WHAT TO DRINK IN CROATIA.

TAP WATER,is safe to drink in Croatia-EVERYWHERE!

COFFEE (KAVA)  AND TEA (CAJ) All over Croatia coffee is served very strong and black,in little cups,like an espresso coffee.(In Rovinj,it will usually be served with a glass of mineral water,)or if it is too strong you can add a little milk or order a cappuccino(freshly ground coffee and frothy hot milk,-no Chocolate on top-that's an Italian way!) Strong Turkish coffee is also available in some places.Herbal Teas(Caj,)are sold everywhere.Indian(black tea,)can also be found,usually served with lemon,but you can ask for milk.

BEER. A very popular drink found in cafes and pubs, beer(PIVO,)which is always served very cold.Most bottled beers are of the larger-type,but darker beers can also be found.Common beers are PAN, OZUJSKO(made in Zagreb,) and KARLOVACKO(made in Karlovac.)TOMISLAV(made in Zagreb,)is a dark beer.However,even in Zagreb it is not common place in pubs/cafes.TOMISLAV can be found in Rovinj,more easily than Zagreb.Suggest if you are in the Capital you go to the Cafe/bar next to the Main Railway Station(on one side,)and the Police Station(on the other side.)Foreign brands,such as Stella Artois,Tuborg,and Kaltenberg are brewed in Croatia under licence,but tend to be more expensive.And there are Irish pubs selling Guiness and other Irish beers.(In Dubrovnik,there are about 3 bars with an Irish theme.)

MINERAL WATER AND SOFT DRINKS AND FRUIT JUICES.All bars and cafes offer a wide range of fruit juices,as well as internationally known brands of soft drinks and fizzy drinks like cola.Bottled Mineral Waters (Mineralna Voda)are also widely available.Most common brands are Jamnica and Studena.

WINES.Croatia, is a land of vineyards.Whether you are inland or by the sea or on Islands,you're sure to find vines being grown.Production varies in quantity and quality but standards are improving and there are to be found some very decent wines.(Further info can be found at http://www.thecroatianflyer.com/)

SPIRITS.A wide range of spirits can be found in Croatia,which demonstrates the nation's fondness for strong alcoholic drinks,in particular fruit-based eau-de-vie.One of the most popular spirits is plum brandy,orginating from Slavonia.It is found all over the Country,and is called Sljivovica.Loza is a grape-based eau-de-vie with a high alcohol content,and Travarica  is a herb-based spirit.Pelinkovac is a herb liqueur,and Maraskino,is a liqueur from Zardar,and is flavoured with maraschino cherries.From Samobor,near Zagreb,comes Berme,made according to an ancient recipe.Drunk with ice and a slice of lemon,as an aperitif.Walnut (Orahovac)is a sweet popular liqueur,produced by Maraska.

DRINKING CUSTOMS IN CROATIA

One tradition found in Croatia is that of mixing wine with other drinks,such as Mineral Water or even Cola.A bevanda is red or white wine with plain water,while gemist is white wine mixed with sparkling mineral water.Of popular summer drinks,is red wine with cola,called bambus, or  fanta orange ,topped up with red wine,called mist-mash.

Croatians like a drink or two.In the Slavonia region the traditional ritual (which should be undertaken by those who have a very strong head for alcohol,)begins Docekusa(before any wine is drunk.)This is followed by Razgovorusa(during which you chat while sipping at least seven glasses of wine.)The final phase called the Putnicka,(reserved for the leave-taking,)when yet more glasses are emptied before people say their final farewells!

One of the best places to buy and to taste is Wine-Bar Baccus ,at 5 Carrera street, Rovinj,owned by Paolo Markulin.

And at PARADOX Wine and Cheese Bar at Ulica Bana Josipa Jelacica 3,21000,Split,www.facebook.com/paradoxwine.hr 

Both bars feature live music some evenings. Both owners I have known many years. wine stored well.