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Local Food – Drinks

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Lima's (and perhaps Peru's) most famous drink is the pisco sour

Pisco Sour in Lima, Peru

Contributed by Mary Moses (Lima Urban Adventures)

Lima’s most famous drink is the pisco sour! The Spaniards introduced grapes to Peru in the 1500s, but a ban on making wine in the 17th century inspired Peruvians to find another use for the grapes: pisco!

Like beer in Germany and vodka in Russia, the grape brandy called pisco is a strong source of national pride in Peru.

The ‘pisco sour’ was actually invented by an American expatriate, William Morris, in the 1920s in Lima. National Pisco Sour Day is a big celebration of Peru’s national drink held annually on the first weekend of February.

Learn more about the drinks and cuisine in Lima, Peru.

Mqombotho in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Contributed by Neil Lyon (whl.travel Port Elizabeth & Addo National Park)

Mqombotho is a beer usually brewed locally in the homes of the Xhosa people. In the New Brighton Township of Port Elizabeth, taverns or shabeens are popular places for a drink. Jeya Jazz Corner Tavern is one example and all visitors are always welcome.

Learn more about drink and cuisine in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The most popular beverage in the Andes is chicha de jora, which is traditionally made by women from boiled and fermented yellow and white corn

Chicha in Peru and Ecuador

Contributed by Hugh Yarbrough (whl.travel Quito) and Fernando Carrasco (whl.travel Cusco)

The most popular beverage in the Andes is chicha de jora, which is traditionally made by women from boiled yellow and white corn that is left to ferment underground for a day. Another (less appetising) version is made with the added ingredient of… saliva. The women chew yuca (cassava) and then spit it into a jar. Over a period of days it ferments and has a higher alcohol content each day.

Local people gather in a place called ajha wasi (meaning ‘house of chicha’ in Quechua) to hang out, drink and discuss the weather, politics, family or just about anything. Chicha is served in a big glass like the one shown in the picture.

Learn more about food and cuisine in Quito (Ecuador) and Cusco (Peru).

Sugar Cane Juice in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap, Cambodia

Contributed by Contributed by Jo Crisp (Phnom Penh Urban Adventures & Siem Reap Urban Adventures)

Sugar cane squeezed through a grinder makes a great drink and gives a quick energy boost on a hot day. Green coconut juice is another tasty thirst quencher.

Learn more about drink and cuisine in Cambodia.

Sugar cane squeezed through a grinder makes a great drink in Cambodia Avocado is mixed with milk and sugar, and then blended to make a bright green, creamy juice that is nice and sweet

Avocado Juice in Marrakech, Morocco

Contributed by Anna Harvie, (Marrakech Urban Adventures)

Avocado juice often surprises a lot of people. Avocado is mixed with milk and sugar, and then blended to make a bright green, creamy juice that is nice and sweet. It’s like a meal in a glass.

Hibiscus Flower Iced Tea in Belize

Contributed by Robin Chambers

Red hibiscus iced tea in Belize uses hibiscus petals that are boiled in water and then strained and cooled

This is the signature drink at the Orchid Garden Eco Village in Belize. Red hibiscus petals are boiled in water, which is then strained and cooled before adding a little sugar and lime or lemon juice. It is a deep red colour, delicious and has some medicinal properties.

Poncha (Fishermen’s-style Cocktail) in Madeira, Portugal

Contributed by Paula Ferreira (whl.travel Madeira)

The poncha is a typical drink from Câmara de Lobos and was drunk by the fishermen before they went fishing. Today you can find poncha made of whiskey, absinthe, pineapple – you name it and it can be done! It is said to cure almost everything from hangovers to hair loss, although this is yet to be proved. By the way, the typical stick used to mix the poncha is called a ‘little dick’…

The poncha is a typical drink from Câmara de Lobos, Madeira, that was drunk by the fishermen before they went fishing

Recipe for Poncha (serves four)
1 lemon
3 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 dl sugarcane spirit
½ dl water

Into a cup or a pitcher, do the following:
Peel and quarter the lemon (orange or passion fruit etc.).
Pour in the sugar, beating well with the mixing stick.
Pour off the lemon juice to which is added half a decilitre of water and sugarcane spirit.
Stir again with the stick.
Filter and serve it as is or with ice.
(The fishermen just add lemon, sugar, sugarcane spirit and a little honey.)

Learn more about drink and cuisine in Madeira, Portugal.

Espresso in Florence, Italy

Contributed by Jessica Stewart (Florence Urban Adventures)

Italians take their coffee quite seriously and there's no better way to get to know Florence than to find your local bar and order a shot of espresso

My favourite local drink is espresso, otherwise simply known as coffee (caffe) here. Italians take their coffee quite seriously and there’s no better way to get to know Florence than to find your local bar and order a shot of espresso. Try ordering it al vetro, meaning that it will come in a glass cup. This is supposed to make the coffee taste better, as the porcelain cups are porous and, over time, this can change the taste of the coffee.

Learn more about drink and cuisine in Italy.

Michelada in Yucatan, Mexico

Contributed by Lindy Coberly

A michelada is a spicy beer cocktail served in a chilled glass rimmed with salt. It goes great with ceviche.

I recommend washing ceviche down with a michelada, which is a spicy beer cocktail. Everyone makes it a little differently, but the staples are beer, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime and a few other spices. It is served in a chilled glass rimmed with salt. Ceviche and michelada are a perfect way to end a day spent traipsing around ruins or on the beach.

Tea in Pakistan

Contributed by Sadia Kalsoom (whl.travel Islamabad)

Kashmiri tea, a pink milky tea with pistachios and cardamom, is drunk primarily at weddings

Pakistanis drink a great deal of tea – both black and green tea are popular. Kashmiri tea, a pink milky tea with pistachios and cardamom, is drunk primarily at weddings.

Learn more about drink and cuisine in Pakistan.

Thobwa is a traditional non-alcoholic drink of Malawi

Thobwa in Malawi

Contributed by Chimwemwe Siyabu (whl.travel Malawi)

Thobwa is a traditional non-alcoholic drink

Recipe for Thobwa
1 kg wholegrain maize flour
25 g sorghum flour
25 g sugar (can be more depending on your taste)
5 litres water

Boil four litres of water in a big pot.
Mix (thoroughly) the wholegrain maize flour and the remaining one litre of water.
Add the mixture to the boiling water whilst stirring with a wooden spoon (to avoid the formation of lumps) until the mixture becomes thick and starts boiling.
Cover the pot and allow it to boil for 20 minutes (until it becomes like porridge).
Remove the pot from the fire and allow the porridge to cool for 30 minutes.
Add the sorghum flour to the porridge whilst stirring with a wooden spoon.
Transfer the drink to another pot.
Cover the pot and let it stand for a day.
On the next day, reheat the drink and allow it to boil for five minutes.
Add sugar.
Serve chilled.

Learn more about drink and cuisine in Malawi.

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+ GO TO THE LOCAL FOOD MAIN PAGE.
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