Bulgarian beverages are worth sampling, and some have a distinct flavor that can only be found in that country. Bulgarians take great pride in their alcoholic beverages. They are proud to produce them not only in factories but also at home.
Let’s have a look at the 15 Bulgarian drinks you must try:
This is one of Bulgaria’s most popular and beloved drinks. The main ingredient is the well-known Bulgarian yogurt. This yogurt, also known as sour milk or simply kiselo mlyako, has a distinct flavor. This is due to Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which is naturally found in Bulgaria and gives the milk its distinct sour flavor. Bulgarian sour milk and plain water are used to make the ayran.
2. Melnik 55
Melnik 55, also known as Ranna Melnishka Loza, is a Bulgarian grape variety created by crossing Melnik (Shiroka Melnishka Loza) with pollen from Valdiguié, Durif, and Jurançon. Although it was developed in the 1960s, Bulgarian winemakers only recently recognized it, and it has yet to reach its full potential. Aromas reminiscent of red and black fruit, spices, and tobacco are typical. These wines complement red meat and charcuterie.
Boza is also a popular beverage among Bulgarians. In fact, banitza with boza is one of Bulgaria’s most popular breakfast combinations. The malt beverage is made by fermenting wheat or millet, then adding water and sugar to make a slightly thicker drink.
Kadarka is a red grape of unknown origin. It is most likely a Balkan native that spread during Ottoman rule. Kadarka is a late-ripening grape known for producing fruity, elegant red wines. Because it is versatile and terroir-driven, the wines can have a wide range of characteristics, but they typically have a light to medium body, bright acidity, and low tannins. The aroma is typically fruity, with hints of spice and occasionally floral notes. Kadarka pairs well with spicy meat dishes.
Bulgaria is a small country with a diverse landscape. Bulgarians are particularly proud of the variety of herbs available. As a result, tea is an important part of Bulgarian drinking culture. Mursal tea, also known as mountain tea, is a well-known tea in the country. It is so delicious and has so many health benefits that Japanese scientists have taken notice.
Rodopi tea is another well-known Bulgarian tea. The herbs are gathered from meadows on Rodopi Mountain. Some simple teas with only one ingredient, such as chamomile and mint, are also very popular in Bulgaria. Bulgarians love iced tea during the summer.
6. Rubin Wine
Rubin is a Bulgarian grape that was developed in the 1940s at the Pleven Institute of Viticulture and Enology. The grape is a cross between Syrah from France and Nebbiolo from Italy. It is a tough grape that ripens relatively early.
Rubin wines are deep red in color, with flavors dominated by red and black berries. The wines will frequently have earthy, floral (violet), and jammy notes.
It is one of Bulgaria’s most popular soft drinks. There are numerous variations available nowadays. Different flavor syrups, such as strawberry and raspberry, are added to the mix. Lemonade is still widely consumed. People prefer to make it at home. Lemons, sparkling water, sugar, and ice are all you need. Add mint leaves to the prepared lemonade for a more refreshing flavor.
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Dunjevaa (rakija od dunje) is a colorless and clear spirit made from ripe fermented quinces. This fruit brandy, known as rakija, is a popular spirit in the Balkans and is usually of high quality. The majority of examples are colorless, but some producers choose oak aging, which imparts a golden color and woody notes. Dunjevaa is best served neat, preferably cold. It is primarily consumed as an aperitif.
9. Mint Liqueur
Mint liqueur is a popular drink during the summer when the refreshing cocktail mint with sprite is popular. The mint adds a fresh flavor to the mix, while the sprite adds sweetness. On the beach, you can actually see Bulgarians drinking. A fascinating fact is that many people make the liqueur at home.
Shiroka Melnishka Loza is an ancient, late-ripening Bulgarian grape variety grown primarily in the country’s southwestern regions of Melnik, Petrich, and Sandanski. The grape produces age-worthy varietal wines that are tannin-rich and typically exhibit notes and aromas of cherries, strawberries, and stone fruit, while matured varieties develop more complex nuances of tar, leather, and spices. The grape is also commonly used in blends, and it is commonly known as Melnik – after a town in Struma Valley of the same name.
11. Bulgarian Beer
Beer is a popular beverage all over the world, but it is especially popular in Bulgaria. Bulgarian beers are typically high in alcohol, but there are many non-alcoholic options for those who prefer not to consume alcohol. Flavored beers are another new-age beer concept. Lemon and grapefruit flavors complement the malty flavor. There are also a few places that serve craft beer. There are some craft beers that can only be found in Bulgaria. There are even, albeit few, pubs that brew their own beer.
This plump white grape, thought to be native to Bulgaria, is primarily grown in the country’s eastern regions. Varietal Dimiat wines are aromatic, light, and refreshing, with fruity aromas of apricots and quince. Although Dimiat is best enjoyed young, some styles can benefit from aging by developing subtle vanilla nuances.
Mastika is another popular drink in Bulgaria. It has a similar flavor to Greek ouzo. It is an anise beverage with high alcohol content. The drink is actually water-colored, but when you add water, it turns milky white. It’s served extremely cold. Mastika is frequently served alongside tarator and shopska salad.
This is Bulgaria’s most popular alcoholic beverage. Like wine, it is mass-produced, but many people make it at home. Almost every household requires homemade rakia. It is made by fermenting almost any fruit. While many people like their rakia cold or with ice cubes, it is best consumed at room temperature. Rakia is served in shot-sized glasses.
Pamid is a centuries-old European grape that has been cultivated. Although it is best grown in Bulgaria, where it was once the most widely planted grape, it is also grown in several other European countries. The majority of examples have a light, approachable personality, a pale ruby color, and low acidity. These wines aren’t meant to be aged and are best enjoyed young, preferably as simple table wines. These light and fruity wines are easy to drink and go well with a variety of foods.
These amazing Bulgarian drinks are made with the choicest native fruits and ingredients. They are refreshing and add life to any party, plus you can make them at home!