If you’re studying abroad in Europe this semester, you’ve probably already moved in and settled down into somewhat of a routine (eat, sleep maybe, explore, class, explore, party, explore, repeat). Now that you’ve settled down, you are ready set out on another adventure. In Europe, there are so many cities to see and people to meet. An entire semester in Europe means you can get a taste of the art, architecture, and culture in several cities. Of course when nighttime falls, you can’t miss out on getting a taste of the clubs and bars either. So while you’re away floating from club to club and bar to bar in Barcelona or Budapest, and instead of drinking the terrible beer or watered down vodka you normally drink, try some more typical alcoholic beverages in every country.
Italy: Aperol Spritz or Campari Spritz
In Italy, they have an awesome daily tradition called aperitivo (aperitif in English), and to sum it up, it is unlimited snack foods with drinks. Oftentimes the drinks are only 3-4 euros, but can be as much as 10 euros, and include a buffet of breads, spreads, cheeses, fruits, and more. It’s like happy hour heaven! The typical drinks are either Aperol Spritz or Campari Spritz. I’ve also heard it Spritz Aperol or Spritz Campari, but let’s focus on the taste instead. Aperol has a lower alcohol percentage than Campari (11% vs. 25%) and has a sweeter, orange taste. The Spritz Aperol is fruity, but not overwhelmed with syrups and sugary drinks. Campari is more bitter, which makes sense because the alcohol percentage is higher.
Photo via Bradley W. Dick
Germany: Wheat Beer
Some choose a pilsener for a lighter beer, and some choose a dunkel for a darker color. While you should definitely taste test multiple beers when you go to Oktoberfest to find your perfect beer match (have they created EHarmony for the perfect beer match yet?), a beer with a taste unlike any others is a wheat beer. It is particularly smoother than wheat beers you try outside of Germany. It only has a subtle typical beer taste and is closer to an Earthy, unique taste.
Photo via John H. Postik Flickr
Greece and Turkey: Raki
In Greece, raki is an incredibly, strong drink that can be sipped alongside your meal. However, after trying this, it is not a drink many people would be able to sip at all. It is also called the national drink of Turkey. When it’s mixed with water, as it commonly is, it turns a milky white color.
Photo via Istanbul for 91 Days
Taste testing several local wines is a given in France. However, while you’re in France, you can’t miss out on trying real champagne. No, not the stuff you buy in bulk on New Year’s-real champagne from the Champagne region of France. It is less than 100 miles (about 150 kilometers) east of Paris. Buy your train, bus, or plane tickets early and go to the Fete des Vendanges du Massif Saint Thierry, an annual grape harvesting festival in mid-October. While you’re brushing up on your history of champagne, you can try the most iconic and memorable champagne in the world.
Photo via Things To Do
After these four, you’ll be on a good start to becoming the alcohol connoisseur out of all your friends when you get back to the States. When you go to restaurants or bars, ask the bartender what types of drinks are typically ordered by people from that country. Going abroad is about experiencing everything about the country, and that includes the alcohol as well. Drink up!
What’s your favorite drink from another country?