8 Must-Try Traditional European Nonalcoholic Drinks
When it comes to nonalcoholic flavors, from Germany to Italy, from the United Kingdom to Spain, from Poland to Portugal, they do take it seriously. There is plenty of drinks in European countries: liquor, beer, wine and more. People used to drink strong drinks when they want to have a great time with pals or when they want to get a little high in the evenings. But there are other options if you are not going to try liquor of the other strong drinks. As much as there are lots of nice liquor and beer out there in Europe, there are also some very delicious traditional European nonalcoholic drinks that will make you always want to go back for some more.
Here are some 8 must-try traditional European nonalcoholic drinks you should try.
The German Fassbrause
This unique traditional German nonalcoholic drink was invented in Berlin in 1908 as a mixture of fruits (mainly apples), some herbs and malt to serve as an alcohol free replacement for beer. This is a soda-type German nonalcoholic drink (fassbrause literally means ‘’Keg Soda’’) which is traditionally stored in a keg. There are some brands that are alcoholic but this one is purely made from fruits malt extract and spices. You can also try some of this drink in the other tastes than the apple one, like strawberry or rhubarb, which are becoming more popular in Germany. This is quite a great one to have when it is really hot in summer.
Kwas from Poland
This one is not only a popular drink in Poland but throughout Eastern Europe. This Polish traditional nonalcoholic drink is also popular in Belarus, Russia, and other several parts, though in different names. For instance, the Russians and Ukrainians call it “gira” while the Chinese call it ‘’gewasi”. This drink originated in Poland since the tenth century popularly known among the Polish peasants but gradually and eventually became accepted by the Polish aristocrats back then. Kwas is typically made with rye bread and is imbibed as a thirst quencher in that hot summer afternoon or an elixir for health issues. Although it is fermented, it is sweet and nonalcoholic. After the collapse of Communism, the popularity of kwas as a drink has decreased. It gave way to Western soft drinks. However, kwas remains the main component of Old Polish cooking. Kwas is one of those best European nonalcoholic drinks you will like to have anytime you are in Poland.
The Spanish Horchata
This Spanish traditional drink is made from “chufas” or tigernuts. The nuts are purred with water to make the milk and to sweeten it (sugar is added to it). There is a sweet rice drink in Mexico called horchata too, but it actually gets its roots from Valencia in Spain. And the Spanish horchata is different from the Mexican horchata. It is always served cold. It is the perfect drink to have with friends on a hot summer day too.
The Russian Mors
Considered as one of the oldest fruit drink in Russia, Mors is made of fruits, boiled berries, sugar, and still water. These ingredients vary these days. Usually, Mors is made of strawberries, cranberries, currants, and gooseberries. However, some people like it with apple powder and cinnamon. Quite a taste.
Non-alcoholic mojito is mostly served in lots of British bars. It is a proper cocktail and a traditional British nonalcoholic drink. The drink is made of apple juice, elderflower and mints warmly mixed with soda water to give you all the flavor.
This is one the most remarkable traditional Ukrainian drinks, made of malt, rye bread and sometimes some fragrant herbs and honey are added to it. The Ukrainian Kvass in not just an ordinary nonalcoholic drink, it is a whole tradition. During the boiling hot weather of summer, there is no better drink for you if you find yourself in Ukraine or you live there. This drink is very nourishing and has properties that can help to boost your strength for work. Kvass was considered a symbol of wellbeing in the times of Kievan Rus. Kvass is used as a base for “okroshka”, a cold soup in Ukraine.
Ideally served chilled with or without ice, though some people add water which releases the essential oils from the aniseed, heightening the aromas and turning the drink dark cloudy. Considered as the national drink of the Greek, ouzo in technical terms is either produced by partially distilling or admixing plain alcohol with aromatic herbs. The distilled ouzos are the best because they are imparted by anise seed, though sometimes other aromatics are added like cinnamon, fennel, cloves or masticha from Chios, depending on the brand. The island of Lesvos and the Tyrnavos in Thessaly are very famous in the production of ouzos and they produce one of the best ouzos in Greece. There will be nothing better to spice your strong flavored seafood such as marinated anchovies or octopus like the ouzo.
This Dutch drink consists of hot milk flavored with anise seed and sugar to sweeten. It is used a lot during ice skating in Netherland. If you think you have insomnia, then this is your remedy, as anijsmelk has soporific effects and induces sleep.
As you can see, European countries are not only strong in producing wines, beers, and liquors but have very strong traditional nonalcoholic drinks, with some that roots from their past which gives them more flavor when drinking. Don’t forget, if you happen to visit one of these countries mentioned above, don’t leave them until you try a taste of the traditional European nonalcoholic drinks.