Ramon Marrero at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan. Best enjoyed in the afternoon while watching the sun set over the ocean. Or while listening to the Pina Colada song. Or both.

 

Martini in New York

Ingredients: gin, vermouth and garnished with an olive or lemon twist

Whether you like it shaken, stirred or dirty, New York City is the place for a sexy Martini. The city that never sleeps is home to more than enough dark and swanky bars to sip on the cocktail. Even New York’s beauty bars serve martinis while you get your nails done.  If the original is too strong, consider the cocktail in its varying forms, from Vodka Martini to an Appletini or even an espresso martini.

 

Beer

Beer in Munich

Beer in Munich

Those who have downed the golden liquid at Oktoberfest will be able to vouch that the beer tastes better in Munich. Not only does the city have a strong history in brewing beer, but it offers plenty of ale options. The German city is home to over 15 breweries, each producing a dozen or more different types of ales. Beer gardens and halls are also a dime a dozen here. For a traditional drinking session in Munich, visit the iconic beer hall Hofbräuhaus for a local brew.

 

Espresso in Rome

While usually only serious coffee drinkers can handle the potent shot, espressos in Rome should be tried by everyone, even if you’re a coffee novice. The concentrated beverage is created by a pressurized brewing process, resulting in a strong flavour.  The best way to enjoy the coffee hit in Rome is to sip on an espresso at an outdoor café in the morning - an ideal energy boost before a day of sightseeing.

 

Tequila in Tequila

Within the Mexican state of Jalisco is a town called Tequila, which is most famous for, you guessed it - Tequila of course! The famous distilled beverage is made from the blue agave plant which flourishes in the red volcanic soil that surrounds the town. While all throughout Mexico you’ll find a great range of quality tequila, the town of Tequila is home to it all. Catch the Tequila Express train to the town for a tasting session, shot either straight or downed with a lemon slice and salt.

 

Pastis in France

Liquorice lovers will love Pastis, the anise-flavoured liqueur native to France. A modern form of the controversial absinthe, Pastis contains a similar flavour without the hallucinogenic qualities. While Pastis is enjoyed throughout the country, it is particularly popular in the south of France with locals enjoying it as a refreshment on hot days. Enjoy Pastis at a French cafe as an aperitif before dinner or with appetizers.

 

 

Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.