Beverages

Beverages are drinking liquids that can come in many forms and consist of different ingredients.

Lastest Updated April 12, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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A beverage is a liquid normally consumed by humans for the purpose of quenching thirst. Some add nutrition and energy to your body, while some are for enjoyment.

Beverages come in various forms, such as alcoholic beverages (e.g., spirit, wine, beer) and non-alcoholic ones (e.g., coffee, milk, tea, soft drinks, etc.).

Overall, they are fundamental parts of a country/region’s culture and cuisines.

Each country, region, or community has distinctive drinking options featuring its history, geography, climate, and also lifestyle. They also have different drinking habits.

Beverages are made from several ingredients; common ones are fruits/vegetables, beans, tea, dairy products, and grains. Hence, different options have different tastes and textures.

The terms “drinks” and “beverages” are used interchangeably. However, in some contexts, they are slightly different.

Plus, to fully learn about the world of beverages, I’ll show you their history, and some key information about national, traditional, street, and fusion specialties.

You’ll also learn about different beverage types and their common components. Don’t miss out on some social drinking manners and pairing these drinks with foods globally.

Tips: By clicking on the filter, you can discover more about these wonderful drinking choices.

List of Beverages with Filters

Ayran

Ayran

Ayran is a Turkish cold drink made from yogurt, water, and salt.

Bac Xiu

Bạc Xỉu

Bạc xỉu is a sweet Vietnamese coffee due to it contains more milk than coffee.

Bia

Bia

Bia refers to several types of Vietnamese beer, enjoyed for its rich drinking culture.

Ca Phe Cot Dua

Cà Phê Cốt Dừa

Cà phê cốt dừa is a Vietnamese beverage made with coffee, coconut milk, and condensed milk.

Ca Phe Da

Cà Phê Đá

Cà phê đá is a strong Vietnamese iced coffee known for its robust and bitter flavor due to Robusta beans.

Ca Phe Sua Da

Cà Phê Sữa Đá

Cà phê sữa đá is a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk and served over ice.

Ca Phe Trung

Cà Phê Trứng

Cà phê trứng is a Vietnamese coffee topped with a creamy, sweet blend of egg yolk and condensed milk froth.

Cam Vat

Cam Vắt

Cam vắt is the Vietnamese version of orange juice, which is made by squeezing fresh oranges.

Chal

Chal

Chal is a Central Asian beverage made by fermenting camel milk.

Chalap

Chalap

Chalap is a traditional drink made from local yogurt in Central Asia.

Jarma

Jarma

Jarma is a Kyrgyz beverage made by cooking ground and fried cereals in water and adding liquid yogurt.

Kazakh Wine

Kazakh Wine

Kazakh wine refers to wine in Kazakhstan.

Kompot

Kompot

Kompot is a popular European drink made by simmering fruits in sweetened water.

Kumis

Kumis

Kumis is a fermented beverage made from mare milk in Mongolia and Central Asia.

Maksym

Maksym

Maksym is a Kyrgyz beverage made by boiling cereals in water and letting them ferment for a short time.

Nuoc Chanh Day

Nước Chanh Dây

Nước chanh dây is a Vietnamese drink made from passion fruit juice, often sweetened and served chilled.

Nuoc Chanh Muoi

Nước Chanh Muối

Nước chanh muối is a Vietnamese non-alcoholic beverage made with pickled limes, water, and optional sweeteners.

Nuoc Dua

Nước Dừa

Nước dừa is Vietnamese for coconut water, the sweet and transparent liquid extracted from young coconuts.

Nuoc Mia

Nước Mía

Nước mía is a popular Vietnamese beverage made from freshly squeezed sugarcane juice.

Nuoc Rau Ma

Nước Rau Má

Nước rau má is a Vietnamese herbal drink made from the juice of the pennywort plant.

Nuoc Sam

Nước Sâm

Nước sâm is a traditional Vietnamese herbal beverage made from a blend of various plants and roots, often enjoyed for its health benefits and cooling effect.

Ruou

Rượu

Rượu is a Vietnamese alcohol that ranges from rice-based spirits to fruit wines, reflecting regional flavors and fermentation methods.

Ruou Can

Rượu Cần

Rượu cần is an indigenous Vietnamese wine fermented in jugs for a month and enjoyed through a long straw.

Ruou De

Rượu Đế

Rượu đế is a traditional Vietnamese spirit, typically distilled from rice or other grains with a high alcohol content.

Shirchoy

Shirchoy

Shirchoy is a type of milk tea in Uzbekistan that is often featured as a part of a breakfast meal.

Sinh To

Sinh Tố

Sinh tố is the Vietnamese version of smoothie, usually made from pureed fruits, fresh milk, and condensed milk.

