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Boba (aka "bubble") tea, a national drink of Taiwan

A national drink is a distinct beverage that is strongly associated with a particular country, and can be part of their national identity and self-image. National drinks fall into two categories, alcoholic and nonalcoholic. An alcoholic national drink is sometimes a liquor drank straight/neat (as in the case of whiskey in Ireland), but is most often a mixed drink (e.g., caipirinhas in Brazil) or beer or wine. A beverage can be considered a national drink for a variety of reasons:

  • It is a common drink, made from a selection of locally available foodstuffs that can be prepared in a distinctive way, such as mango lassi that uses dahi, a traditional yogurt or fermented milk product, originating from the Indian subcontinent, usually prepared from cow's milk, and sometimes buffalo milk, or goat milk.[1]
  • It contains a particular 'exotic' ingredient that is produced locally.
  • It is served as a festive culinary tradition that forms part of a cultural heritage—for example eggnog in the US during the holiday period.
  • It has been promoted as a national dish by the country itself.

In some cases, it may be impossible to settle on a national drink for a particular country. In the realm of food at least, Zilkia Janer, a lecturer on Latin American culture at Hofstra University, says that it is impossible to choose a single national dish, even unofficially, for countries such as Mexico, China or India because of their diverse ethnic populations and cultures.[2] At the other end of the spectrum, sometimes different countries see the same beverage as their national drink (such as pisco sour in Peru and Chile).

The national drinks are categorized within geo-political regions modified from the United Nations' five "regional groups".[3]

The AmericasEdit

North AmericaEdit

 
Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil and is made from cachaça, lime, and sugar.
 
Gourds for drinking mate, Uruguay's national drink
  •   Canada: A Caesar is cocktail that originated in Calgary, and is widely drank in all parts of Canada. Similar to a Bloody Mary it contains vodka, a blend of tomato juice, clam broth, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a celery salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime. What distinguishes the two is that only Caesar contains clam broth. Calgary officially celebrated an anniversary of its creation and launched a national petition to recognized as the official cocktail of Canada.[4]
  •   United States: Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink that was originally intended as a patent medicine. The drink's name refers to two of its original ingredients: coca leaves, and kola nuts (a source of caffeine).[5]
  •   Mexico: Tequila is a liquor distilled from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, of the central western Mexican state of Jalisco. In 2018, the Mexican government approved a proposal to celebrate every third Saturday of March as the National Tequila Day.[6] Agua frescas are also quite popular, two notable ones being jamaica and horchata.

Latin AmericaEdit

EuropeEdit

 
Red wine is popular in France.
 
Fanta is a popular non-alcoholic soda in Germany.

The "beer belt" in Western Europe includes Germany, the UK, and Ireland, whereas the "wine belt" includes the Mediterranean countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece. Several drinks are common and particular to Slavic countries. Vodka is a clear alcoholic beverage made most often by distilling the liquid from fermented cereal grains and potatoes. Countries where vodka is identified as a national beverage have been referred to as the "vodka belt". Kvass is a traditional fermented non-alcoholic beverage commonly made from rye bread and is drank in many Slavic countries, as well as the three the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Kompot is another drink that is traditionally popular throughout this region and made by boiling together different fruit including strawberries, apricots, peaches, apples, and raisins in large volume of water and served hot or cold, depending on tradition and season. Fruit brandies are popular in the Balkans, while Brännvin and Akvavit are popular in Scandinavia.

 
Clear vodka served with pickled cucumber – the usual way of consuming it in Slavic countries of the so-called "vodka belt".
 
Kvass street vendor, Rīga, Latvia, 1977. This was a popular way of selling Kvass in former USSR republics.

AfricaEdit

 
A berele glass containing tej, which is a mead or honey wine brewed and consumed in Ethiopia.

Asia-PacificEdit

Western AsiaEdit

Central AsiaEdit

East Asia and OceaniaEdit

 
The popular Indian drink mango lassi.
 
