In an effort to provide you with some foodie excitement in the on going World Cup 2014 games, we put together a list of national drinks in 10 out of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup.
Depending on how the citizens of the country drink it, we chose either a particular type of booze or a cocktail. As much as possible, we tried to avoid repetition, but it turns out a lot of places enjoy anise-flavored spirits.
And yes, we missed a bunch of countries (we apologize, Nigeria), so here is our list of drinks and countries!
Cachaca, or Brazilian rum, has over four centuries’ worth of nicknames coined by its various consumers. This list of over 2,000 terms includes: “abre-coração (heart-opener),água-benta (holy water), bafo-de-tigre (tiger breath), and limpa-olho (eye-wash).
Soju has a taste comparable to vodka yet slightly sweeter. “In 2006, it was estimated that the average adult Korean (older than 20) had consumed 90 bottles of soju during that year.”
A popular “tequila worm” myth rumors that worms can be found in bottles of tequila. This belief stems from certain mezcals typically sold in Oaxaca “con gusano” or “with worm” that actually contain a larval form of a moth that lives on the agave plant tequila is distilled from.
Nsafufuo is palm wine made from the sap of palm trees. It’s also known as “kallu” or “toddy,” and is similar to “tuba” found in the Philippines. This palm wine can be served either sweet or sour depending on its preparation.
Named after the Spanish word for blood, “sangre,” for its distinct deep red color. Sangria is typically made with cut fruits including apples, oranges, lemons, and berries mixed with red wine, although white wine can also be used. The fruit sweetens the wine and absorbs it as well. Sometimes orange juice, sugar, honey, or brandy is added to the sangria as a sweetener.
Grappa is a “fragrant grape based pomace brandy;” it’s strong, so it’s served in small, ornate flute glasses. One of several ways to taste grappa is “by rubbing a small amount on the back of the hand and sniffing. If the aroma is pleasant, the grappa is well made.”
Gin is distilled from juniper berries and enjoyed worldwide due to its versatility as well as the popularity of the martini. Aside from martinis, “there are more classic cocktails made with gin than with any other spirit.
Described as having a smell “like black licorice-flavored Listerine,” fernet is a “bitter aromatic spirit” typically served as a digestif, but sometimes with coffee or Coke. Fernet is made with a variety of herbs and spices including myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and most importantly saffron, giving it its distinct flavor.
Vodka is often drunk neat but is used in a variety of cocktails such as the Screwdriver, vodka tonic, and Bloody Mary. It’s typically made from fermented grains or potatoes. Today vodka makes up 70% of all alcohol consumed in Russia.
Jenever is a strong juniper-flavored liquor. There are two distinct types of jenever, “oude” (old) and “jonge” (young). Jonge jenever has a taste similar to vodka, “with a slight aroma of juniper and malt wine,” whereas oude jenever “has a smoother, very aromatic taste with malty flavors due to the fact that it’s sometimes aged in wood.