You may remember that a few months ago, I shared Dealchecker’s Food Bucket List, well I’ve been told about a new post. This time, instead of food, it’s drinks from around the world. When it came to food, I managed 19 points out of 101. This time, there’s 57 points to be had, so lets see how I do.
Checking off the list:
4. “Honour Japan’s forefathers and toast them with a glass of Nihonshu. Although sake is widely considered to be the country’s tipple of choice, the word in fact refers to any alcoholic drink in Japanese.” Apparently, Nihonshu can also be referred to as sake- a general Japanese term for alcohol. I have had sake but since I’ve never been to Japan and I don’t know whether I’ve had Nihonshu specifically, I’ll take no points here.
7. “For the ultimate way to enjoy a drink in style, head to the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore for a traditional Singapore Sling. Make sure you complete the ritual by tucking into a handful of peanuts and leaving the shells on the floor.” I’ve only spent a couple of days in Singapore but a Singapore Sling was on my to-do list. I shared one with a friend one afternoon in Chinatown (so not quite the Raffles Hotel) and I have to say that I didn’t think that much of it. But it’s got me one whole point now.
10. “Intrepid explorers the world over swap stories of bravely downing shots of Laos and Vietnam’s infamous Snake Wine. Fermented over many years and infused with venom, this is possibly the king of acquired tastes.” If I could pick any of the drinks of the list, it probably wouldn’t be Snake Wine but I have done it. I was offered some liquid from a big jar full of snakes on a tour of the Mekong Delta river. It was as soon as it sounds but made for some good travel anecdotes. One point for me.
12. “Long considered the ultimate Indian delicacy, tea is now being overthrown by an invasion of western coffee chains in its country of origin. Reject Starbucks, and celebrate the king of beverages by sipping a steaming cupful of Assam!” Now I haven’t been to India but I have drunk way too much tea for me not to get any tea-related points. And I’m not just talking about teabag tea (although this is where the vast majority of my intake comes from), I like leaves too. Recently, my friend bought me back a bag of tea leaves from Sri Lanka. I think that’s enough to get me half a point.
18. “For the ultimate in fresh food, shimmy up a palm tree in Papua New Guinea and pick yourself a nice, juicy coconut – hack into it and all you need is a straw!” I don’t think I’ve ever had a fresh coconut (the one time I stayed on a Caribbean island I was warned we’d probably get sick from eating the ones lying around- and indeed those who dared did) but I have drank from a coconut using a straw so I’ll take a half point thank you.
22. “There’s not a bartender on Earth who whips up a Mojito quite like the Cubans. Enjoy the fresh, zingy flavour famed the world over and propose a toast to the drink’s alleged creator, Sir Francis Drake.” Now I have never actually been to Cuba but I have had my fair share of mojitos so I am taking half a point for that.
23. “Despite what the British say, the best place on earth to settle down to afternoon tea is Bermuda, where the ritual has become a true national institution and is observed daily.” As above, I’m taking a half point for the afternoon tea I’ve had in Blighty.
25. “Add a touch of class to your evening drink in Hawaii, and head to the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel for a traditional Mai Tai.” Again, never been to Hawaii, have drunk Mai Tais. Half a point for me.
30. “Join the locals for a taste of Argentina’s popular, caffine rich drink Mate, which is passed around and sipped through a communal straw.” As much as I’d love to go to Argentina, I have yet to make the trip. I have also never had Mate, but I have tried the caffeine-packed Club Mate in Berlin- but that’s not the same. Nil point for me.
40. “With over 400 varieties of beer, Belgium is the unlikely producer of a vast amount of the world’s favourite drink. If you are feeling particularly religious, sample a Trappist Beer, traditionally brewed in a monastery.” I went to Belgium and I cannot believe that I didn’t have any beer but I don’t actually remember. I won’t take a point but I wanted to point out that I may deserve one here.
42. “Rub shoulders with the aristocracy, and sip a glass of Pimms at a traditional English polo match.” Despite living in England and drinking a lot of Pimms over the years, I have never done it alongside aristocracy at a polo match. As far as I’m concerned, the rightful place for Pimms is at a summer BBQ in someone’s back garden so I’m taking one point.
