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10 beverages from all around the world that you should definitely try (part 2)

Across the globe, there exists countless traditions and customs. Today we are exploring distinct beverage from several countries. See how many you have experienced and discover how different cultures prefer their drinks.

Yerba Mate, South America

Yerba mate (from Spanish); Portuguese: erva-mate is a species of the holly genus named by the French botanist Auguste François César Prouvençal de Saint-Hilaire.

Yerba mate is used to making the beverage known as mate in both Spanish and Portuguese. The drink is called other names in Portuguese, such as chimarrão, and tererê/tereré. It is traditionally consumed in central and southern regions of South America, primarily in Paraguay, as well as in Argentina, Uruguay, southern and central-western Brazil, the Chaco region of Bolivia and southern Chile. It is also very popular among the Druze community in Syria and Lebanon, where it is imported from Argentina. Yerba mate was first cultivated and used by the Guaraní people and in some Tupí communities in southern Brazil, prior to European colonization. Yerba mate can also be found in various energy drinks on the market today.

Tequila, Mexico

Tequila is an alcoholic beverage produced in Mexico and made up of a plant called Agave Tequilana (same as another famous drink the Mezcal).

To obtain the appellation “Tequila”, this drink has to be produced only in the state of Jalisco and a few areas of the states of Nayarit, Michoacán, Guanajuato, and Tamaulipas.

There are 4 sorts of tequila officially:

Blanco, gold, reposado and añejo.

  • The first type is Blanco: transparent and obtained directly after the second distillation. No aging in barrels for the type 1.
  • The second type is gold or Joven avocado: it’s the most shipped category; it is the same tequila as the type 1 but this time aged in oak barrels to which we have added coloring, and aromas, most of the time caramel.
  • The third type, reposado, is obtained from white tequila that has been resting for at least two months in oak barrels; its taste is slightly suaver than the Blanco one. It is the most consumed in Mexico
  • The fourth type is añeio (or tequila extra añeio) and has to stay at least one year in the same barrel (3 in total) of 600 litters and sealed by a government officer. Its color is darker than the previous one, and it has a stronger taste. A few producers use old barrels for whiskey of 190 litters.

Caipirinha, Brazil

Caipirinha is a Brazilian cocktail prepared with a base of cachaça, cane sugar and lime. Created at first by the small farmers from where its name come from (caipira means bumpkin in Portuguese), it is a very popular cocktail and its heavily consumed by restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

The most popular variations in the world are caipiroska where the cachaça is replaced by vodka and the caipirissima where the cachaça is replaced by rum.

Other variations are also popular in Brazil: the "caipifrutas", which are prepared from fruits (that are not lime) such has passion fruit (maracuja), strawberry (morango), blackberry (amoras), pineapple (abacaxi)… There is another variation called barrinha in La Barra de Santiago (in Salvador) prepared with local tangerine, local cane sugar and cane brandy (guaro) which is very appreciated locally.

Bubble Tea, Taiwan

Bubble tea also called zenzou in Chinese or boba (literally “big boobs” ) is a drink coming from Taiwan. It’s a mix of cold or hot tea and milked, flavored with different additional flavors and to which we add tapioca balls, that’s where the name come from. Usually, the tapioca balls are sucked through a large straw. Born in the 80’s, bubble tea has become to be listed on the drink menu of tea saloon in the 90’s. It is one of the most popular drink for the youngest generation and also one of the favorite takeaway drink. It has become so popular in Taiwan, that it’s often mentioned as the “national drink”.

Raki, Turkey

Raki (from Turkish and derivated from the Arabic arak/al raki) is a wine brandy flavored with anise. It is consumed in Turkey, in the Balkans, in Armenia, and in the middle-east.

It is most of the time mixed with water, sometimes dry. In Turkish, it is familiarly called Aslan sütü “Lion’s milk”.

The serving is generally done with two conical glasses, one containing the raki, the other the water and the ice, or sometimes, like the Adana region, some şalgam suyu, some spicy beetroot juice.

Being savory, it's drunk as an aperitif, but also during a meal.

The most famous producing area is Tekirdag, in Thrace.

The raki production in Turkey has been handled by a single company for a long time, the state company named Tekel; it has been privatized in 2004.

The different qualities are:

  • yeni rakı(new raki) with 45% alcohol, from which the alcohol must come from at least 65% of distilled grape.
  • l’altınbaş rakı (golden head) with 50% alcohol, from which the alcohol comes entirely from the distilled grape.

Eggnog, England

The eggnog is a drink based on milk, cream, sugar and egg yolk flavored with nutmeg or cinnamon that was traditionally served for Christmas night which is also drunk during winter. The traditional recipe of Eggnog includes a brandy such has rum or whiskey.

It can be served in a punch bowl, but it can also be prepared with the help of a shaker and exists in every recipe books for cocktails. In North America and Luxembourg, the non-alcoholic version is often available in the stores and cafés during the Christmas holiday’s period and all year long in Australia. Another alcoholic version called “egg liquor”, flavored with honey, is also very popular in the Netherlands and in Germany.

It’s origins apparently come from the middle-age according to old books and stories from the United Kingdom.

Es Kelapa Muda, Indonesia

Es kelapa muda (Javanese: es degan, English: young coconut ice or coconut ice) is a beverage made from chilled or iced coconut water, young coconut flesh, and syrup. It is among favorite beverage in Indonesia. Es kelapa muda is included in the world's 50 most delicious drinks according to CNN on December 9, 2011, ranking 19th.

Liquid sugar, syrup or honey might be used as the sweetening agent. The syrup used in this drink is typically cocopandan or vanilla flavored. Some use glass as the container, while traditional es kelapa muda is prepared and drank directly from the whole coconut fruit. Some variants might be spiced up with the addition of cinnamon and clove.

Sangria, Spain

Sangria is an alcoholic beverage with controversial origins. According to certain sources, Sangria would not come from Spain, but from South America or the Antilles.  Nowadays, Sangria remains the typical alcoholic beverage from Spain and Portugal, the EU has even recognized it on the 14/01/2014 and stated that Sangria could only be Spanish or Portuguese according to the legal protections.

This drink is composed mostly of red wine to which has been incorporated some citruses and spices, and often a bit of sparkly water or lemonade.

Air Mata Kucing, Malaysia

Air Mata Kucing is a classic must-have when visiting Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur. This refreshing drink or dessert is very popular among the locals. Not only nutritious, delicious and thirst quenching, it is rated the top 6th most delicious drink by CNN!

To create this delicious drink at home, only four ingredients are needed. The base of this drink is made out of monk fruit which is also known as “Lo Hon Guo” in Chinese. It gives color to the drink and also acts as a natural sweetener. The abundant benefits of monk fruit are widely known in the world of traditional Chinese medicine. Dried longan which is high in vitamins is also added to this drink to sweeten it. In this recipe, I choose the darker colored dried longan which is sweeter and more intense in flavor although it is absolutely fine to use the lighter colored dried longan too.

Coffee, Ethiopia

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the Coffea plant. The genus Coffea is native to tropical Africa(specifically having its origin in Ethiopia and Sudan) and Madagascar, ComorosMauritius, and Réunion in the Indian Ocean. The plant was exported from Africa to countries around the world. Coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the AmericasSoutheast AsiaIndia, and Africa. The two most commonly grown are arabica and robusta. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. Dried coffee seeds (referred to as beans) are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed with near-boiling water to produce coffee as a beverage.