35 Signature Drinks From Around the World

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Mexico: Tequila

There’s no question what Mexico’s signature drink is. The Spanish introduced the technique of distillation to Mexico, and by around 1600, agave juice — which pre-Columbian peoples had brewed into a mildly alcoholic drink called pulque — was being distilled into hard liquor. Made today exclusively from the blue agave plant, tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco and portions of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas.

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Morocco: Mint tea

A sweet green tea flavored with spearmint leaves, mint tea has been an essential beverage in Morocco, as elsewhere in North Africa, since the 19th century. In social situations, it typically takes the place of alcoholic drinks, which are generally avoided by Morocco’s Muslim population.

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The Netherlands: Jenever

The ancestor of everyday gin, jenever (or genever) is a strong spirit flavored with juniper berries. Said to have been invented by a Dutch alchemist in the 17th century (though it may be older), it is made today in two general categories. The first, jonge (young), is based on neutral spirits made from grain or sugar beets and is vodka-like. The other, oude (old), is made with various grains, is sometimes wood-aged, and resembles whisky more than vodka.

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Peru: Pisco

A grape brandy often described as Peru’s national drink (though neighboring Chile also claims it), pisco was invented by the Spanish in the 16th century. One popular way of drinking it is in a pisco sour, blended with egg whites, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters.

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Poland: Vodka

Though it is now made all over the world and is associated mostly with Russia, vodka traces its origins back to late 14th-century Poland, and it remains the most popular form of alcohol in the country to this day. Though it may be distilled from various grains, as elsewhere, potato vodka is a particular Polish specialty.

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