30 Days of Indie Travel Project: Drink

A "meter of beer" in Saalbach, Austria.

The theme for Day 20 of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project* is Drink.

Just as the cuisine of a place reveals clues about its culture and history, so does its signature local drink. What’s the best drink you had on the road, and did the drink have any connection to the place where you drank it or the people you drank with?

I think a signature drink of a place can stand out just as much – or more – than the food – and it doesn’t have to be fancy to do so. I would never think of Austria or Germany for their cuisine, but their beer?  Heck yeah!

I probably associate certain drinks with places I have traveled – much like I do with music.

Beer, of course, makes me think of Germany and Austria – particularly my several visits to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich and my apres ski experience in Saalbach, Austria.

Hofbrauhaus in Munich.

The pisco sour, of course, I will always associate with Peru – especially hiking the Inca Trail and how refreshing that first pisco was when we reached the restaurant in Aguas Calientes after touring Machu Picchu under cloudy skies and a drizzle that turned into a downpour. I even brought a bottle of Pisco home with me, but I never was able to perfectly duplicate the drinks I enjoyed in Peru. (and I am kind of kicking myself right now that I don’t actually have a picture of a pisco sour to post!)

Enjoying Machu Picchu before heading into town for a much-needed pisco sour!

Gluhwein (hot mulled wine) is another favorite of mine in Germany. When I arrived in Berlin the day after Christmas several years ago,my first stop was the Christmas markets for a mug of gluhwein and a big pretzel.

Alexanderplatz in Berlin the day after Christmas.

Absinthe – which does not cross my mind often – will always remind me of a bizarre night in what I like to call the Russian Mafia bar in Lisbon, Portugal. I didn’t partake, but my friends Ryan and Mark enjoyed a couple glasses of the green stuff!

I left the absinthe drinking to the guys in Lisbon.

Finally, I am no wine connoisseur but I became a big fan of Australian wines after taking winery tours through the Yarra and Barossa Valleys. In the days before the carry-on ban on liquids greater than 3 ounces, I carried eight bottles of wine back to Chicago with me when I returned from Down Under. Six years later, I still tend to order a wine if I see it came from one of the wineries I visited.

At a winery in the Yarra Valley.

*Throughout the month of November, BootsnAll is inviting bloggers from around the world to join them in a daily blogging effort – the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project –  designed to reflect on how our travel experiences over the last year – or whenever – have shaped us and our view of the world. Bloggers can follow the prompts as strictly or loosely as they like, interpreting them in various ways and responding via text, photos or video posted on their own blogs.

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