You’ve booked the tickets, the itinerary is settled, and now you’re finally sitting in the airport lounge browsing last minute guides to Nile river cruises. You’ve read every suggested list of what to see, what to watch, what to eat, but… hang on a second, what about what to drink? Here’s your recommendation for the top 5 drinks to try during your trip to Egypt:
- If you’re travelling on a Nile cruise, you must try the Egyptian drink Tamr Hindi. It’s a cold beverage made with tamarind that is strained for many hours and mixed with sugar to sweeten. There’s nothing quite like the sweet fragrant taste of Tamr Hindi, so make sure to add it to your ‘must try’ list.
Smoothies immediately conjure up images of 1950s American diners, but Egypt has its own range of fruity and creamy delights. Mowz bil-Laban, which is made from bananas mixed with milk and honey, is a classic Egyptian treat. You can give it a try, or order one of its variants, such as the popular guava version.
Of course, if you’re going to North Africa then you must try the tea! The beauty of a Nile river cruise is that you will have the opportunity to try both of the country’s types – Koshary tea, which dominates in the North of Egypt, and Saiidi, which is more common in the South of Egypt. Koshary is similar to European tea in that it involves adding black tea briefly to boiled water and then sweetening, although mint leaves are also added. Saiidi tea, on the other hand, involves boiling the tea for extended periods and heavily sweetening it, resulting in a rich and sugary creation.
The Egyptian drink Sahlab is another classic that you should not miss. Its crucial ingredient is Salep, a powder derived from an orchid, which is combined with hot milk, and can also include vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and even pistachios!
Lastly, one of Egypt’s most famous drinks is sugar cane juice, or Asab, as it is referred to in Egypt. It has a distinctive green colour, but don’t let that fool you – it’s no “green” health juice! Rather, Asab is the result of extracting liquid from pressed sugar canes. It might not be what your dentist would recommend for your trip, but it is certainly a flavoursome beverage that has to be tried at least once.