Alcohol is as unique as the country it comes from. Whether you sip it, shoot it or mix it with a chaser, travel and liquor go hand in hand. A country’s intoxicant of choice can tell you a lot about its history. Furthermore, it’s also one of the easiest ways to get a glimpse of the entire food scene. Local liquors usually embody the flavors present in the regions cuisine. From the cold weather Scandinavian nations, to the Far East, there are plenty of potent elixirs out there to kick-start a night out.
So, sit back, grab yourself a drink and have a look at our list of list of 5 amazing alcohols.
Raki – The National Drink of Turkey
Raki is traditionally Turkish and is widely drank by the locals. Turkey is the natural bridge between Europe and Asia, and the drink has made its way to both continents. It is often made from grapes, figs and plums; although the recipe does change depending on the specific region of origin. Interestingly, Raki is clear, until mixed with chilled water, at which point it gains it’s signature transparent white appearance.
Raki’s origins can be traced back more than 300 years. Due to the history of the drinking in parts of Turkey, there are certain rituals used when consuming. Most often, Turkish people will drink raki while eating white cheese, but it can also be eaten with other appetizers, known as meze.
Due to the presence of anise, this liquor has a licorice flavor. Too much will leave drinkers a bit tipsy as 45% AVB typical.
Soju – South Korea’s Favorite Drink
If you have ever been to South Korea, you will see men and women of all ages sitting at restaurant tables with small green bottles and shot glasses. Inside each bottle is South Korea’s favorite alcoholic beverage, soju.
Made from rice, wheat, barley and sometimes potatoes, soju is typically consumed without a mixer. However, many trendy South Korean bars now do fruity soju cocktails for drinkers who prefer to mask soju’s vodka-like taste.
Palinka – Hungary’s Fruit Brandy
Hungarians love their alcohol. In fact, many Hungarians of past generations were said to start the day with a glass of palinka to make it a good morning. Characterized as having the taste of rubbing alcohol mixed with notes of apricot, palinka is a strong drink served in bars and taverns across the country.
Due to European Union law, only palinka distilled in Hungary can bear the name. Typically, plums and apricots are used to make the beverage. However apples, pears and cherries are sometimes substituted
When visiting Hungary, especially Budapest, you will find palinka festivals with local producers selling their craft brands. It is a great opportunity to experience the Hungarian culture in a completely unique way.
Ouzo – Greece’s Global Drink
The Mediterranean diet doesn’t list ouzo as one of its elements, but that hasn’t stopped generations of Greeks from making it a part of every dinner. Ouzo resembles raki in color and taste. It is an anise-flavored alcohol and it is typically drank with appetizers of fish, olives or feta.
This alcohol is commonly consumed either by taking a shot or by drinking it poured over ice after mixing it with water. Furthermore, many Greeks believe it to have medicinal properties that keep them healthy. Perhaps ouzo is the reason the Greek diet works so well!
Akvavit – Purely Scandinavian Since the 15th Century
Made from potatoes or grains, akvavit has been a part of Scandinavian culture since at least the 15th century. Akvavit has a spicy flavor and is often sipped by drinkers.
Scandinavia is a large geographical area. It includes the countries of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Despite it size, akvavit is universally agreed upon as the drink of the region by the locals.
Scandinavians love to drink akvavit with fish and cheese as the flavors of the drink bring out the subtleties in the food. Very commonly drank on holidays and special occasions, akvavit is a potent elixer, typcally 40% AVB.
Of course, if you’re really in the mood to show off your global selection of alcohol, an LED lighted bottle display will add an impressive glow to an impressive collection. The LED Liquor Shelf and Bottle Display by Armana, available on Amazon, is a fantastic choice.