During my travels around the world, I have had the pleasure to acquaint myself to some exquisite and some unusual drinks.
Every sip was a journey of discovery and enlightenment. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy your drink!
This Colombian hottie, is sweet as sugar. Agua means water and panela is sugarcane.
There are variations of this drink consumed across South America, however I give you the Colombian version.
Pieces of hardened sugarcane juice is mixed into water. This sweet drink is usually served hot to beat the cool Colombian weather. Cheese is a usual accompaniment with this drink.
Chunks of cheese are dunked into the hot panela and the melted cheese is happily slurped with the drink.
Aguapanela is also had with lemon instead of cheese, just like a tea. I loved my panela with cheese.
2.) Vietnamese Coffee
Drinking coffee is a ritual in Vietnam. It is the world’s third largest producer of coffee after Indonesia and Brazil.
The brew is rich, dark and has a strong taste. The locals like to have it with condensed milk.
A spoonful of the sweetened milk is poured into a cup. On top of the cup sits an aluminum metal filter.
The ground coffee is put inside this and hot water is poured over the coffee. The brew filters into the cup.
The milk and coffee are blended resulting is Café sua da.
3.) Kings Beer
The susegad life in Goa got better with the presence of this cool local brew.
Kings Beer has been around forever. Going to Goa and not drinking this local legend is a sign of disrespect to beer, according to me.
The chilled ale is best shared with friends and family. Have it by the sunny beach watching the waves or under the stars with a barbeque.
4.) Aam Panna & Sol Kadhi
Consuming seasonal food and drinks is a great practice followed across India. From a swarm of options, Im sharing two natural and homemade recipes.
Aam Panna is a summer cooler best had chilled on hot summer days.
Raw mangoes are boiled in water with rock salt, cumin seeds and jaggery. This light green drink is sweet and tangy.
Summers in India are hot and humid, so this drink is considered as a natural coolant to beat the heat.
Sol kadhi, the pinky drink is made from the juice of kokum mixed with coconut milk, garlic and hint of green chilly with a sprinkle of cumin and rock salt.
It is accompanied with yummy seafood and washed down at the end as a digestive.
5.) Pisco Sour
I was introduced to this popular Latin American cocktail when in Colombia.
It was my first day in Bogota and I ended up having Peruvian food out of curiosity. While the quinoa salad will feature in my future posts I had to mention the Pisco Sour here.
Pisco is an amber colored brandy made from fermented grape juice. It forms the base liquor in the Pisco Sour cocktail.
Angostura bitters, egg whites, citrus juice and sweeteners make the Pisco sour.
Peru claims it to be their national drink, however we even have Chile contending for this.
Aquavit in Latin means “water of life”.
I learnt about this warm and smooth drink during my work assignment in Sweden.
It is a pale yellow liquid distilled from fermented potatoes. Aromatics like cumin, lemon peel and aniseed are also added to enhance the flavor.
The drink is popular in the Nordics and Scandinavian countries. Sweden however is its largest producer and consumer.
Aquavit is served chilled and unmixed, in small glasses. It is generally accompanied with appetizers or sandwiches.
The tribes of Nagaland brew their own potent spirit. Fermented rice beer is locally known as Zutho.
Rice beer is integral to the culture of the Nagaland people. It has a notorious reputation of being an alcoholic drink, however Zutho is meant for medical use as well and as a form of food.
The Nagas would carry Zutho with them as lunch, when working the fields, sipping it throughout the day.
With the advent of Christianity this drink is now considered as taboo and its consumption is gradually getting reduced. Save Zutho.
8.) Snake Wine
My first thought on getting to know about Snake Wine, “Now this is some dangerous indulgence”.
The wine is meant to have medicinal properties according to Chinese medicine. Snake wine is consumed in China, Vietnam and South East Asia.
The whole snake (preferably cobra) is infused into a glass jar of rice wine and left to steep for months.
The venom gets inactive due to the alcohol and so the wine is safe to drink.
While cruising along the Mekong delta one of our stops was to have a shot of this potent wine…and yeah we made it out alive.
Every drink, alcoholic or not has a story or a reason for being created. The next time you sip on something try to get to know that drink better 🙂
And drink responsibly!!