Did you go dry for January?
There are some wonderful non-alcoholic drinks around the world, from zesty lemon blends to coffee with a kick. Here are eight of my favourites, with extra information on great trips to be had in each location...
Chicha morada, Peru
Usually served fresh in street markets, chicha morada is a staple beverage in Peru. Made from boiled purple corn, pineapple rind, cinnamon and cloves, it has a mildly sweet, nutty taste which is surprisingly rejuvenating thanks to the variety of ingredients.
While the ink-like purple colour might be unusual, it is rich in antioxidants and supports a healthy heart.
Grab a cup of chicha morada during a visit to the bustling markets of Cusco on a 'Classic Peru' trip.
Highlights of Classic Peru Trip
The moment when you catch your first glimpse of the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu is simply unforgettable, and for many this is the reason to visit Peru. But there is so much more to this diverse country. Spend time with the locals during a homestay at Lake Titicaca, watch condors wheeling over the Colca Canyon and unwind in the tranquil sacred valley on this journey through ancient lands.
Tangy and refreshing with a burst of sweetness, limonana can be found in many restaurants throughout the Middle East, including on a 'Jordan Discovery' tour.
Blending freshly squeezed lemon, a generous helping of mint leaves, sugar, ice and still water, limonana is packed with vitamin C, and also aids in digestion.
Highlights of Jordan Discovery Tour
Discover the rugged beauty, delicious food and rich heritage of Jordan.
Explore Petra in depth; learn about Jordan's biblical heritage as you travel in the footsteps of Moses at Mount Nebo; sleep like a Bedouin in Wadi Rum; and float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.
Arabic coffee, Saudi Arabia
Arabic coffee involves a different style of preparation than what you might be used to.
Using finely ground coffee beans - almost like a powder - the coffee is boiled with sugar and cardamom in a special pot called a briki.
The process of making and serving Arabic coffee - alongside dates and sweets - is a sign of warm hospitality for welcoming guests.
While exploring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, every hotel will treat you to this indulgent spread upon arrival.
Highlights of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Trip
There are few places in the world that could be described as outside the reaches of tourism, and Saudi Arabia may be one of them.
Images of desert adventures or busy souks are only one side of this eclectic country, known as the birthplace of Islam.
This trip will introduce a Saudi Arabia of high mountains, chaotic camel markets, diverse food and a history that spans prehistoric rock art, the ancient spice trade and Lawrence's Arabian deserts.
Mango lassi, Northern India
Originating around 1,000 BC in Northern India, lassis are a blend of dahi (a traditional Indian yoghurt), water, spices and fruit.
Creamy and refreshing, mango lassi can be enjoyed usually after meal times to aid digestion, but it’s just as good to cool off during a warm day on a 'Highlights of Northern India' trip. When it’s especially hot, some even prefer a lassi over a hefty meal.
Highlights of Northern India Trip
This trip is North India at its best. Going beyond the 'Golden Triangle', you can seek out Bengal tigers in Ranthambore, take a boat trip down the Chambal River in search of endangered Gharial crocodiles, and witness the spiritual evening aarti ceremony in Varanasi.
Combining a strong, rich coffee with a helping of sweet and creamy condensed milk, Vietnamese coffee - cà phê sữa nóng - makes a flavourful energy boost for the day ahead.
The coffee is brewed using a Phin filter, which slowly drips the brew onto a tablespoon of condensed milk. Simply stir and enjoy!
Alternatively, you can pour your coffee over ice to create cà phê sua dá (iced Vietnamese coffee), an excellent on-the-go option during an 'Inside Vietnam' tour.
Highlights of Inside Vietnam Tour
Travelling along 2,000 miles of coastline, experience spectacular landscapes, try fresh and tasty local food, explore UNESCO-listed towns and learn about the ancient and modern history on an epic journey across Vietnam.
Wander through the bustling narrow streets of the Old Quarter in Hanoi; explore the magnificent Imperial Citadel and cruise along the Perfume River in Hue; and take a sampan along palm-lined canals and barter for exotic fruit in the Mekong Delta.
Served in a unique tulip-shaped tea glass, Turkish tea is a staple part of everyday life in Turkey, particularly when welcoming guests into the home.
Black tea with sugar and no milk is a traditional option, however, herbal flavours such as rose hip and linden flower are popular as well.
Sip Turkish tea as you relax at a traditional village house on a 'Lycian Way Walking Trip'.
Highlights of Lycian Way Walking Trip
This trip follows Turkey's spectacular Lycian Way, walking along scenic coastal trails between little-visited ancient ruins and time-forgotten villages.
Enjoy traditional hospitality and home cooked meals staying in rural village guesthouses. Walk around a ghostly abandoned Greek village in Kayakoy; explore Roman ruins and the stunning golden sand beach in Patara; and take a boat trip over sunken ruins and swim in secluded bays on the Turquoise Coast.
Maté, Argentina and Chile
Traditionally shared with friends and family, maté is a tea-like beverage that’s rarely enjoyed alone. This drink is made from a South American holly tree called yerba mate which, like tea leaves, also contains caffeine and is high in antioxidants.
Maté is served in a calabash (a gourd-shaped mug), and is first tasted by the pourer to test for bitterness. It’s then passed around the group, being enjoyed through a metal straw, and is topped up with hot water to keep it going. On an 'Adventures in Patagonia' trip, you may get the chance to be part of this social experience as well!
Highlights of Adventures in Patagonia Trip
Patagonia is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes on earth, full of emerald lakes fed by icy glaciers and towering mountain ranges, home to guanaco and vicuna. End your day with a glass of malbec surrounded by the region's towering scenery.
Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier; walk among the glacial lakes and mountain ranges of Torres del Paine national park; and explore Buenos Aires, including tango-filled La Boca and the arty San Telmo district.
Horchata de Chufa, Spain
Dating back to 13th-century Valencia, horchata de chufa is a popular drink in Spain, made from ‘tiger nuts’, a tuber of the nutsedge plant. Tiger nuts have a sweet and almond-like flavour, and once blended with water, they’re strained to create a light and sweet juice with a similar consistency to milk.
You’ll usually find horchata de chufa in cafes while on a 'Walking in Andalucia' trip, and you can even purchase pre-made versions in supermarkets.
Highlights of Walking in Andalucia Trip
Explore the picture-postcard landscape of Andalucia from the attractive village of Canillas de Albaida, staying in a 16th century converted convent. Walk along ancient trails linking white-washed Moorish villages, vineyards, olive groves and limestone peaks.
Walk the Caminito del Rey, a spectacular pathway through El Chorro Gorge; visit Competa, a picturesque white-washed mountain village famous for its locally-made wine; and take in panoramic views from the 1,346m summit of Cerro Verde.
For more information on these wonderful trips, which are all available through my travel partner, Explore!, please contact Nikki at NC Travel. I can put together some amazing itineraries to help you discover and immerse yourself in the locality.