Alcohol in countries around the world!

Not that once we embark on that much awaited holiday, we all become raging alcoholics, but a lot of us do like our booze. Buying cheap alcohol from the corner shop for drinking games in the hostel, wine tastings as an excuse to get a tipsy with the unlimited drinks, and a couple of beers while just chilling over dinner. But if you drink the local liquor it can actually be quite a cultural experience (or that’s the excuse we at BonAppetour like to give).

Wherever you go in the world, countries tend to have their own traditional alcoholic drink that they produce or the locals consume socially. The creation of this alcohol and the way it is served, is in fact, an art form in itself and forms part of the culture and identity of the country. There’s a lot of booze and a lot of countries out there, so here’s a collection of some different alcoholic drinks in countries around the world. 

Greece - Ouzo

Ouzo is a clear spirit with a distinct flavour of aniseed, a bit like Sambuca, which is particularly strong. Produced in Greece and Cyprus, it is usually drunk in shot form or mixed with water, making it become a milky white colour. In Greece, people often drink ouzo in cafe-like ouzeries, where it is served with appetizers called mezedes.

Italy - Limoncello 

Limoncello is a yummy yellow lemon liquor made in southern Italy. As can be guessed from the name, Limoncello is made from juicy lemon skin, and is usually served as an after dinner drink, either on its own or with an Italian dessert. This strong but sweet drink is kept in the freezer so it’s served nice and cold and is meant to be sipped and enjoyed slowly, not drunk as a shot. It is made from just four ingredients- lemon zest, grain alcohol, water and sugar and can be left to ferment for up to 80 days. 

Sweden - Glögg

Glögg is the term for mulled wine in the Nordic countries. The main classic ingredients are (usually) red wine, sugar or syrup, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit or brandy. Glögg is generally served with raisins, blanched almonds andgingerbread, and is a popular hot drink during the Christmas season.

India - Fenny

Fenny, sometimes also spelt Feni, is a clear spirit produced exclusively in Goa, India. There are two types of Fenny, cashew fenny and coconut fenny, depending on the original ingredient. Fenny can be served neat or over ice, and can be mixed in classic cocktails or with juices.

Japan - Sake

Sake is a form of rice wine, that can be served hot or cold. Most people may have tried it with sushi at a Japanese restaurant. Although it is called sake in English, in Japan it is known as Nihonshu. Sake is made from only rice and water and involves a fancy process called “multiple parallel fermentation”. The starch from the rice is converted into sugar, then the sugar is converted into alcohol using yeast. Sake requires a special type of rice with a high starch content and the better the rice, the better the sake.

Spain - Sangria

There are many different recipes and ways of making fresh sangria, and everyone has their own personal favourite. It is a fruity alcoholic punch that is typically made in Spain using red wine, although if you’re making white sangria, then white wine is used. Sangria usually contains red wine, some sort of sugar, spirits such as triple sec or brandy, ice, soda or lemonade and chopped up fruits like oranges and apples. It is usually served in a jug with a wooden spoon to stop the fruit going into the individual glasses when poured. 

Brazil - Cachaca

Cachaça (pronounced kah-SHAH-sah) is a distilled spirit from Brazil that is a style of rum. The difference is that cachaça is made from sugar cane juice where rum uses molasses. 
Cachaça is made exclusively in Brazil and is very popular in that country where it is commonly referred to as “pinga” and was often thought a poor man’s drink. Over recent years it has gained recognition internationally and the Caipirinha is the most popular drink made with this spirit and is Brazil’s national drink.

There’s definitely plenty more out there! Let us know what else there is to add on to the list? And which ones you have tried already!

The 6 people you meet at a BonAppetour dinner

Part of the fun of going for a dinner party involves meeting new people. Friends of the host you have never met, or the random party crasher. When you book a dinner with Bonappetour, your gracious host isn’t necessarily going to be the only new face you see. Bonappetour dinners are social events and there are often other guests as well for you to eat, drink with and get to know. It adds to the atmosphere by having not only local guests but fellow travellers. In honor of the interesting people you can expect to meet at a Bonappetour dinner, we have compiled a list of the different types of people you might meet.

The Globetrotter

He has seen the world, climbed a few mountains to boot, scuba-dived with sharks and is planning to trek for 2 months in the Amazon next fall. He has a hundred and one different stories about the incredible places he has been to and the many interesting characters he has met along his travels. Don’t be envious of his adventures; you should pepper him with as many questions as possible to learn more about other travel destinations so that you’re well prepared for your next trip. Think of him as your teacher and yourself as Walter Mitty from the recent Ben Stiller film. You could be that globetrotter one day.

The Honeymooners

They just got hitched a week ago and they can’t seem to keep their hands of one another. They are both probably very warm people and this might even be their first trip abroad as a couple. Ask them how they met; I’m sure you’ll be treated to an incredibly romantic tale. So long as their public displays of affection aren’t too overt, we could all probably pick up some great dating advice from them if we haven’t met the one yet.

The grad trippers

They just finished college and are now backpacking their way across Europe with a rail pass. They’ve been roughing it thus far and it’s a great experience for them to finally have a nice home cooked meal. They’re a fun group of people and if you really hit it off, you just might want to consider continuing the after party with them. I’m sure after a few days in town; they would have found a great local bar with just the right atmosphere plus cheap drinks. If not, I’m quite sure your Bonappetour host can recommend a great place for the after party.