Thai iced tea is a popular drink in Thailand and in many parts of the world.
  •   Australia: An ABC News article published in 2018 described lemon, lime and bitters as "Australia's national drink".[39] Lemon, lime and bitters (LLB) is a mixed drink made with (clear) lemonade, lime cordial, and Angostura bitters. The lemonade is sometimes substituted with soda water[39] or lemon squash. It was served as a non-alcoholic alternative to "Pink Gin" (gin mixed with Angostura bitters).[39] It is often considered to be a non-alcoholic cocktail (or mocktail) due to its exceedingly low alcohol content, though some establishments consider it to be alcoholic and will not serve it without identification or proof of age.[citation needed]
  •   Bangladesh: Cha, Bengali for Tea, is considered to be the national drink of Bangaldesh, with Government bodies such as the Bangladesh Tea Board and the Bangladesh Tea Research Institute supporting the production, certification and exportation of the tea trade in the country.[40] Recently new types of tea, such as the Seven-color tea or seven-layer tea (Bengali: সাত রং চা) has popped up as a well known beverage both in Bangladesh and its neighbour, India.[41][42] Romesh Ram Gour invented the seven-layer tea after discovering that different tea leaves have different densities.[43][42] Each layer contrasts in color and taste, ranging from syrupy sweet to spicy clove. The result is an alternating dark/light band pattern throughout the drink, giving the tea its name.
  •   Bhutan: Ara, or Arag, (Tibetan and Dzongkha: ཨ་རག་; Wylie: a-rag; "alcohol, liquor") is a traditional alcoholic beverage consumed in Bhutan. Ara is made from native high-altitude tolerant barley, rice, maize, millet, or wheat, and may be either fermented or distilled. The beverage is usually a clear, creamy, or white color.[44]
  •   Brunei:
  •   Cambodia: sombai [45] (Sraa Tram / infused rice wine with the krama, Cambodian national cloth, on the bottle neck)
  •   China, People's Republic of:
  •   Cook Islands:
  •   Easter Island:
  •   Fiji: Most Fijians would say that Kava is the unofficial national drink of Fiji. In Fiji, kava (also called "grog" or "yaqona") is drunk at all times of day in both public and private settings. The consumption of the drink is a form of welcome and figures in important socio-political events. Both genders drink kava. Kava is consumed for its sedating effects throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and some parts of Micronesia. To a lesser extent, it is consumed in nations where it is exported as an herbal medicine.
  •   French Polynesia:
  •   Guam:
  •   Hawaii:
  •   Hong Kong: Yum cha (simplified Chinese: 饮茶 yǐn chá[46]; traditional Chinese: 飲茶; Jyutping: yam2 cha4; Cantonese Yale: yám chà; lit. "drink tea"), also known as going for dim sum, is the Cantonese tradition of brunch involving Chinese tea and dim sum. The practice is popular in Cantonese-speaking regions, including Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, and Macau. It is also carried out in other regions worldwide where there are overseas Chinese communities. Yum cha generally involves small portions of steamed, pan-fried, and deep-fried dim sum dishes served in bamboo steamers, which are designed to be eaten communally and washed down with tea.[47] People often go to yum cha in large groups for family get-togethers or celebrations.
  •   India: Originating in Punjab and most popular in northern parts of India, Lassi a cold and refreshing drink, can be sweet or salty and is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes fruit like mango.[48][49] While the Masala chai is a hot, sweet tea popular throughout the subcontinent and is a combination of brewed black tea, aromatic spices and herbs, milk and sugar.[50] In southern India, the iconic beverage is Kaapi, also known as Indian filter coffee, which is made by mixing frothed and boiled milk with coffee brewed through a metal filter.[51]
