HomeFood & DrinkDrinks

Must try drinks around the world

Must try drinks around the world
Whether you want to travel to the source of your favourite tipple or wish to identify your next travel destination by your drink personality, we’ve opened up the cabinet on our best drinks of the world.
Every drink has a destination that defines it, shaped by their place of origin. In turn, these drinks become the local pride and develop their own distinctive personality. They’re even awarded protections so that they can’t be made outside of their country or without following a particular method.
Mixed cocktails best drinks of the world

THE YOUNG AT HEART ONE

LICOR BEIRÃO - PORTUGAL
Portugal’s national drink, Licor Beirão is a smooth and sweet herbal liqueur that is usually drunk neat but can be enjoyed on the rocks too. Similar to English Pimms, Licor Beirão is flavoured with all kinds of botanicals, herbs and spices, including eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, lavender, aniseed, and mint. Originally produced in the 1880s as a health tonic to aid stomach conditions, it was kept in production after alcoholic beverages were no longer considered medicinal in the late 19th century and regained notoriety in its own right in the 1930s. Today, across Portugal, you’ll find Beirão chocolates, ice cream, and even cocktails.
Portgul liquor Licor Beirao

THE GOOD TIMES ONE

RUM – CARIBBEAN, CANARY ISLANDS & THAILAND
The saying goes that time flies when you’re having rum! Rum is a popular national drink across the Caribbean and the Canary Islands, which is understandable considering it’s such a smooth, fine drink that works in so many cocktails. Even Thailand celebrates rum with its own award-winning sang som rum.
Barbados is rum’s birthplace, as it was a delicious by-product of the island’s first commercial sugarcane plantations. We highly recommend you enjoy a rum tour of Barbados, visiting Mount Gay Distillery which produces the world’s oldest rum, and the sugar plantation at St Nicholas Abbey.
Sugar and rum-making began in St Lucia in the 1700s. You can take a guided tour of the island’s main producer, St Lucia Distillers, which makes over 25 varieties of rum, including the popular brand Bounty.
Meanwhile, over in the Dominican Republic you’ll find mamajuana, which is often drunk as a shot. Mamajuana is made with rum, red wine, and honey that’s then left to soak in a bottle with a mixture of bark and herbs and was inspired by the native Taíno people’s herbal tea.
The Canary Islands have their own favourite: ron miel (honey rum), which you might be offered as a post-dinner chupito (shot) during your holiday.
Popular drink of rum

THE SUPER SOCIAL ONE

GAHWA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Centuries ago, the shepherds of Arabia noticed their goats became very active after chewing coffee berries, and so made their own energy drink out of it, and thus gahwa – Arabic coffee – and the world’s first coffee culture was born. When you’re in the UAE you’ll notice how important gahwa is for socialising, as it’s served at family gatherings, business meetings and even at majlises (parliament). Gahwa has its own unique serving ritual, which features a special host called a muqahwi.
United Arab Emirates drink Gahwa

THE SOPHISTICATED ONE

GRAPPA - ITALY
Grappa is so sophisticated that there’s a way to check it’s been well-made – by rubbing some on the back of your hand and sniffing to ensure the aroma is pleasant. Grappa is Italy’s official national drink and is the ideal after-dinner digestive. Made in northern Italy out of the pomace – the leftover skins, pulp, seeds and stems – from the winemaking process, in some parts grappa is added to espresso coffee called caffé corretto (corrected coffee).
Italian drink of Grappa

THE BOLD ONE

OUZO – GREECE & CYPRUS
You either love it or you hate it, but there’s no escaping the national liquor of ouzo when you’re on holiday in Greece or Cyprus. Produced out of the remnants of winemaking, ouzo makes no apologies for being patent with its intense anise (black liquorice) flavour. That’s because it’s inspired by tsipouro, a medicinal tonic made by monks on Mount Athos in the 14th century. Drunk as a shot, ouzo is always accompanied with a mezze including fresh fish, olives, feta cheese, and fries. Take caution when you drink ouzo, as there’s always a delayed release to its potency.
Drink of Greece and Cyprus Ouzo

THE FREE-SPIRITED ONE

RAA - MALDIVES
The Maldives is a dry nation, but worry not, your resort is exempt and will serve an assortment of alcoholic beverages. For the locals however, the closest they have to alcohol is raa, a traditional toddy that is tapped out of the crown of palm trees, just where the coconuts grow. After it’s tapped, the raa is left to ferment and become a little alcoholic. While the smell is pungent, the taste is sweet and surprisingly refreshing. You can watch the toddy tappers climb palm trees and enjoy this refreshment right from the comfort of your resort.
Maldives drink Raa

THE SWEET ONE

MINT TEA - MOROCCO
You won’t escape being offered a small piping glass of mint tea during your holiday in Morocco, as this is an important Islamic etiquette tradition.
It’s considered impolite to say no, which is why you might find yourself sipping it in a tiny shop in the souk (local market). Most Moroccan families have an additional fine tea service solely for special occasions and visiting guests. Mint tea is simply hot water with dried peppermint or fresh pennyroyal, and a heap of sugar. Be warned: sometimes the tea is so sweet it can make your cheeks hurt – yet you’ll find that it’s strangely moreish and incredibly energising against the heat of the day.
Drink of Morocco Mint Tea

THE ADVENTUROUS ONE

TEQUILA - MEXICO
Mexico’s hero drink tequila has its roots in adventure, made from the hardy blue agave plant that grows in the red volcanic soils in the region of Tequila, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you find a worm or moth larvae in your bottle, be sure to send it back, as it’s likely not tequila but its low quality, inferior cousin, mezcal. During your holiday in Mexico, you’ll be able to enjoy 100% agave tequila, the mark of quality tequila.
Mexican drink Tequila

THE CONFIDENT ONE

RAKIJA – CROATIA & MONTENEGRO
In the Balkans the locals begin their meals – and sometimes even their day – with a glass of the highly potent rakija, which is confidence if ever we’ve seen it. Produced using primarily honey or mistletoe, rakija is both the national drink of Croatia and Montenegro and is usually homemade. Rakija was traditionally used as a medicinal tonic, considered an aqua vitae against an array of ailments.
You’ll find huge glass jars of rakija sitting on balconies and, as you travel around, you’ll discover how every place has its own style. For example, in Hvar, you’ll find rakija made with myrtle, in Dubrovnik the signature ingredient is anise, in Trogir it’s made with walnuts, in Istia it’s made with mistletoe, and in the countryside you’ll find versions made from plums, pear, sour cherry, and even quince.
 
 
Drink in Croatia Rakija

Add a touch of luxury with Sovereign

Sovereign Luxury Travel have over 50 years’ experience in tailormade luxury holidays to destinations all around the world. We take care of all the finer details, so you don’t have to. Our Personal Travel Planners are on hand every step of the way to ensure your luxury holiday is memorable and enjoyable.  
Visit sovereign.com to start planning your next luxury escape today!
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...