10 of The Best Drinking Cities In The World
Being a cultured drinker can be hard to prove to some people who think you're just in it to get messed up, but there are few pleasures greater than discovering a new watering hole after a long day's travel. You know that this is where real local culture is made and found, in the barrooms and dance halls of the world where people get together to drink and socialize.
Bearing this in mind, we look at some of the best cities in the world for the discerning drinker.
1. Washington D.C, USA - Classics With A Twist
Washington D.C. may be known for serving up simple, stiff drinks for politicos and lobbyists after a hard day's work but its drinking scene is far more diverse and progressive than that and is developing into something fascinating. Taking old favorites and vintage cocktails, the city seems to be bringing a new life to them.
Perhaps inspired by the political atmosphere it surrounds itself with, many places in D.C. are recreating a speak-easy vibe by serving up well-known cocktails with a new flourish added to them. Often presented in vintage glassware, there is a whiff of prohibition era nostalgia about it but without the fear of being branded a criminal.
2. Munich, Germany - Traditional Bavarian Beer
Most famous for its Oktoberfest where beer lovers come from around the world to drink the famously good Bavarian take on the beverage, you can head to Munich any time of the year and still be inundated with amazing options in beer gardens, pubs, and restaurants all over the city. Ancient purity laws mean the beer only has three natural ingredients, and those have to be in specific percentages to pass.
Traditional beer maids will bring you liter glasses or steins to your table in many establishments, often in traditional garb as well. Nuremberg and other Bavarian cities are also fabulous for this experience, and it is a must for any serious beer drinker to visit Bavaria at least once in their lifetime.
3. Buenos Aires, Argentina - Wine
Many consider France or Italy, possibly even Australia, for a wine drinking trip but fewer think about Argentina despite it being recognized as one of the top producers and exporters of wine in the world. This scene is extremely prominent in the nation's capital city where wine tasting tours and the finest wines in the country all come together.
Here is a place for malbec and it is best to savor it as you won't find it like this anywhere else in the world!
4. Dublin, Ireland - Whiskey
Think of whiskey and many will instantly jump to Scotch but Ireland is the homeland, and it is experiencing a whiskey boom in cities such as Dublin and Dingle with craft distilleries and bars springing up with great speed. Whiskey tastings are a regular occurrence where a pro will guide beginners and long-time admirers of the beverage through its subtle complexities.
Dubin is also famed for the Guinness brewery and the globally renowned Irish stout tastes like nothing else imaginable when made from the water of the River Liffey, which was how it was designed to be drunk.
5. Tokyo, Japan - Sake
Sake outside of Japan tends to be a bit rubbish, but if you head to Tokyo, you will feel the full force of the strong tradition of making sake, a drink made from fermented rice. You can get it in bars and restaurants everywhere, and it is usually of exceptional quality with some of the best spots found in Tokyo's central railway station.
The Japanese prize this drink, often serving it with some ceremony due to its rich cultural background.
6. Nelson, New Zealand - Cider
With one of the heaviest concentrations of cideries in New Zealand, Nelson becomes a bit of a mecca for cider drinkers, and its cider festival makes sure it is a place to visit for those obsessed with the fruit drink. With many of the breweries using fresh and organic ingredients, it is little wonder it has established itself as a cider heaven.
Each location in the city has its own distinct flair but while out there it is imperative to dry the mulled and slushy cider as well.
7. Mexico City, Mexico - Reposado
Reposado is a fiery tequila shot made from 100 percent agave and where better to enjoy it than Mexico City? Although served in shot form or very short, it is not meant to be slammed but rather sipped and enjoyed albeit rather rapidly.
Drink neat, or on the rocks, many places will have live Mariachi bands or be serving traditional Mexican fare to go with the drink.
8. London, UK - Gin
London gin is considered the best in the world by many and the city still clings to its strong, gin drinking roots, with a museum to the beverage and its impact on the city and the country as well as distilleries, pubs and even a 'Ginstitute' dedicated to the different types and mixology of the drink.
Bond made martini's famous, and there are plenty of Notting Hill neighborhoods and West London haunts prepared to serve you something "shaken, not stirred."
9. St. Petersburg, Russia - Vodka
What the Russian's don't know about vodka isn't worth knowing about and far from being just a spirit you put in your orange juice to get you messed up, a trip to St. Petersburg will open up your eyes to the diversity of the drink.
Traditionally, the ryumochnaya's of the city defied the social norms as places for everyone to just enjoy a drink from the higher up government workers to the laborers and this spirit is still in the city with many places pulling in a truly eclectic crowd.
10. New Orleans - Cocktails
The annual mardi gras parties and parades, and the culture of bourbon street (and the fact there's a place called 'bourbon street) should all tell you that New Orleans is a place that likes to drink, but it is also home to, what many believe is, America’s first cocktail: the Sazerac.
This revolution in drinking culture stems from the city that does all it can to keep it alive with many bars still making the drink alongside their own variations, other classics, and new and exciting mixtures.