France and Italy may hold the names in red, whites and champagne, but that does not mean that other countered around the world do not have their own brand of liquid intoxication. Not only are they a must for those travellers interested in local cultures, they are made or distilled from every grain and fruit imaginable. Here are some of the interesting blends from around the world:
Australia boasts a range of alcoholic beverages as big as its landmass. One of the central ones is Australian boutique wines available locally but rare in any other country. This is mostly because, compared to countries like Scotland (who pretty much invented the word “scotch”), this small island produces only a fraction of the global market share of single-malt whiskey. However, due to its limited production, it has a high quality and flavour not found in any other drink. The malt and the quality of the water gives it a distinctive flavour.
Sake is Japan’s go-to alcoholic drink and is distilled from rice, which is the country’s staple food. Called nihonshu in Japanese, it is made by fermenting rice which has had the bran removed. Sake is usually kept in small porcelain jugs that look more like vases, and has to be warmed before drinking to achieve the full flavour. While there are certain brands and strengths as potent as other hard liquors, sake is usually considered a milder alcoholic beverage than most, similar to beer.
This is such a huge country that there is no official record of all the different types of alcoholic drinks there are. However, the Manali region in the North offers a fermented rice alcohol called lugdi, which is similar to sake in Japan but is sweeter. Manali is a popular tourist destination and a few shops there have begun to capitalize on their call to fame by bottling lugdi and selling them on the internet. Thanks to their abundant fruit orchards, they also make apple cider. So if you want to buy wine online, here’s your chance.
The land of coconuts, Sri Lanka is known more for its strong coconut arrack, but there is a lesser known alcohol called toddy, which is made of fermented palm. The interesting bit is that, unlike other liquors, the toddy is tapped from the tree at the top where the fruits grow and is then left there to ferment; hanging from the tree in small pots which the tappers will periodically check to make sure it does not ferment too long. Toddy used to be a home grown industry but is dying out so make sure you find one and drink it before it disappears forever.