43. “Northern Spain is famed for its traditionally brewed Sidre, but by far the best way to experience it is within a local Sideria, where the floors are scattered with straw and the Sidre poured by expert waiters from a great height to aerate it. Note that when drinking in Spain, there is never a ‘last drink’ only a ‘penultimate’ one, as the last is thought to be the final one of your life!” By my translation, Sidre is Spanish Cider. I can’t recall if I did actually drink it in Spain but I’ve had enough of the stuff to claim half a point.
45. “We all love a bit of Prosecco, but the Italians take the drink very seriously, and rarely ever have a glass without a full meal. Make sure you’re extra hungry before taking part in any traditional feast!” As with Belgium beer, there is a good chance I had Prosecco when I was last in Italy but I can’t say it with enough certainty to take a whole point. I’ll take half a point though as I most certainly have sampled the drink elsewhere.
53. “Red Bush Tea is a common sight along the aisles of British supermarkets, but why not sample a cup in its country of origin, Botswana.” You’ll have caught the drift by now that I’ve drank more drinks than I’ve been to countries (as I imagine most people have) so once again no Botswana, several Red Bush Teas. Half a point.
54. “What better way to welcome the Egyptian sunset than with a glass of exotic Kardakay, a subtly pink drink made from fresh hibiscus flowers.” Now I have no idea what it was called but the first drink I had when I got to Egypt was a glass of some kind of hibiscus drink. Whatever it was, it was good. Since I’m lacking in points here, I’m going to say it was Kardakay and take one point here.
So all in all, that’s 8 points out of 57. I feel like should have done better, I’ve tried goon in Australia, sugarcane drink and the local tea in Egypt, wine and Spritz by the Grand Canal in Venice, beer in Germany, bubble tea in Hong Kong and probably much more. However, numbers don’t like so it looks like I have some travelling, some eating and some drinking to do. I won’t argue with that.
Some of the ones still left to do:
I won’t include the full list of 57 but there’s some drinks and experiences I would really like to try. I have to admit, I’ve skipped the extra strong sprits and drinks made of poo.
24. “Call yourself a meat lover? Why not sample the USA’s latest addition to the drinks market – Bacon Vodka. Made by infusing vodka with the essence of peppered bacon strips, this is the kind of flavour that can only be consumed in shots…” Hate vodka, love bacon. Since bacon makes everything better I’d be willing to give vodka another chance.
27. “Breathe in the sweet scent of a steaming mug of Canelazo in Ecuador. Best enjoyed during an after-dark celebration, this is a welcome warmer made with boiled sugarcane and cinnamon.” I’ve never heard of Canelazo but it sounds pretty tasty to me.
28. “Sweet-toothed travellers will be in heaven with a glass of Guyana’s Peanut Punch – a syrupy delight made from peanut butter, milk and sugar.” I love peanut butter so although I’m sceptical about it working in a drink, I am more than happy to give it a go.
29. “Swigging on a glass of Brazil’s sugarcane spirit Cachaca is the best way to while away a sunset-framed evening – however, you might not even know you’ve ordered it as this national favourite has over 2000 nicknames!” I generally hate drinking straight spirits but a sugarcane spirit sounds worth a least a sip.
34. “Smoothie lovers will delight in a glass of Afghanistan’s ever-popular Dugh, a refreshing treat made from yoghurt and rose water – the perfect cooling antidote to the beating, midday sun.” I’m not a massive fan of rose-flavoured treats but I like smoothies and if I found myself in the desert sun then I reckon I would probably appreciate this.
39. “Swig back a Finnish Sahti – the country’s beloved national drink. This berry flavoured ale is such a crucial part of Finland’s heritage, that the national poem features more references to its origin than to that of the Finns themselves.” I’m not a massive ale-drinker but fruit flavoured ale is definitely more my thing.
52. “You haven’t truly experienced South Africa until you have sampled a glass of Amarula. Produced using the fruit of the Marula tree, this creamy liqueur is said to be the chosen libation of the local wildlife, who deliberately intoxicate themselves by eating fermented Marula fruit – that’s what you call a party animal.” If it’s good enough for the animals, it is good enough for me.
55. “Keeping cool in the burning Namibian sun is a lot easier when chilling out with a friend and bottle of Mataku, a traditional wine made from watermelon – refreshing and relaxing!” I like wine, I like watermelon- I imagine this would work.
56. “Until fairly recently, most drinking establishments (Shebeens) were run by women in South Africa – make your beer experience more authentic by pulling up a stool at the tavern of a local Shebeen Queen.” Whilst I am not generally fussed about beer, sampling it with a Shebeen Queen would make for a fantastic story.