Today, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is integral to socialization and culture in many countries, especially in Europe. One should know these hot drinks which are popular around the European Countries.

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By Roland Stephen
Whisky bottles arranged London Bar

The drinks can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Read through this article for the top beverages one can enjoy when visiting Europe. People in the European Union consume more alcohol than in any other part of the world, drinking an average of 8.71 liters, or around 25 beer-sized glasses of pure alcohol, per person a year. Beer and wine aside, most countries and regions have a distilled beverage or hard liquor that’ll strip your taste buds and have you gasping for air. Here are top liquors used in European countries.

01 Whisky

Whisky or whiskey is a spirit made from fermented grains, typically corn, rye, wheat, and barley, and is always aged, predominantly in oak barrels. The story of its discovery provokes heated debates, since both Irish and Scots claim whisky as their invention. The art of distillation spread to Ireland and Scotland no later than the 15th century, as did the common European practice of distilling "aqua vitae", spirit alcohol, primarily for medicinal purposes. With a license to distil Irish whiskey from 1608, the Old Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland is the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.

Because of the lack of written evidence, it is difficult to state where it first originated, first companies started to export their whisky, primarily to the British Empire and the United States. Despite its varying popularity, whisky has become an international drink and has recently seen a revival. Apart from Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, it is produced in many other countries, creating a wide group of drinks that may differ in their base ingredient, distillation process, and the length of maturation.

02 Champagne

Champagne poured into glass

There are as many good reasons to pop a bottle of champagne as there are reasons to celebrate: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, Fridays, Saturday nights. Popularly known as the gold standard of sparkling wine, true Champagne only comes from the actual Champagne region in France. Champagne is typically produced from a few specific varieties of grapes: pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier. . In Europe, this is enforced by the European Union under the Protected Designation of Origin status. Because of this, sparkling wines from other countries are sold under other names such as prosecco or spumante (Italy), cava (Spain), and sekt (Germany and Austria). Champagne is high in acidity, balanced by its light body and delicate bubbles. Most are white wines and therefore low in tannins.

03 Scotch Whisky

Scotch Whisky

From smoky blends to sherry bombs to everything in between, the best Scotch whiskies bring ample flavour with every sip. Scotch is the renowned whisky variety hailing from Scotland. Although it can be made with the addition of other grains or cereals, the original Scottish whisky has to be made with a base of water and malted barley—barley that has been soaked and allowed to germinate. The grains are fermented only by using yeast, and no artificial additions can be added, apart from the plain caramel coloring. All Scotch whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years in oak casks, and the age is dictated by the youngest whisky in the blend.

04 Vodka

Vodka bottles

Vodka is composed mainly of water and ethanol but sometimes with traces of impurities and flavorings. Since the 1890s, standard vodkas have been 40% alcohol by volume (ABV) (80 U.S. proof). The European Union has established a minimum alcohol content of 37.5% for vodka. Vodka in the United States must have a minimum alcohol content of 40%. The history of vodka remains unclear, with both Russia and Poland claiming to be the place of origin. Today it is produced worldwide, and most notable brands include Smirnoff, Stolichnaya, Russian Standard, Finlandia, Grey Goose, and Absolut. The taste of vodka is primarily reflected in the use of the base material, but it is typically strong, with a long-lasting finish. Though it is a standard element in many classic cocktails such as Vodka martini, Vodka tonic, White Russian, and Cosmopolitan.

05 Gin

Gin is a clear, light-bodied spirit that owes its taste profile to a variety of spices (primarily juniper) which are added to the basic grain. Gin originated as a medicinal liquor made by monks and alchemists across Europe, particularly in southern France, Flanders and the Netherlands, to provide aqua vita from distillates of grapes and grains. Determining the best gin is subjective; you'll find gin in an array of styles with varying botanicals. Some of the best gin brands are well-known, while others come from small, craft distilleries. Because of its complex flavor, gin is used in many classic cocktails such as Martini, Gin and tonic, Gimlet, Vesper, Negroni, Singapore sling, Tom Collins, and Gin fizz. Jenever—the Dutch juniper-flavored spirit that was invented in the 16th century—is believed to be a predecessor of all gin varieties.

06 Cognac

Hennesey Cognac

This classic French brandy is distilled from grapes in order to produce eau-de-vie, which is then aged and blended to make cognac. The drink originated when it was revealed that eau-de-vie brandy of the Charente region develops different and more sophisticated flavors when aged in oak casks. Among the specified grapes, Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Émilion, is most widely used. The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wines barrel age, and most cognacs spend considerably longer "on the wood" than the minimum legal requirement. There are two additional classifications beyond these main categories that cover cognacs that have seen more age than XO: XXO (extra extra old) is reserved for cognacs that have been aged for 14 years or longer.

07 Sangria

Sangria Drink

Sangria is probably one of the most known Spanish drinks. And that’s completely understandable because it’s delicious, refreshing, and so good! This beverage is perfect to have during the summertime and it’s great to serve on a dinner with friends. Sangria is a fruity Spanish cocktail made with red wine and chopped fruits such as pears, peaches, berries, apples, nectarines, or pineapple. The beverage is often combined with sugar, orange juice, sparkling water, and even brandy. It is believed that the predecessor of Sangria is hippocras, a beverage made with wine, sugar, and spices.

08 Lager

Lagers tend to be light and crisp on the palate much like white wines. They match well with fast food, spicy take-out (pizza, Mexican, West Indian, Greek, hot wings) and fast-fry (pork chops, Italian and German sausages). They go well with barbecue, hot weather and TV sports. Lagers really go well with today's lifestyle. Lagers are used as appetite enhancers, thirst quenchers or palate cleansers to prepare the mouth for the next flavour. Enjoy lagers cold 7 - 9°C with virtually any meal. Along with ale, lager is one of the two main beer categories, and in terms of production, it is the most common beer style in the world.

The main distinction between lagers and ales depends on the type of yeast. Lagers use Saccharomyces pastorianus, generally known as bottom-fermenting yeasts, which ferment more slowly and at cooler temperatures than ale yeasts. Lagers come in a wide variety of styles, which differ in color, alcohol content, and flavors, but they tend to have a cleaner and crispier character than ales.

09 Bordeaux

Bordeaux Wine Special

Bordeaux region is the largest wine growing area in France that comprises of more than fifty different appellations. Bordeaux region is the largest wine growing area in France that comprises of more than fifty different appellations. The predominant style is red, but the region also produces sweet and dry whites, rosés and sparkling wines. Red Bordeaux wines are mostly produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, or occasionally Carménère. They are soft, elegant and silky, with aromas of dark fruit, truffles, spices, smoke, tar, and leather.

10 Amaro

Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur that is commonly consumed as an after-dinner digestif. It usually has a bitter-sweet flavour, sometimes syrupy, and has an alcohol content between 16% and 40%. Amaro is typically produced by macerating herbs, roots, flowers, bark, and/or citrus peels in alcohol, either neutral spirits or wine, mixing the filtrate with sugar syrup, and allowing the mixture to age in casks or bottles.