  •   Indonesia: With such a mix of cultures in Indonesia, it is very hard to narrow down one drink to be the "National Drink" of the country. The most common and popular Indonesian drinks and beverages are teh (tea) and kopi (coffee). Indonesian households commonly serve teh manis (sweet tea) or kopi tubruk (coffee mixed with sugar and hot water and poured straight in the glass without separating out the coffee residue) to guests. Fruit juices (jus) are very popular, and hot sweet beverages can also be found, such as bajigur and bandrek.
  •   Japan: Also referred to as Japanese rice wine, sake is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran.[9][10][11]
  •   Kiribati: Karewe is a palm wine beverage made from "Toddy" (sap of certain coconut palms) in Kiribati. It is said that "Every male child in Kiribati is expected to learn climbing and toddy cutting from very early age just as a female child is expected to learn cooking and weaving from very early age".[52][10][11] It is known by various names in different regions and is common in various parts of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Micronesia. Karewe production by smallholders and individual farmers may promote conservation as palm trees become a source of regular household income that may economically be worth more than the value of timber sold.[53]
  •   Laos: Lao-Lao (Lao: ເຫລົ້າລາວ) is a Laotian rice whisky produced in Laos.[54][55] Along with Beerlao, lao-Lao is a staple drink in Laos. The name lao-Lao is not the same word repeated twice, but two different words pronounced with different tones: the first, ເຫລົ້າ, means "alcohol" and is pronounced with a low-falling tone in the standard dialect, while the second, ລາວ, means Laotian ("Lao") and is pronounced with a high(-rising) tone.
  •   Macau: Cha Gordo (literally Fat Tea[56]) is a culinary tradition amongst the Macanese community in Macau that is likened to high tea.[56] Historically, families with Portuguese heritage in Macau would host a Cha Gordo for a number of occasions, including Catholic holidays, christening, or birthdays, but it can be held for any reason.[57] Some families, historically, would even host one on a weekly basis.[56] A Cha Gordo would take place following a Macanese wedding, instead of the elaborate banquet seen in Chinese weddings.[58]
  •   Malaysia: Teh tarik (literally "pulled tea") is a hot milk tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and kopi tiams within the Southeast Asian country of Malaysia.[59] Its name is derived from the pouring process of "pulling" the drink during preparation. It is made from a strong brew of black tea blended with condensed milk. It is the national drink of Malaysia.[60]
  •   Maldives: It can be said that the Maldives have two national drinks. Firstly, due to their history and location near the Indian Subcontinent Sai (tea) is a Maldivian favourite. Secondly, as the Maldives are truly an Island nation, Raa (toddy tapped from palm trees) is also has its place in the national identity of the Maldives. Sometimes Raa is left to ferment and thus slightly alcoholic – the closest any Maldivian gets to alcohol.
  •   Marshall Islands:
  •   Micronesia:
  •   Mongolia: Airag (Mongolian: айраг [ˈai̯rəɡ])[61] or, in some areas, tsegee is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare's milk. The drink remains important to the peoples of the Central Asian steppes, of Huno-Bulgar, Turkic and Mongol origin: Kazakhs, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, Kyrgyz, Mongols, and Yakuts.[62] [63]
     
