Alcoholic beverages have been part of human culture and tradition. Celebrations and festivities seem incomplete if there are no alcoholic drinks. Different cultural groups used different ingredients in fermenting such alcoholic drinks.
Here’s a collection of the most popular fermented drinks from the different parts of the world.
1.) Palm Wine – Philippines and other tropical countries
Palm Wine is fermented sap of several species of palm tree. It is also called Palm Toddy or simply Toddy. This sweet-tasting alcoholic beverage is known by various names and it is called “tuba” in the Philippines.
Photo courtesy of the writer
You’ll certainly find “tuba” from Luzon down to the Visayas and Mindanao. It’s sweet tasting but don’t drink too much because it can hit you so hard.
2.) Chicha – South America
Chicha is a fermented beverage from South America which is derived from maize but can also be made from manioc root, which is more popularly known as yucca or cassava, fruits and other ingredients. It has a pale straw color, a slightly milky appearance, and a slightly sour aftertaste, reminiscent of hard apple cider. It is drunk either young and sweet or mature and strong.
3.) Pulque –Mexico
Pulque is an alcoholic beverage of Mexico. This milk-colored traditional native beverage is made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. It is also called Octli.
4.) Basi – Philippines/Guyana
One of the most popular fermented drinks in the Philippines especially in the northern part of the country is the Basi. It is made of sugarcane. It is also very popular in Guyana.
5.) Mbege – Tanzania
Mbege is a traditional brew of Tanzania particularly by the Chagga ethnic group. This fermented alcoholic beverage is made from bananas and finger millet. The Chaggas have been known to make it for centuries. It is usually enjoyed in Chagga festivities like, weddings, births and Christian confirmation parties.
6.) Tongba – Nepal/India
Tongba is a fermented millet-based alcoholic beverage of Nepal and parts of India. Tongba is the traditional and indigenous drink of the Limbu people of eastern Nepal.
7.) Makgeolli – Korea
Makgeolli is a popular fermented drink from Korea. This alcoholic beverage is made from a mixture of wheat and rice which gives it a milky and sweet taste. Mixture of rice, wheat and water are boiled and fermented. It is about 7% alcohol by volume. It is both popular in rural and urban areas.
8.) Nigori – Japan
Nigori is a variety of sake – Japan’s most popular traditional alcoholic drink. It is made from rice. It is also called Nigorizake. The term Nigori means “cloudy”. It was so named because of the cloudy appearance of this alcoholic beverage. It is about 17% alcohol by volume.
9.) Huangjiu – China/Taiwan
Huangjiu is an alcoholic beverage from China. It is brewed from different grains such as millet, rice and wheat then traditionally pasteurized, aged, and filtered. This fermented wine is also used in Chinese cooking. Huangjiu literally means Yellow Wine.
Whereever you, whereever you are - ALWAYS DRINK MODERATELY!