Beers and Wines from the Carpathians
The Carpathians cut through several countries with award winning wine, impressive distilled spirits, coffee houses dripping with history, and good stories about all of them. Be sure to chat up the locals as you sample the best drinks in this mountainous region of Europe.
Hungary has a raft of special drinks to try. Pálinka is ubiquitous throughout Hungary; it’s a fiery fruit brandy often distilled out in the country from home-grown plums, apricots and pears. Unicum is a special blend of herbs and spices that Hungarians swear by as an aid to digestion, among other things. It is indisputably Hungary's answer to Marmite – you’ll either love it or you hate it. More mainstream are the zillions of coffee houses in Budapest; writers, painters, philosophers and poets have gathered for centuries around coffee-house tables in lively conversations, sampling desserts, drinking strong espressos. Now tourists are part of the mix, so join in! Today Hungary has 22 designated wine regions, and they all have something of interest to anyone who appreciates fine scenery and wants to discover Hungary first hand. Tokaj - the toast of pontiffs and tyrants alike - is one of the world's finest dessert wines, and that’s just the beginning of Hungary’s long list of excellent wine.
The range of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in Serbia’s restaurants is excellent and covers drinks from all corners of the world. Restaurants that keep selected types of rakija and wines in their own cellars are particularly highly regarded, and we suggest that you try some of Serbia‘s own brands of drink. Rakije are brandies made from fruits and herbs. Popular flavors are plum, peach, pear, quince, grape, and the green-tasting herb brandy. You’ll also find wine and local beers such as Lav, MB, BG, Jelen, Vajfert and Pils. Tasty fruit juices and mineral waters from Serbian springs round out a very nice selection of local drinks.
No matter where you travel in Romania, you're in wine country. It is one of the world's top-ranking producers of numerous delicious wines, some of which never leave its borders – so it’s a good thing you’re going and can taste the. Archeological evidence of wine production dates back to the classical Greek and Roman eras of settlement in Romania. The grape-friendly soil and climate are hospitable to the production of many different types of wines, from dry, sparkling whites to rich, aromatic, purplish reds. When you visit Romania, be sure to taste those wines you’ll never find at home
Wine has been popular in Slovakia since the days when it graces kings' tables. The best way to find out why is to start tasting on your own. In total there exist six viticultural regions in Slovakia and almost four fifths of its vineyards are located in the region of the western Slovakia. Probably the most widely known and loved wine of Slovakia is made from the Tokay grape, grown on the southern slopes of the Zemplínske vrchy mountain range. For a zippier drink, the charm of tea has captivated Bratislava. Enjoy an oasis right in the heart of a busy city, with a special calmness and aromas from other worlds.
Every tearoom has its own special charm, characterised by pleasant relaxing music and for the most part, sitting on the ground.
Poland is a land of passionate tea drinkers, where tea is consumed with and in between each meal. Wine and beer are often imported in Poland, although Zywiec, Tyskie and Okocim are good local beers. Home grown, of course, is vodka, the country’s signature alcoholic brew and as much a national drink here as in Russia. Vodka is not a cocktail or mixed drink ingredient; it is served and swallowed neat. Vodka comes from sweet to dry, as well as in various colors. One brand, Zubrowka Bison, is flavored with grass on which the bison feed in the Bialowieza forest so there’s always a blade of grass in the bottle. Other popular spirits include Sliwowica, made from plums, and Krupnik honey liqueur, made from mead. Na zdrowie (to your health) is a useful word to learn.
You’re in the Czech Republic, you’ve already seen all of the Prague’s major sights (miraculously), but something is still missing from the full experience.. aha! You need to visit one of the traditional cafés, be embraced by its unique atmosphere and stoked up with a perfect cup of coffee. Cafes are often famous places closely connected with outstanding figures of Czech history. Ask about “the Arab” and how coffeehouses became so popular in Prague. As far as other drinks are concerned, the Czechs are the number one beer drinkers in the world, which may explain why there are more than 450 brands, Pilsner Urquell and Budweiser being only two of them. Czech, and above all Moravian wines are definitely worth tasting. They come from the most beautiful corners of the Czech Republic and travelling in search of their production is a guarantee of a contentedly spent holiday.