Traveling affords you the opportunity to experience other cultures and see distant lands in all their beauty and splendor. There are many landmarks you can visit, foods to taste, and drinks to imbibe in order to feel the total cultural vibe. Traveling is one of my passions and it started when I was young as a military brat. There is a big world out there with plenty to see. Each country unique, with cities that have distinctive flavor. Here are a few places on the globe you can go for a really great drink.
First off, I love a good beer. My favorite stop: Dublin. I have to have a pint of Guinness, with its brown color, burnt flavor of roasted barley, and thick, creamy head. Divine! It’s the best selling drink in Ireland, and the most popular in the world. It all began with Arthur Guinness, born in 1725 and manufacturing his formula in 1759. By 1824, it had become a world-famous brew. It arrived in New York for American consumption in 1840. I always have a great time in Dublin, and you will, too! (Click here).
Next stop: Brussels. There is just something nice about the beer from Brussels. (And chocolate). I like the “sweet” beers, that I refer to as “dessert beers,” but there are many different kinds. Breweries here in the states have what they call, “Belgium beers.”
I missed an opportunity to go to South African, but I’m still hoping to get there. Who would have thought the South Africans can brew a good beer. Not so! They have a homemade gem called umqombothi that is home-brewed. I heard its very good. Umm.
Wine and Champagne
Champagne is my favorite drink. There is a region solely dedicated to growing the grapes that produce “the bubblies.” Champagne, France, is located in the north east, consisting of arid plateaus that slope toward Paris. One of my all-time faves from the region, Moet & Chandon. To tour the vineyards, click here. For a day trip, (rates 4 and a half stars out of five), from Paris to the Moet & Chandon cellars, for $134.65, click here.
Travel to New Zealand and taste delicious Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs. This former British territory with vast beauty grows grapes that produce wines vying for international attention. Their vineyards are a “pristine paradise” that create fine wines in a “clean and green” method. Hang out in Queenstown. It’s fun and the people are friendly. To tour wine country in New Zealand, click here for more information.
Who made Scotch known to the world? The Scots, of course. No one can showcase the whiskey better than this country. Visit distilleries from Speyside and the Highlands to Islay and Campbelton. Click here for tours, including a 7-night trip for 595 (British pound).
If you have never tried sake, or if you enjoy it, one city that is fun to sip this spirit is in Nagano, Japan. A sweet, golden wine made from freshly steamed glutinous rice, this Japanese drink is low in alcohol. Fly into Tokyo, and head west out of the city to Nagano to tour the sake breweries. Click here for more details.
Many may not be aware that Poland produces ultra-premium vodkas, and are part of what is known as the “vodka belt.” Krakow is the city to go to taste great vodkas, and the traditional “nalewka,” (pronounced “nalavkah”), a vodka that contains herbs, berries, or fruits. Yes, the Poles make flavored vodkas that are quite tasty. Try Miodula, another flavored vodka that is very good. Like wines, vodkas can be dry, half-dry, half-sweet, and sweet. Click here to discover more on Krakow and touring distilleries.
Here’s another place I stopped while living in Mexico: Tequila. The name says it all! Tequila is made from blue agave, (you may know it as mezcal), that grows in the sandy soil and high altitudes of the state of Jalisco. (Mexico has states, like the U.S.. They have 31). I lived in Guadalajara, so I took a tour of a popular tequila distillery to see how this drink with the worm in the bottle, was manufactured. I enjoy toasting an occasional margarita, but some enjoy tequila straight up. Guadalajara is a great city and has lots of tequila bars that carry many brands. Click here to catch an all-day train trip that takes you to sample tequila at several distilleries in the area. Don’t forget to bring bottled water! (High altitudes and alcohol).
Our last stop is Maui, in the Aloha State, right here in the U.S., where they produce locally made alcohol. Pau Maui is a vodka made from pineapples. (Click here to go to website). Also manufactured in Maui is a certified USDA organic vodka made from deep seawater. It’s bottled in recycled glass and a portion of the profits go to worldwide ocean conservation organizations. Very cool. Click here to check it out. For info on trips to Maui, click here.
Raise your glass and toast in some of the most exciting cities in the world. Cheers!
guinness-storehouse.com, visitdublin.com.guinness.com, brusselsinternational.com, diliriumcafe.be, southafrica.net, discoverfrance.net, manstouch.com, viator.com, tourism.net.nz, scotlandwhiskey.com, tctour.co.jp, inyourpocket.com, tequilaexpress.com, paumaui.com, oceanvodka.com