Once the festivities of the holiday season have come to an end, many of us are left feeling as though we need some sort of detox! This is where Dry January comes in. If the New Year’s Eve parties left you feeling a little worse for wear, a whole month of abstaining from alcohol is sure to have you feeling brand new! Giving up alcohol doesn’t mean giving up on delicious beverages, in fact, many of the world‘s best drinks are non-alcoholic.
To help you start the new year on a refreshed and tasty note, Expat Explore has put together a list of the top non-alcoholic drinks around the world!
You’d be forgiven for thinking that egg coffee does not sound particularly appetising but trust us, this Vietnamese coffee drink is truly extraordinary! Imagine the best tiramisu you’ve ever had – rich, creamy and just the right balance of sweetness and bitterness. That’s what egg coffee is. Made with strong Vietnamese coffee, a shot of condensed milk and topped with whisked egg yolks, it’s more like an indulgent dessert than a refreshing drink. However, it is incredibly satisfying nonetheless! Egg coffee was first developed in the 1940s as a result of a dairy shortage. The taste became so beloved that it can be found in coffee shops all over Vietnam!
This unique drink is incredibly popular in Turkey during the winter months and can be found in a few Middle Eastern countries today. However, once upon a time, Sahlep was actually sold as an alternative to tea and coffee in England. Sahlep has been drunk for over 3,000 years and is made by grinding orchid tubers into flour. Today, it is less common to find authentic sahlep due to orchids coming close to extinction in both Turkey and Iran. However, instant and synthetic versions are common. Sahlep is usually served with milk and a generous portion of cinnamon. It also boasts health benefits and is said to aid digestion and respiratory issues.
Related: Here are a few facts you need to know about Turkey!
In many Middle Eastern and North African countries, tea is offered as a gesture of friendship and hospitality. In Egypt, you’ll likely be offered hibiscus tea by vendors when shopping for souvenirs. This fruity tea is also sold in most cafés and restaurants and often used to toast at weddings. Refreshing with a slightly tart flavour, hibiscus can be served hot or cold and with sugar for added sweetness. It is made from dry hibiscus flowers which gives the tea its pretty magenta colour.
This Japanese green tea has found increasing popularity outside of Japan in recent years. It’s not hard to find a matcha latte at just about any trendy coffee shop, or even at Starbucks! With its bright green colour and pleasantly astringent flavour, matcha has also become a sought after flavouring and natural colourant for chocolate, ice-cream and other desserts. Matcha is made from shade-grown green tea leaves which are then ground into a powder. It is then whisked together with water or with milk.
Matcha can be enjoyed hot or cold and boasts plenty of health benefits. With its high caffeine content, matcha is an excellent alternative to coffee as it also contains theanine, which is proven to have calming effects. It is also high in antioxidants and vitamins. Significant medical research also links matcha to improving heart, liver and gut health!
Related: You simply have to try these 15 foods when visiting Japan!
Country: Spain and South America
Horchata refers to a variety of different beverages with a milky texture. While it is believed to have originated in North Africa, it became extremely popular in Valencia, Spain, where it is still frequently enjoyed today! The Valencian version is made with ground and sweetened tiger nuts and served cold in summer months all over Spain. In South America, horchata is made with rice milk and served with cinnamon and vanilla. It’s delightfully creamy, slightly sweet and a perfect alternative to cow’s milk beverages.
If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative to sparkling wine, look no further than Apfelschorle! Simple yet delicious, Apfelschorle contains only apple juice and sparkling water. It is a favourite summertime drink in Germany and pairs well with just about any German food. Apfelschorle is lower in calories than regular apple juice and has isotonic properties. Isotonic drinks replenish the body after exercise, making this fizzy treat popular among athletes.
Related: These 10 German destinations are a must-visit!
Country: the Netherlands
There are few things as decadent and satisfying as a rich cup of hot chocolate on a cold day. In the Netherlands, hot chocolate is made even more decadent with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Traditionally, Dutch hot chocolate is made with high-quality, dark chocolate chips and a spoon of cocoa is added for an extra punch. However, it is also very commonly made with Chocomel, a Dutch brand of chocolate milk. On a chilly autumn or winter day in Amsterdam, be sure to pop into a café for a warme chocolademelk with a slice of apple pie.
Related: Check out these top 3 reasons to visit Amsterdam!
Coffee, in all its beautiful variations, is certainly the most consumed non-alcoholic beverage in Italy. From espresso to cappuccino, Italians just can’t get enough of this caffeinated drink! However, if all that caffeine has you feeling a bit jittery on your Italy trip, give caffè d’Orzo a try! Orzo is made with ground roasted barley and has a similar taste to coffee with notes of dark chocolate and whiskey.
Related: These are the best European cities for a cup of coffee!
Lying on the beach may have you craving an ice-cold cocktail but in Israel, there’s a non-alcoholic drink that will do the trick. Limonana is a blend of lemonade, mint and plenty of ice. It’s sort of like a virgin mojito with the strong, citrusy flavour of the lemon complementing the freshness of the mint beautifully. This fast-acting heat relief is a must when wandering through Tel Aviv’s busy streets or when at the beach on a hot summer’s day.
Related: This blog will tell you everything you need to know before travelling to Israel!
Country: South Africa
While rooibos, or red bush, tea is renowned all over the world, it is most popular in its home country, South Africa. In fact, the rooibos plant is only grown in the Cederberg mountains in the Western Cape! Rooibos is light and earthy in flavour and can be enjoyed black, iced, with milk, honey, lemon or sugar. As rooibos is caffeine-free, many restaurants in South Africa now offer rooibos espressos or cappuccinos as a coffee alternative. It is also celebrated for its range of health benefits and contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, calcium, zinc and more!
Related: If you’re interested in learning more about South Africa, read this blog!
With a world full of deliciously diverse, alcohol-free drinks, you don’t have to worry about missing your usual tipple during Dry January. Look forward to sampling some of these beverages and more flavours of the world when you book your next Expat Explore tour!
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