30 May What Are Popular Lebanese Drinks?
Lebanese restaurants offer a range of tempting drinks, from hot beverages, refreshing juices, alcoholic tipples, and unique local recipes. Here’s a guide to some delicious popular beverages that you will find on a Lebanese drinks menu to accompany your meal.
This is a popular Lebanese distilled alcoholic beverage. It’s flavoured with anise, which tastes like black liquorice, but it’s a pale or clear colour. It was originally developed for cosmetic purposes in the Middle East, but became a fashionable drink in later eras. Although it’s a spirit, it can be made from grapes from Mediterranean vineyards.
This is a yoghurt drink with dried mint, which is commonly served throughout Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It’s served chilled, and is a savoury drink that evolved to accompany meat and rice dishes. Traditional flavouring was simply salt, but now herbs such as mint are usually added. It can also be topped up with lime juice and served with diced cucumbers.
Lebanese tea and coffee
Coffee is a very important drink in Lebanon; a part of the cultural fabric, and is usually made from ground Arabica beans. It is traditionally served strong and black, with optional sugar and cardamon flavourings. Beware of ordering white coffee, as in some areas this means hot water flavoured with orange blossom, rather than a caffeine-based beverage!
Tea in Lebanon is often served iced, sweetened, flavoured with lemon slices, and topped with spices or pine nuts. It’s very soothing and refreshing, the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Lebanon is a fine wine producing region, and is particularly noted for its Cabernet Sauvignon. This aromatic wine has a strong spicy flavour, with overtones of chocolate. Another notable wine is the Cinsault, a red that blends well with other grape varieties. It’s produced by the noted Chateau Musar winery, north of Beirut.