We asked some students to share their experiences with alcohol while abroad, and this is what they told us:
Athens, Greece; Ouzo: I spend Friday afternoons at the local taverna with James K drinking ouzo, eating small grilled fishes, and playing bouzouki. Contrary to popular belief, ouzo is in fact a delicious, refreshing, and healthy alternative to schnapps and employment. ‘Opa!
Denmark; Schnapps: Danes like to have big Easter parties, at which they drink schnapps. My Danish roommates, whom I disliked, had one of these parties, and said I had to try it because “it was so strong and terrible and we don’t know why we drink it.” I tried it, and it wasn’t that bad, and I said I’d had way worse. They considered it an insult to their country that the American didn’t consider their liquor as badass as they thought.
–David Hoyt, ’14
England; Pimms: I don’t know what it is and neither does anyone who lives here. If you ask them, they just go “It’s Pimms” and you’re like “right” and then they tell you to mix it with lemonade so you do and they’re like “that’s not lemonade this is lemonade” and you’re like “no that’s Sprite” and they’re like “no lemonade” and then you’re like “then what do you call Sprite” and they’re like “Sprite” and the only way to end this conversation is to drink all the Pimms you just made and end the night crying into your toilet.
–Kate Lindsay, ’15
Germany; Club-Mate with vodka: Club-Mate is a strangely ubiquitous herbal energy drink that some say tastes like tea, others say tastes like cigarette water. Regardless, when it’s 3 am and you are only just heading out to the club, this drink becomes absolutely necessary. Also, it is the #1 preferred drink of German hackers and I like to feel like I’m a hacker as much as possible.
–Gavin Mead, ’15
Peru; Pisco Sour: So people go crazy for this stuff in Lima. Took me a Wikipedia search to find out exactly what pisco was…”a yellowish-to-amber colored grape brandy.” Cool. So you mix pisco with some lime stuff, put some egg white foam stuff on top then throw on some spice thing that looks like cinnamon but definitely doesn’t taste like cinnamon, and you got yourself a pisco sour! But seriously, Peruvians shove this stuff down your throat the minute you step in the country.
–Daniella Acker, ’15
Russia; Vodka: NAIL POLISH REMOVER?!?!?!? I don’t even know. Everything hurts. On the real, though. St. Petersburg, one of my first nights here, “2 Kokteils and a Shot” deal at a local bar, the shot was some type of vodka I have never encountered before. Taste — exactly the way I imagine childbirth feels. Aftereffects — exactly this.
–Emma Specter, ’15
Slovakia; Slivovitz: Sometimes the slivovitz shots I was given tasted like lemon-y vodka and sometimes they tasted like grape-y vodka. I liked the lemon-y kind better. The best time I ever had slivovitz was at 11 a.m. directly after disembarking a bus from Poland. I was encouraged to chase my shot with a slice of baguette spread with bacon fat and sprinkled with raw onions. The second best time I ever had slivovitz was after drinking many, many shots of slivovitz at night and then waking up at 9 a.m. and going to a farm and being given a welcome and goodbye shot of slivovitz. I miss you central Europe!
–Becca Hafter, ’14
Washington, El Districto de Columbia; Boozy Milkshake: During most of my time in the District I felt like a child. And, yes, timidly ordering a milkshake at a swanky bar on U-Street did not exactly help my case. Nonetheless, this adult beverage’s sweetness and hint of alcohol made me feel like I was a young girl back at the malt shoppe, but you, know also like a little tipsy. A black & white milkshake with Russian vodka: um, yum!
—Leslie Martin, ’14