Studying abroad is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in new cultures…so why bother trying to deny that a signature cocktail is a vital part of any foreign culture? While in Europe, give up the usual rum and coke or vodka soda and try some of the delicious, creative drinks on the European menu! Live it up while you can because once you’re back in America all you will receive is a confused look when you try to order your new go-to beverage.
It’s spritz o’clock! No doubt you’ve already spotted this bright orange drink while out and about in Italy. The orange color comes from Aperol, adding a slightly bitter but addicting taste to the drink!
- 2 to 3 ounces Prosecco or any sparkling wine
- 1 1/2 ounces Aperol*
- Splash of soda water, sparkling water, mineral water, or Club Soda
- Orange wedge or slice
2. Caipiroska & Caipirinha
These lime/sugar based drinks are traditionally Brazilian but are also extremely popular in Europe. If you have a sweet tooth, this drink packs a sugar/alcohol combo punch! Look for variations that feature strawberries, peaches, mangos, or any other kind of fruit.
How to make:
Cut up a lime into 8 wedges. Muddle the wedges in a rocks glass with sugar. Add vodka for caipiroska or cachaca (distilled Brazilian rum made of sugarcane juice) and top with ice. Stir and serve. Add different varieties of fruits for new flavors!
3. Iced tea drinks
These creative and colorful twists on the Long Island Ice tea are a must try while in Europe–there is a different one for just about everyone out there!
Japanese tea, Passion tea, Alaskan tea, Miami tea
When in Florence, make sure to stop by Kikuya Pub in the central Piazza Santa Croce. The Dragoon Strong Ale is extremely popular and as the name suggests, very strong! You won’t find this beer anywhere else in town. Make sure to ask for a lollipop to dip in it!
This strong, bitter aperitif was invented in Florence back when Count Negroni asked the bartender to make his Americano stronger by adding Gin instead of soda water. Cheers to you if you can handle its extremely bitter taste!
- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce Campari
- Slice of orange
The taboo on the “Green Fairy” in the U.S. has students running to sample this infamous spirit while in Europe! Science has proven the myth that absinthe makes consumers hallucinate to be untrue…maybe it’s just the extremely high concentration of alcohol (up to 95% in some kinds) that make absinthe drinkers get weird.
For the full Italian drinking experience, put on a brave face, ignore your screaming taste buds, and take a shot of Grappa! Made with distilled grape skins, this Italian brandy is most definitely an acquired taste.
8. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
When in England, this fruit-and-spice-filled drink is a must try. The official drink of Wimbledon was invented in the 1800s in England. This drink is centered around Pimm’s liquor and can be served with or without gin. If you’re digging Pimm’s, make sure to try Pimm’s Cups 2-7 too!
- 1/2-inch thick English cucumber wheel
- 1/2-inch thick lemon wheel
- 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
- 4 ounces 7UP, lemon-lime soda, or ginger ale
- lemon twist
Continuing with the UK theme, this drink places a British twist on beer. The Brits love a sweet taste with their beer and prefer to add either carbonated lemonade or sprite to it. Order a shandy in the U.S. and you might be met with a strange look.
10. Grapefruit and lemon beer
Is it beer or is it candy? The Croatians have mastered beer for those with a sweet tooth! Looking to rage? This might not be your best choice. This beer is more like a soda, with only 2% alcohol content.
This Italian cocktail is perfect for a summer day. Originally created in Venice, this dessert drink combines only the best ingredients: sorbet and champagne! Make sure to serve it immediately–otherwise it’ll melt!
- 1 cup chilled Prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine)
- 2 tablespoons chilled vodka
- 1/3 cup frozen lemon sorbet
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves