I wonder how many countries don’t have a national drink.

Romania – Tuica

Serbia – Rakija (Plum or Pear Brandy)

Brazil – Cachaca

Malta – Kinne (a bit like Dr Pepper\Coke)

El Salvador – Chapparo

Nicaragua – Pinolillo (Made with corn and Chocolate)

Guatemala – Atole De Elote (Corn Drink)

Austrailia – VB Beer

Singapore – Singapore Sling (Cocktail from Raffles Hotel)

Malaysia – Tea (From Cameroon Highlands)

Fiji – Cava

Germany – Beer

Austria – Stroh (Rum)

Greece – Ouzo

Mexico – Tequila

England – Tea

Scotland – Whiskey

Argentina – Mate

Peru – Pisco

Czech Republic – Absinth

Tenerife – Peach Schnapps

Spain – Sangria

France – Champagne

Ireland – Guinness

USA – Jack Daniels and Coca Cola

Russia – Vodka

Japan – Sake or maybe Green Tea

I wonder some more about how many countries have a nice tasting national drink.

Hungary does have a national drink and it tastes like someone short changed the fruit cordial in a bottle of paint stripper. To make matters worse it gives you the look where you balance your tongue on your bottom lip and screw your eyes up at the same time. I tried Palinka once in Budapest and vowed not to go near it again.

This Sunday morning at 8am the husband of the woman who had opened her motel especially for me turned up on his way to church with the family in his car, completely drunk. I was clearly interesting in my cycling shorts in the pouring and freezing rain to Ivan and we strike up a conversation using only our bare hands, grunts and the few bits of German which I have picked up.

Before long he is dragging me by my hand into the basement where to my surprise there is a fully kited gym and hidden in the back corner  a small cupboard containing his secret stash of Palinka.

I promised myself on this trip that I would say ‘yes’ more times than ‘no’ so we polished off a small quart.  We stumble back up the stairs like two naughty school boys.

At the top of the stairs we bump into his wife.

  • She  knows exactly what he is up to but she turns a blind eye.
  • Ivan winks at me with a victorious and smug grin.
  • I clamber onto my bike and cycle off drunk into the pouring rain.

Sitting in a service station sobering up with some coffee I reflect how we 3 are all slightly deluded in our own special ways.


20 Responses to Palinka

  1. Victor says:

    Romania – Tuica (Tzuica)

  2. Myles says:

    Rakija – Plum or Pear Brandy in Serbia

  3. Myles says:

    Brazil – Cachaca

  4. Myles says:

    Malta – Kinnie (a bit like coke/Dr Pepper)

  5. Myles says:

    From Eric – Chaparro – El Salvador

  6. Clare says:

    Greece – Raki made from distilled Pommace
    tastes like firewater.

  7. Myles says:

    Nicaragua – is corn, chocolate and others
    is pinolillo with two “l” – Eric

  8. Myles says:

    Austrailia – VB

  9. Myles says:

    Singapore Sling – Singapore

  10. Clare says:

    Singapore – Singapore Sling
    Cocktail drink made famous by the Raffles Hotel

  11. Clare says:

    Malaysia – Tea, from the Cameron Highlands

  12. Clare says:

    Fiji – Kava – a social beverage, and also as a medicine. Made from pepper.

  13. leon says:

    germany – beer. no question about it.

  14. Myles says:

    Stroh – Rum in Austria From James M

  15. Clare says:

    Jamaca – Rum

  16. Clare says:

    sorry – Jamaica – Rum

  17. Denny says:


    I simply cannot abide the US being represented by the weak tasting fermented piss of anorexics. Budweiser will NOT do. Tea was your choice for England, so does that mean that the drink need not be alcoholic? Because in that case I would suggest that Coca Cola is far more iconic than fucking Budweiser. And though you can’t get drunk from it, they used to put cocaine in it…so I think that counts for something.

    Give me my tooth rotting sugar water over Bud, please.

    However if the idea is for the drink to be the kind that gives hangovers, then I submit for approval some form of bourbon whiskey. They make bourbon in Kentucky and Tennessee son, you don’t get more American. So Coke or Jack Daniels. Since Jack Daniels is the most commonly sold bourbon in the world


    Oh my…am I clever or what?


  18. Sudders says:

    Serbia can’t claim rakia or rakiya or slivovice. Albania, Macedonia and Slovakia respectively, many of the other balkan countries also claim plum brandy as their national drink.

    I’ve had it in faded grand hotel restaurants, with families, in bars, from a bottle I brought home and from a plastic bottle in the fridge of a kind Macedonian. One thing was always consistent, it tastes bloody awful.

    Have you got wine for France? Or Pastis I suppose (I once had a pint half of each, I never spewed so hard).

    apparently spermicide for Greece (I don’t get that one).

    Hope the trip is going well, you rock.

    • Myles says:

      I knew you would come in as the king of the Balkans. I will add your selection. I have Champagne for France…. mmm not sure about wine as you can’t get champagne anywhere else except that region (I think). I will hunt down some French people to aid in my mission.

      Greece. This is surely Ouzo. I hope you haven’t tried the other potential national drink.

      If you come across any others on your travels please let me know. I am determined to complete this list by 40. Didn’t you go to Norway?

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