Thirsty? Here are the most typical Czech Beverages that you’ll get in (almost) every pub and restaurant.
The Czech Republic is known for its beer and the fact that it’s the country with the highest beer consumption per capita. There are tens of beer brands ranging from world-famous breweries like Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj) through small local breweries. Not so long ago half a liter of beer was cheaper than the same amount of water. Czechs often say “Jdu na jedno” which means “I’m going for ONE beer” and everyone knows that’s usually not a true statement as basically noone drinks just one;-)
Southern Moravia is more of a wine region and excellent wines ferment here every year. The region has a whole branch of tourism revolving around wine, for example the famous wine-routes and wine tasting in villages full of traditional small wine cellars and the culture of the south is also connected to wine. You can find here delicious wine of all sorts, white, red and of course rosé, dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet and even a special selection of young wines called the St. Martin Wines.
More common in Moravia than Bohemia, slivovice or slivovica is a high-percentage plum liquor obtained by distillation of fermented plums. It is an essential among the Czech beverages and an inseparable part of events such as weddings, fašank, zabíjačka or hody and it’s often used as a home remedy for many ailments like ear infection.
Slivovice is served in the so called štamprle or panák which is the colloquial name of a small shot glass.
Becherovka is a Bohemian digestif from the city of Karlovy Vary. It was created for medicinal purposes and it quickly gained popularity as an alcoholic drink. There’s a whole museum dedicated to Becherovka, you can visit it in Karlovy Vary. You will be told everything about the history and making of Becherovka except for one thing – the recipe. The combination of herbs remains a secret.
The “yellow lemonade” was the most popular lemonade of the communist era (and also one of the very few you could choose from) and many pubs still offer it, although mostly tapped in the amounts of 0,3 or 0,5 liter.
It is a sparkling lemonade with lemon taste and it tastes best cold.
Malinovka or the raspberry lemonade is basically the same like žlutá just with pink color and raspberry taste. Both of these are very popular not only with children but also adults many of which choose these lemonades when they cannot or don’t want to drink beer.
During communism the western products were a big no-no. And to have an alternative to the unaccessible Coca-Cola a Czech natural science doctor came up with Kofola in 1959. The drink is less sweet and more bitter than Coke and over the years the company came up with a number of flavor varieties. However, the traditional Kofola remains the most popular and it is indeed hugely popular in Czech Republic. You can buy it in bottles, cans and tapped in pubs although more commonly in Moravia than Bohemia. Several companies came up with their own alternatives to Kofola, the most famous perhaps being the two drinks developed by the beer brewery Černá Hora – Grena and Koala. Both have hop extract in them and a lemony taste, Koala is made from the artesian aquifer.
Although tea does not come from the Czech Republic, the Czechs certainly are a tea-drinking nation. Many varieties of black and green tea can be found in stores and ordered in cafés and less common types such as white tea are becoming more and more popular. Czechs call tea also the herbal and fruit infusions and there are even teas for the newborns.
Have you ever tried any of these Czech beverages? If you want to learn more about the Czech gastronomy, visit the Food & Recipes cathegory.