Eat pray love

Life’s full of up’s and down’s. Sometimes to move on from a breakup or to get through a mid-life crisis, all you need is a trip which will change the way you see the world just like the protagonist of Elizabeth Glibert’s memoir, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Some might mistake them to be melancholy guests, however coming off a low, they have finally learnt to seize every happiness and can make for very interesting conversation partners. You never know, you might just learn something about the arbitrariness of life from them.

The retirees

They probably remind you of your parents and that’s not a bad thing. They’re really sweet people who’ve been working and saving hard for their family and now that all their kids have flown the coop, they finally have the time to see the world. They might be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of taking a meal at a Bonappetour host but once they get into the swing of things, they’re really great company to have around. 9 times out of 10, they have really great, heart-warming stories to share about their family and life experiences. Just beware the occasional lecture, especially if they say you remind them of their son or daughter.

That guy from your hometown

Somehow, on every trip you make abroad, you always seem to run into someone from your hometown or country. There’s something about being in a foreign land that makes it seem like you are waving a giant country flag over your head. It draws your fellow countrymen near and it can be really fun meeting someone from home on your trip abroad. At a Bonappetour dinner, it can be great to share little stories about home and it’s always really easy to relate to people from home while overseas. It’s a home away from home experience. 

We’re quite sure that there are plenty of other types of Bonappetour guests out there so you really shouldn’t wait much longer to meet them. Do browse through the experiences happening around the world, and make some memories of your own. And if you have met any other interesting types of people while dining with us, do let us know :)

Be a great guest everyone wants to invite!

Going for a Bonappetour dinner is a rather new way to meet locals while experiencing the local cuisine. As a first time guest you might be nervous or unsure regarding the customs of the country you are visiting but a Bonappetour dining experience is very similar to going over to a friend’s place for a dinner party when you think about it. To help make your Bonappetour meal the highlight of your vacation, we have put together some handy tips for Bonappetour guests.

1) Don’t cancel on the host

Once a Bonappetour reservation is confirmed, your chosen host begins the arduous task of purchasing ingredients, preparing their homes and embarking on a marathon cooking spree to serve up a scrumptious spread for your arrival. We like to think of a Bonappetour dinner as any normal dinner party invitation and barring some truly unexpected circumstances, don’t leave your gracious host waiting all night for your arrival while dinner gets cold. If you really do have to cancel, do try and let them know way in advance.

2) Don’t be too punctual

Hosts are never quite ready at the agreed upon time. Anyone who has ever held a dinner party can attest to the fact that we always underestimate how much time is needed to prepare each item, so turn up a few minutes late. Your host would probably appreciate being given a few extra minutes to set the table and prepare their dishes. They are probably just as nervous to meet you as you are so don’t turn up too early or it might knock them off their routine.

3) Let your host know what you can / can’t eat

While abroad, not every food item translates easily from the native tongue to English, or any other language for that matter. Let us know on the Bonappetour page first or communicate to your host if you have concerns about some of the things they are preparing to offer you. Our friendly hosts are always willing to go the extra mile to help make your meal just right. No one wants to have their face swell up on a vacation due to an allergic shellfish reaction. There’s always an off chance that you may discover a new food allergy while abroad, but don’t let that knock you off your stride, it would make for a great story to tell your friends back home.

4) Don’t bring additional guests.

I know you just met this incredible couple touring Florence. You feel as if you have known each other for decades and you have already invited Dave and Katie to join you next summer in Greece but surprising a Bonappetour host with more guests can be really stressful for them. They might have only prepared enough food and drink for your party. While it may be fine to call in advance and ask to bring more guests, you place the host in the uncomfortable position of coming across as uncompromising or sticking with what’s comfortable for them. Don’t worry too much about Dave and Katie, they’ll be fine for a few hours without you.

5) Step away from the kitchen

Some hosts love it if their guests come into the kitchen and join them in dicing, slicing and preparing the next course, and it’s a real courteous thing to offer to give them a hand. But if your host asks you to stick to the dining area, don’t be too insistent. While I’m sure they will find the gesture touching, some chefs are more comfortable preparing their food without someone looking over their shoulder or making conversation in the kitchen. Some food preparation can require the chef to be really precise and a distracting guest can throw them off. That being said, here at Bonappetour, we have plenty of chefs who would offer you a master class in preparing their favorite recipes and even email you the recipe to boot so you can show off to your friends at home your authentic Paella Valenciana just the way Juan taught you.

6) Be yourself

We understand that it can be a bit uncomfortable meeting new people in the intimate setting of a home for the first time but don’t let that stop you from being your friendly amusing self. You don’t have to be a comedian but just be engaging and interested in what others have to say. If there is a pause in the conversation, jump right in with a little anecdote. If all else fails, just complement your host on the lovely meal or ask them anything about the ingredients or cooking style behind meal. They’ll be more than happy to tell you on how to choose the best olive oil.

7) Bring something along from home

If you know in advance that you’re going to be having a Bonappatour dinner on your vacation, why not bring along a small trinket, token, or whatever you fancy for your host. Anything that reminds you of home would be really great and we’re sure that your Bonappetour host would love the thoughtful gesture and it will act as a reminder to them of the wonderful time they had hosting you on.

BonAppetour creates unique dining experiences with locals at their homes anywhere around the world.

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