Exploring the Wines of Romania
Traditional cuisine and drink unite people in Romania, as in many other nations. Sharing food and drink makes any occasion memorable. Bucharest locals are proud of their national food and beverages. Here are some typical Romanian cocktails to try next time you're there.
Tuica, Romania's national drink, is a potent brandy from fermented plums. It is traditionally served as an aperitif in small doses, the size of a shot, and should be sipped slowly instead of being gulped down. Surprisingly, Romanians prefer to toast with a small glass of țuică rather than wine. Legend has it that Vlad the Impaler was fond of this typical Romanian drink!
Vișinată is a sweet Romanian brandy made with sour cherries, sugar, and alcohol. There is no official recipe, as many Romanians make it at home. Some ferment it with ţuică for a fruitier flavour. It's best enjoyed slowly.
Afinată is a sweet liquor similar to vişinată but made with wild blueberries instead of sour cherries. Although commonly brewed at home in small batches, it is also available at most restaurants and taverns, particularly in Romania's mountain areas.
Rachiu is a type of Romanian brandy made by substituting pears for plums. It produces a sweet and strong liquor with anywhere from 23 to 80% alcohol content, depending on the fermentation process. Rachiu is best served as an aperitif before or after a meal to aid digestion.
If you thought the traditional Romanian cocktails mentioned earlier were strong, wait until you try palinca! This is ţuică that has been double-distilled, resulting in an even higher alcohol content. This type is more common in northern Romania and Transylvania. To show their hospitality, locals throughout the country will offer their guests a small amount of palinca.
Traditional Romanian wine
Romania takes pride in being Europe's fifth-largest producer of wine. With a history of 6000 years, Romanians have perfected the art of winemaking. Feteasca Neagra, the popular red wine, and Feteasca Alba, its white counterpart from the Moldova wine area, are worth trying.