    A mare being milked in the Suusamyr Valley, Kyrgyzstan
    A 1982 source reported 230,000 horses were kept in the Soviet Union specifically for producing milk to make into kumis.[64] Rinchingiin Indra, writing about Mongolian dairying, says "it takes considerable skill to milk a mare" and describes the technique: the milker kneels on one knee, with a pail propped on the other, steadied by a string tied to an arm. One arm is wrapped behind the mare's rear leg and the other in front. A foal starts the milk flow and is pulled away by another person, but left touching the mare's side during the entire process.[65] In Mongolia, the milking season for horses traditionally runs between mid-June and early October. During one season, a mare produces approximately 1,000 to 1,200 litres of milk, of which about half is left to the foals.[66]
  •   Myanmar: Lahpet is Burmese for fermented or pickled tea. Laphet yay - is a mix of black tea, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It is traditionally served hot in Burmese tea houses - open air, bustling, street corner places.[67][68] Myanmar is also one of very few countries where tea is eaten as well as drunk. Its pickled tea is unique in the region, and is not only regarded as the national delicacy but plays a significant role in Burmese society.[69] Its place in the cuisine of Myanmar is reflected by the following popular expression: "Of all the fruit, the mango's the best; of all the meat, the pork's the best; and of all the leaves, lahpet's the best". In the West, laphet is most commonly encountered in tea leaf salad (လက်ဖက်သုပ်).[70][71]
  •   Nauru;
  •     Nepal: Raksi[72] is a strong drink, clear like vodka or gin, tasting somewhat like Japanese sake. It is usually made from kodo millet (kodo) or rice; different grains produce different flavors.[73] The Limbus, for whom it is a traditional beverage,[74] drink an enormous amount of Tongba and raksi served with pieces of Pork, Water buffalo or Goat meat Sekuwa.[75] For the Newars, aylaa is indispensible during festivals and various religious rituals as libation, prasad or sagan.
  •   New Caledonia:
  •   New Zealand:
  •   Niue:
  •   North Korea:On the 18th of June, 2019, Kim Jong Un designated Pyongyang Soju an alcoholic beverage that embodies the "innocent and tender hearts" of the North Korean people as the national beverage of North Korea, according to a state propaganda service.[76] Soju is a clear, colorless distilled beverage of Korean origin.[77]
  •   Northern Mariana Islands:
  •   Pakistan:
  •   Palau:
  •   Papua New Guinea:
  •   Philippines:
  •   Pitcairn Islands:
  •   Samoa:(Including   American Samoa)
  •   Singapore:
  •   Solomon Islands
  •   South Korea: Soju (/ˈs/; from Korean: 소주; 燒酒 [so.dʑu]) is a clear, colorless distilled beverage of Korean origin.[78][79][80] It is usually consumed neat, and its alcohol content varies from about 16.8% to 53% alcohol by volume (ABV).[81][82] Most brands of soju are made in South Korea. While soju is traditionally made from rice, wheat, or barley, modern producers often replace rice with other starches such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.[83]
  •   Sri Lanka:
  •   Taiwan: Bubble tea[84][85] (also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or boba) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in the 1980s.[86]
  •   Thailand: Thai tea is a Thai drink made from tea, milk and sugar, and served hot or cold. It is popular in Southeast Asia and is served in many restaurants that serve Thai food.[87] When served cold it is known as Thai iced tea. Another highly popular drink is Krating Daeng, an energy drink which was first introduced in 1976. In Thai, daeng means red, and a krating is a large species of wild bovine native to South Asia. Krating Daeng inspired the creation of the Western drink Red Bull.
  •   Timor-Leste:
  •   Tokelau:
  •   Tonga: Kava, is a very important drink in Tonga, some would also argue that it is their unofficial national drink. In Tonga, kava is like alcohol and drunk nightly at kalapu (Tongan for "club"), which is also called a faikava ("to do kava"). Only men are allowed to drink the kava, although women who serve it may be present. The female server is usually an unmarried, young woman called the "touʻa." In the past, this was a position reserved for women being courted by an unmarried male, and much respect was shown. These days, it is imperative that the touʻa not be related to anyone in the kalapu, and if someone is found to be a relative of the touʻa, he (not the touʻa) will leave the club for that night; otherwise the brother-sister taboo would make it impossible to talk openly, especially about courtship. Foreign girls, especially volunteer workers from overseas are often invited to be a touʻa for a night. If no female touʻa can be found, or it is such a small, very informal gathering, one of the men will do the job of serving the kava root; this is called fakatangata ("all-man"). See Tongan Kava Ceremony for more information.
  •   Tuvalu
  •   Vanuatu:
  •   Vietnam:
  •   Wake Island:
  •   Wallis and Futuna:

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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