A Guide to Europe's National Drinks (PHOTOS)

by The Daily Meal Subscribe to The Daily Meal's posts Posted Jul 28th 2011 08:00 AM



Consider yourself a savvy international imbiber? Have you toasted your way through Europe? Can you say "cheers" in five different languages? (Santé, slainte, salute, skål, proost.) Alright, well then let's see if you know the answer to this question: What is considered to be the national drink of France?

Those of you who were quick to buzz in with "Champagne" or "wine" might want to reconsider that all-or-nothing wager because the answer we were looking for was pastis. The anise-flavored liqueur, most notably produced by Ricard, has long been a national favorite and is particularly emblematic of Marseille where it originated.

Yes, it's true that Champagne can only officially be called such if it is produced in the French region of the same name, but as it turns out, Monaco appears to lay claim to the bubbly as its preferred national beverage. And yes, it's also true that France is one of the most highly regarded wine-producing nations in the world and that the beverage is a major part of the country's dining culture. But that said, let us not forget that the U.S. recently surpassed the French as the world's top wine drinking nation.

Admittedly, the topic of national drinks is somewhat of a subjective one - ripe for debate and likely to ruffle a few feathers. In regards to France, others still might argue that cognac deserves the title. Of course, with some countries the answer is decidedly more obvious. Russia and vodka, Scotland and Scotch, Ireland and Guinness (after all, there is little that can come between and Irishman and his Guinness, except perhaps an Irish woman).

Read on for a tour of the drinks some European countries have rallied behind and adopted as iconic to their identities.

Or, for a taste of the states, check out America's 20 Best Dive Bars and the 150 Best Bars in America.

Text by Tiffany C. Hoang/ The Daily Meal

Filed Under: Food + Drink

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I live in Italy and they drink as much wine as they drink water. How in the world France is the biggest producer of wine I'm not sure. There is a farm or a patch of land every 3 or 4 minutes drive that grows grapes. And the US is the largest consumer of wine, I don't think so. Italians drink wine at lunch and dinner. They are probably also the largest consumers of espresso as that is served at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. Limoncello is produced in abundance here but I rarely see anyone drinking it. They also have grappa as well. Why no mention of that?

August 04 2011 at 1:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In France, pastis is considered predominantly a man's drink. It's also important to remember that it's more popular in some regions of France than others. So, even though it a longstanding tradition of French manhood, it's not necessarily THE definitive national drink.

August 01 2011 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't understand your text on Ouzo. What does it have to do with a hotel in England?

August 01 2011 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kentfreeland's comment

I thought I was totally out of it when I read that. I had to reread to make sure they didn't slip in some reference to Ouzo and I was just a sleep. No they didn't so I am more awake than I thought.

August 01 2011 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply