Travelling around the world is not just visiting monuments and taking photos. It's also interacting with the people you meet, tasting the local cuisine and trying things you have never tried before. 15 travel bloggers probably have thought the same, and are talking about their favorite drink while travelling. Whether a tea or a coffee, a beer or a cocktail, it's something they are really glad to have tried it. So, are you ready?
Sake - Japan (Paula and Gordon from Contented Traveller)
Drinking sake in Japan is de-riguer but learning how to drink it properly is trickier. I first tried it at the Dosojin Fire Festival in Nozawa Onsen. All I can say is that sake tastes smooth, but sneaks up on you.
The key to making sake is Koji. Koji is a rice malt or yeast made from rice and water. Sake-brewers add malt, yeast, and water to steamed rice, and allow the mixture to ferment to convert the starch in the rice into alcohol, which is sake. Without koji, there is no sake. Traditionally, sake was always served heated in Japan but it is slowly changing where in some cases the sake tastes better at room temperature or chilled.
Sake has a very smooth and lightly aromatic flavor. Many people think it will taste like rocket fuel, but it is a gentle drink with a powerful punch if you do not pace yourself.
Ayran - Turkey (Cameron & Natasha from The World Pursuit)
I absolutely love the Turkish drink, Ayran. After spending 6 weeks in Turkey, I think the Ayran is what I miss most! Ayran tastes like a mixture of yogurt and saltiness and is actually one of the healthiest drinks in the world for you! If you ever visit Turkey, you should try it definitely!
Soju - South Korea (Chris from One Weird Globe)
Soju (soh-joo) comes in plenty of varieties from 15-40% ABV. The most common ones are offered up in green glass bottles, however, and all are quaffed from shot glasses. It's essentially a weak, sweet, vodka, which can burn a bit going down if not chilled first.
What makes soju stand out is both the camaraderie and respect shown while drinking it. One pours drinks for another, never for yourself. Pour (or accept) with the bottle (or cup) in your right hand, your left hand holding your right elbow. Say geon-bae (cheers)! Sip, don't chug – your drinking neighbors are practically honor-bound to pour you another if they see your glass empty!
Myanmar beer - Myanmar (Stefan and Sebastien from Nomadic Boys)
We visited Myanmar in early 2015 and fell in love with the country. Myanmar beer is one of our favourite drinks from our travels because it captures that special moment when we were discovering the place for our first time in Mandalay. One unique thing in Myanmar, to get the waiter's attention, you blow loud kisses - it's hilarious (for us foreigners) and a lot of fun once you pluck up the courage to do it.
One of my favourite drinks in the whole world is Sicilian Granita, which is basically crushed ice mixed with fruit (usually lemon, orange, mulberries, strawberries), coffee, almonds or pistachio - and if you really want to be naughty, you can have it with whipped cream on top. Granita is made all around Italy, but the one from Sicily always tastes better - I guess it's because that's where it comes from.
Palinka - Hungary (Adelina from Packmeto)
Palinka, made from fermented fruit like apricot, pear or plum, is a fruit brandy that hails from Hungary. You can take it like a shot or with an expensive palinka, sip it. Among the older generation, palinka is considered to be a digestif, often taking a shot of it to start the day or to begin a meal. Despite my time living in Hungary, I never did acquire a taste for palinka. It burned on the way down and is really strong, but is definitely worth trying for the full Hungarian experience.
Malaysia has its fare share of unusual beverage combinations but the zingy Asam Boi (pronounced like ‘awesome boy) is one of my favorites. It may be a slightly acquired taste for some, but the unusual mixture of dried salted plums, lime juice and sugar can really hit the spot. Asam boi is also Malay for ‘sour plum’.
I tried Malbec the first time I visited Argentina, and liked it so much that I made it a point to visit the region of Mendoza, where it is produced, when I visited the country again. This red wine is rich in flavour, and it makes my tastebuds burst with happyness whenever I drink it. I like it so much that during my last trip to South America I carried around 3 bottles in my backpack to take them home with me!
In most of South Asia masala is not only used for food, it is also used for tea! During our trip to Nepal
, Jon and I enjoyed the flavourful masala tea (also called masala chai) – it was phenomenal! The unique mix of spices (usually ginger, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom) with milk and strong black tea really makes for a great drink.
Kauai is a smashing place to visit, and the perfect place to get smashed on sweet, rummy mai tais. I particularly adored a strong one with a sweet little umbrella that I had at Duke’s Kauai restaurant at the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club. Another hotel on Oahu, Hawaii’s main island, claims to have invented the mai tai, so it makes sense that this drink is made well throughout the islands. I can’t remember ever having one there I didn’t like.
Port is a fortified wine
that hails from the Duoro Valley near Villa Nova de Gaia, Portugal. The wine is slightly sweet with a stronger bite than normal wine, as it's been fortified with brandy to make it stronger. Port can only be produced in Portugal and is served before, during an after nearly every meal.
I discovered Amarula traveling in South Africa. I’m not typically a fan of cream liquors so I was surprised at how tasty this one, made from the marula berry, is – a very mellow flavor, so you can’t get tired of it, lightly fruity. It’s good by itself but also divine on ice cream or with cold milk or chai.
Beer Lao - The ultimate beer of South east Asia? In any other country apart from Laos, it would probably be annoying to be able to buy only one type of beer! The Beer Lao brand is synonymous with the whole country, and one of the countries only exports.. so proudly worn on thousands of backpacker t-shirts since forever (we still own ours!) - It's simply one of the best!
Vietnamese coffee! I literally had to buy whitening tooth paste after my last visit to 'Nam! The cause of many a sleepless night and shaky hands, traditional Cà phê sữa nóng hot coffee is served up with the iconic metal filter and a good slug of condensed milk! It's suuppeerr sweet, crazy strong, and very moreish!
Bubble tea - Hong Kong & Taipei (Catherine from The Go Fever)
Bubble tea is the best drink to have in both Hong Kong and Taipei, where it was first invented. The craze for this sweet milk tea with tapioca pearls has spread all over Asia and is now offered in a wide variety of flavors (pictured: pineapple smoothie!). The bubbles can also be replaced by fruit jelly or red beans. Caution: bubble tea is highly addictive!
Did you have any amazing drink while travelling? Would you like to share your story about it with us? Then just contact us!