Sinh To Bo

Sinh Tố Bơ

Sinh tố bơ is the Vietnamese version of avocado smoothies, sweetened with condensed milk and fresh milk.

Soda Trung

Soda Trứng

Soda trứng is a Vietnamese drink combining soda water, sweetened condensed milk, and raw egg yolk.

Sua Chua Ca Phe

Sữa Chua Cà Phê

Sữa chua cà phê is a Vietnamese creamy and tart beverage made with coffee, yogurt, and condensed milk.

Sua Dau Nanh

Sữa Đậu Nành

Sữa đậu nành is the Vietnamese version of soy milk, a type of plant milk derived from soybeans.

Tea in Central Asia

Tea in Central Asia

Tea in Central Asia is a respected hospitality symbol, traditionally served in a “piala,” with regionally varied preferences in types.

Tra

Trà

Trà is a drink made by steeping leaves, buds, or branches of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) in hot or boiling water.

Tra Chanh

Trà Chanh

Trà chanh is a Vietnamese iced lemon tea that combines brewed tea with fresh lemon juice and sweetener.

Tra Da

Trà Đá

Trà đá is a popular Vietnamese iced tea, served cold and often enjoyed as a refreshing street-side beverage.

Tra Dao

Trà Đào

Trà đào is a Vietnamese peach-flavored tea, often sweetened and served hot or cold.

Tra Sen

Trà Sen

Trà sen is a Vietnamese lotus tea known for its delicate and fragrant flavor of lotus flowers.

Tra Sua Tran Chau

Trà Sữa Trân Châu

Trà sữa trân châu is a Taiwanese-inspired beverage in Vietnam consisting of milk tea with chewy tapioca pearls.

Tra Tac

Trà Tắc

Trà tắc is a Vietnamese refreshment made by infusing tea with kumquat juice.

Tra Xanh

Trà Xanh

Trà xanh is a Vietnamese green tea known for its delicate flavor and numerous health benefits.

Vodka

Vodka

Vodka is a clear distilled spirit, primarily made from water and ethanol, with origins in Russia, Sweden, and Poland.

Beverages by Country

Beverage Images

Drink vs. Beverage, How Are They Different?

Let’s check the table below for a brief comparison of a drink and a beverage.

AspectDrinkBeverage
DefinitionRefers to a liquid intended for human consumption, including the most basic drink, water.Is a drink, especially one other than water, prepared for human consumption.

Beverages often have specific ingredients like flavorings, caffeine, sugar, etc.
UsageCan be used both as a noun and a verb (e.g., “I drink water”).Primarily used as a noun.
ImplicationMore casual and broad term, encompassing all types of liquids.Slightly more formal, and commonly used in the food and hospitality industry.

Next, keep reading to uncover the historical stories behind beverages.

What Is the Historical Background of Beverages?

The historical background of beverages reflects the evolution of human cultural practices, societies, and preparation methods. Here are six main aspects.

Origins and Necessity

Initially, the primary beverage for all human societies was water, which was essential for survival.

The history of beverages begins with the quest to find and secure safe, reliable water sources.

Traditional Use of Plants

Indigenous peoples across the world have a long history of infusing water with plant parts to create flavored drinks, resulting in the earliest form of beverage-making from plants.

Early Alcoholic Drinks

Beverages have been significantly influenced by the culture of crops. The use of crops is for making various alcoholic drinks, such as beer, wine, or spirits.

There is evidence of alcoholic beverages dating back to at least 9000 BCE and wine production as far back as 5000 BCE.

Origin of Tea

An ancient Chinese legend dates the discovery of tea to 2737 BCE. Some research indicates tea drinking in China from around the 2nd century BCE.

Health and Safety

Early on, people discovered that certain beverage preparation methods, such as fermentation, could make drinks safer by killing harmful bacteria.

This was particularly important in times and places where clean water was not readily available.

Economic Importance in the 19th Century

By the 19th century, the beverage crop industry had become economically vital.

With international trade expanding in commodities like tea, coffee, cacao, wine, and spirits, many of them become significant beverages, such as national or traditional delights, in different countries.

How Are National, Traditional, Street, and Fusion Beverages in the World?

Let’s explore deeper about beverages around the world with national, traditional, street, and fusion ones. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the cuisine and culture of each country.

National Beverages

These are specialties at the national level, which are widely consumed in the country and also well-known in other nations. They have certain historical or cultural significance, too!

Examples are vodka in Russia, sake in Japan, soju in Korea, etc.

Traditional Beverages

Traditional beverages are part of a country’s cuisine with historical roots. They are also associated with specific regions in this nation, or rituals and customs.

Some traditional offerings are also national ones if they become widely recognized as a symbol of the country’s identity.

