There’s no need to introduce Europe. The “Old Continent” is an ideal vacation destination all year round and a true wonderland for all kinds of travelers. Distinctive mountain ranges, vibrant world capitals, paradise-like beaches on the Mediterranean Coast, reputable sites at TopCasinoExpert.com for fulfilling pastimes, and more may all be found there.
Europe, which is made up of 44 nations, brings together a plethora of diverse cultures, making it a fantastic travel destination for foodies. Furthermore, you may not be familiar with European drinks despite having heard about the deep Spanish cuisine, divine Italian pasta, and delicate French pastries. After all, they serve as a doorway to some of the most distinctive civilizations on the continent. You’re curious? We’re going to walk you through the drinks in this piece, a less-discussed aspect of European food culture.
Here are seven beverages you must try on your next vacation to Europe, ranging from a Hot Beer popular in Poland to a North Macedonian fruit brandy, named Rakija.
# 1 Poppy Seed Milk
You’re undoubtedly already familiar with vegan milk alternatives like oat, almond, rice, and soy. However, did you know that famous vegan milk prepared with poppy seeds is coming from Lithuania? Well, it is. This non-alcoholic beverage, known as Aguonų Pienas, is made from soaked poppy seeds that are pulverized, combined with water, and ultimately drained to create a poppy milk essence.
One of the meals Lithuanians enjoy on Christmas Eve, also known as Kūčios, is actually Aguonų Pienas. Christmas supper in Lithuania usually comprises 12 meals prepared in honor of the 12 apostles and is devoid of meat, eggs, and dairy products. The country is rich in customs and ceremonies. Typically, sweet pastries are offered with the Aguonų Pienas.
# 2 Horchata de Chufa
Spain is undoubtedly well-known for its hearty cuisine, which is rich in vegetables, grains, fresh seafood, meat, and olive oil. Additionally, this Mediterranean location is well-known for its alcoholic offerings, including the popular Sangria and Cava, a sparkling wine manufactured similarly to champagne. However, there are a few unique beverages in Spanish cuisine, such as Horchata de Chufa or simply Horchata.
This creamy, non-alcoholic white beverage is popular throughout the summer and works very well to keep you cool. This beverage, sometimes known as the tiger nut or Chufa, was invented in Valencia in the thirteenth century. This beverage is so well-liked in Spain that there are establishments called “horchaterías” that specialize in it.
Interesting fact: this beverage is consumed outside of Spain as well. A variant of Horchata known as Kunnu Aya, which is similarly produced with tiger nut milk, is consumed in Nigeria and Mali. The ingredients for Horchata in Mexico and Guatemala include vanilla, cinnamon, and rice.
# 3 Kvass
Although Vodka is frequently linked with Russia, one of the nation’s most beloved beverages is Kvass. The beverage, which is known throughout Eastern and Central Europe and is made from fermented rye bread, could be characterized as a light lager. When making Kvass in Russia, brown bread is first soaked in water before being mixed with yeast. After a few days of fermentation, the mixture yields Kvass, which has a tangy, unique flavor and a trace amount of alcohol. For quicker processing, this combination can also be leavened with more sugar.
The Kvass, which is occasionally regarded as one of the world’s strangest drinks, is particularly well-liked in the summertime when it’s served from a large barrel on wheels. Unusual fact: Kvass serves as the foundation for the popular summer dish known as Okroshka – the cold soup in Russia.
# 4 Baked Milk
By now, you’re already aware of the Russians’ love for Kvass. But you should also be aware of another regional specialty: baked milk, often known as Ryazhenka. This non-alcoholic beverage, which is also well-liked in Belarus and Ukraine, is a form of boiled milk and may remind you of yogurt or even condensed milk. Because of this, it frequently makes a delicious addition to breakfast because it has a “desserty” flavor.
One type of Russian-produced milk, known as Ryazhenka, is produced from fermented milk that has first been baked at a low temperature. The milk is given a creamy texture by the slow heating, and despite the odd name of this beverage, it sounds delectable.
# 5 Rakija
One of the most well-known alcoholic beverages in North Macedonia and the Balkans is Rakija, also known by the variants Rakia and Raki. The alcohol percentage of this drink, which is an uncolored spirit brandy derived from fermented fruit, ranges from 40% to 50% ABV. The drink Rakija is in fact a crucial component of North Macedonian culture, and many local families make it on their own. The drinks are actually very distinctive because each household has its own secret recipe. This beverage is created in North Macedonia from a mixture of yellow and white grapes, anise, honey, and other fruits.
The beverage is often made by the families between the months of November and March by boiling leftover grape pulp in a copper vat that is tightly enclosed. The steam that’s produced when the liquid boils turns into the renowned Rakija.
The most popular varieties of the liquor are Mastika (made from herb anise), Imela Rakija (made from the stems and leaves of the mistletoe), Trevarka Rakija (made with mint, lavender, sage, and rosemary), Šlivka Rakija (strong and plum-based), and Medova Rakija (derived from honey and propolis and used as an aperitif). Fun fact: Prior to the 20th century, this beverage was utilized as a pain reliever.
# 6 Hot Beer
Grzaniec, often referred to as Grzane Piwo, is a hot, frothy lager beer, seasoned with spices like cinnamon and clove as well as artificial syrups, either raspberry or ginger. This alcoholic beverage, which is offered in bars across Poland, has a distinctively zesty flavor and is especially well-liked in the winter because it may be enjoyed warm.
Here are some recommendations before you order your Grzane Piwo in Poland. The first is to exercise patience, as it takes the beer between five and ten minutes to warm up. The following tip is to remember that the beverage has syrup added for flavor; you can choose between the “imbirowy” (ginger) or the “malinowy” (raspberry).
Another reminder: Polish beer consumption still adheres to gender norms. Choosing between ginger and raspberry in Poland is mostly determined by sex, but you don’t have to abide by the “rule”.
# 7 Norwegian Mead
Mead is an alcoholic beverage produced from fermented honey, yeast, water, and occasionally spices and fruits, based on local tradition, and is often associated with the Vikings. This beverage’s preparation is comparable to that of wine, with the primary differentiation being in the components.
Due to the fact that both mead and beer are products of the fermentation process, which the ancient Norwegians believed to be magical and even started with reverence, they truly believed that both had divine properties. However, it’s noteworthy to note that mead, usually referred to as “honey wine”, is frequently claimed to be closer to wine than to beer.