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6 Cooling Summer Drinks of Europe

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Most nations call some kind of beverage the national coolant for keeping the people from dehydration in the summer months, but it’s interesting as to actually how diverse the variety is from a relatively small continent.

Additionally, some of these drinks aren’t at all hard to make and sample, however strange they may seem.

Lemonade – Britain

Victorian recipe books record numerous (and often strange) ways of making the perfect lemonade, which was usually consumed in the garden accompanied by a reserved game of bridge – some recipes even involve leaving overnight and straining through muslin (in layman’s terms, the thin material often used to make curtains and wedding dresses alike). A general consensus reached by most is to include some of the bitter rind into the recipe somewhere along the line for taste.

Polish Rhubarb Honey – Poland

As you might have guessed from the title, this popular Polish summer drink is extremely refreshing with the sourness of the rhubarb contrasting with the sweetness of the honey all poured over ice. It tastes a little bit like cranberry juice and is probably a little bit healthier than the Lemonade because of the addition of honey.

Limoncello – Italy

Before the seasoned Starbucks fan inquires, the Frappuccino is merely a product of the vivid imaginations of corporate fat cats who wanted to find a way to keep coffee sales high in the summer and is no more Italian than the Yeti. But Limoncello, thankfully, is. It’s simply an Italian lemon liqueur made from sugar, lemons, water and pure alcohol and is frequently drunk cold after meal times to aid digestion.

Strawberry Bowle – Germany

It’s called “Bowle” because it’s served from a large glass bowl in the manner of Punch. Made with Brandy, Champagne, Dry White Wine, and Strawberries, it’s said to be quite a good mix. It should be served in a wide, flat glass with a bit of fruit in the manner of a martini. It’s deceptively light while actually very alcoholic.

La Terre Rouge– France

A simple Red French table wine, ideal for picnics and for just about anything, comes from a blend merlot, grenache, and carignan grapes from different regions of Southern France to at varying altitudes and temperatures to really give the wine some substance.

Sangria – Spain

Sangria is a wine punch consumed all over Spain during the sweltering summers. There are many different variants and recipes of the famous drink, but most include red wine, lemonade, and fruit. Many modern varieties contain shots of Bacardi or Vodka, or vast amounts of ice and 7-up to weaken it accordingly, which may be wise if some of the drinkers are a little youthful and inexperienced. It’s so popular in Spain that it can even be bought bottled, but that detracts from the fun of making it yourself and serving it with the authentic bits of fruit floating around in it.

Photo of refreshing drinks by Mickael Dietch

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer paul crompton

Paul Crompton is an avid reader and has a passion for cars and technology, primarily. He loves traveling to whichever exotic travel location which is cheap. His dream is to become an advertising executive.

8 responses to “6 Cooling Summer Drinks of Europe”

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  1. Colin says:
    June 15th, 2009 at 13:44

    Hey paul,

    Great list! Might I add that more expensive sangria substitutes the red wine with champagne, a delicious deviation from the original recipe.

    As much as I would like to give you a dutch summer drink, the only one I can think of is beer, which doesn’t help battle dehydration at all :-P. It is refreshing though, and on a hot summers day you will find terraces filled with beer-drinkers.

  2. simon says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 14:22

    My turkish friend used to make this drink with yogurt water and salt when it got warm in the summer. Don’t remember what he called it though.

  3. Qt says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 19:51

    For something italian really refreshing that everyone could drink (no alchool) you may want to try granita, minced ice flavored usually with mint or lemon (or most commonly in southern regions) coffee, but lately you may find every kind of flavour, from watermelon to cola.

  4. Marion says:
    July 7th, 2009 at 10:00

    If you visit Rome in summer, you can also try “grattachecca”, a cup of shaved ice served with syrup and pieces of fruit. You can find Grattachecca stands along the River Tiber and in different areas of Rome.

  5. restaurants wakefield says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:45

    Ooh my… Even with todays weather (which is damp and dismal) I could drink the whole lot. They all sound very refreshing and the ones i’ve tried are fantastic. Great post.

  6. Paul Crompton says:
    August 6th, 2009 at 17:23

    Simon’s Turkish Drink I believe is called Ayran. Sounds like it could be quite an acquired taste!

  7. Tess Elliott says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 19:21

    Am a fan of limoncello but I have to say, the variety made on Capri is undeniably the best version of it. I tend to mix it with ice water on the rocks for a very refreshing hot weather relief. It’s hard to get the Capri variety unless a friend brings it back for you. That’s how I discovered what I was missing, having only tasted the one I can buy here. Oh, the difference is unbelieveable!

  8. Mike says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 15:00

    I like the sound of the Polish Rhubarb Honey Drink.

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