Street Beverages

These are drink options commonly sold in public spaces like markets, festivals, street sidewalks, etc.

They offer the authentic taste of local beverages and are easy to consume on the go. Fresh coconut or sugarcane juice are popular examples in tropical countries.

Bia2
Two cups of beer on the streetside.

Fusion Beverages

Matcha latte, which combines traditional Japanese matcha tea with Western-style milk latte, is a good instance.

In the next section, it’s crucial to have a quick look at significant kinds of beverages.

What Are Common Types of Beverages?

There are numerous beverages around the world, but in the general sense, I’ll group them into five types with examples, including:

Hot Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Ideal examples are tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or any herbal infusions.

Cold Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Smoothies, iced tea, soft drinks, and juices are some popular instances of this category.

Fermented Alcoholic Beverages

Beer and wine are two significant ones. They vary in alcohol content, depending on the ingredients and the fermentation method used.

Distilled Alcoholic Beverages

They are known for their higher alcoholic content. Examples are gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, vodka, and some Vietnamese types of rượu.

Drink Desserts

Smoothies made from several types of fruits or some liquidy sweet soups are well-loved drink desserts. They are usually served as a treat or a dessert course.

What Are the Common Ingredients in Beverages?

Here are four certain components that are widely used in making beverages around the world. You can check out more drink components here.

Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are popular items in making juices, smoothies, or wines (like grapes).
The flavor of these drinks is based on what type of fruits or veggies are used, which ranges from sour to sweet, even bitter.

Dry Tea Leaves

Tea

Tea leaves, whether black, green, white, or oolong, are a fundamental ingredient in beverages globally.
They are diverse in flavors and aromas. Some are also packed with health benefits.

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are roasted, ground, and brewed to create a range of coffee drinks. In the United States, coffee ranks as the second most frequently consumed beverage.

Dairy

Dairy Products

Dairy, including milk, cream, and yogurt, is a staple in many beverages, creating a creamy and rich texture.

Cereal Grains

Grains

Common grains are barley, wheat, corn, and rice.
In brewing beer, grains like barley are malted and fermented. Some spirits are distilled from fermented grains like rice.

Drinking alcohol also requires appropriate manners, which I’ll explain in the next section.

What Is Social Drinking Etiquette?

Social drinking etiquette refers to customs and manners while consuming alcoholic beverages in social gatherings.

They vary between countries, cultures, and social situations, but here are some common principles to take note of.

Toasting

In many cultures, toasting is a key part of social drinking. Participants often clink glasses and say a phrase like “Cheers” or its equivalent in the local language.

Bia1
Vietnamese usually toast beer while sipping it.

Celebratory Traditions

In Western countries, it’s common to celebrate good news, big life events, or special occasions with a group sharing alcoholic drinks.

Appropriate Behavior

Offering someone an alcoholic drink is generally seen as a gesture of goodwill. It is also important to make a friendly gesture in a social setting.

Understanding Local Customs

In some cultures, there are specific traditions related to drinking. For instance, in Korea, it’s customary to turn away from elders when taking a sip of alcohol.

Have you ever found it difficult to match drinks with dishes? If yes, don’t skip the following part.

How To Pair Beverages with Dishes?

Pairing the right beverage with dishes is simple if you know the guidelines below.

Complement or Contrast

When pairing drinks with food, the combinations should go well together without overshadowing the dish’s taste.

They can either complement the flavors (like a creamy beverage with a creamy dish) or go for a contrast (such as pairing a spicy dish with a sweet beverage to cool the heat).

Regional Pairings

Often, traditional food offerings and beverage pairings from the same region work well together, like Italian wine with Italian cuisine.

Dessert Pairings

For desserts, sweet beverages like dessert wines or sweet cocktails can complement the sweetness in dishes.

In some Asian countries, like Vietnam or China, tea is a popular choice as tea can provide a balancing bitterness or astringency to sweet desserts.

Lastly, there are other concerns related to these liquid offerings that you might wonder about.

FAQs

Beverages complement meals and as cultural symbols.

For instance, wine is essential on French and Italian dining tables, while tea plays a vital role in daily life and ceremonial practices in Asia.

Herbal teas, green tea, and fresh fruit and vegetable juices are among the healthiest choices.

In Eastern philosophy and religion, particularly in traditions like Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, tea symbolizes mindfulness and inner peace.

The ritual of tea preparation and consumption is seen as a form of meditation and a practice of simplicity.

Mocktails or non-alcoholic beers and wines are ideal alternatives.

Energy drinks can pose health risks due to high caffeine and sugar content. Therefore, they should be consumed with caution.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor

Expertise

Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief

Education

  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at azcuisines.com, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

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