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Glasses Up for the FIFA Final Four
Of the 32 teams that qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, only four remain! They’ve fought their way through worthy opponents and are one step closer to the coveted 18 carat gold trophy that awaits the tournament’s winner. Every 4 years people from all over the world come together to cheer on their country in the FIFA World Cup with friends, family, and of course, cocktails! No matter the fan base, it’s important to make guests feel welcome and encourage their patriotism. We traveled the world (wide web) in search of the very best drinks from each of the remaining teams!
France – You’re walking your poodle in front of the Eiffel Tower, wearing your favorite beret, munching on a baguette. But something is missing from your amazingly French moment – champagne! The first sparkling Champagne was created accidentally, when the wine was bottled before fermentation was complete. The bubbly result quickly became a favorite of French royalty, and has served as a celebratory drink ever since. In order for a wine to be labeled as a true Champagne, it must be made from grapes grown in the Champagne region in northeast France, and meet a set of rules laid out by Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne, a committee formed to organize and control the production, distribution, and promotion of Champagne (where do I sign up?). Want to pop a cork like royalty when France wins the World Cup? Check out the 10 most expensive bottles of Champagne!
Belgium – Belgium’s delicious Jenever is one of the world’s oldest liquors! Originally used in the sixteenth century for medicinal purposes, the juniper-flavored liquor eventually paved the way for other liquors, like gin. Jenever comes in two varieties, oude, or old-style jenever, and jonge, or young jenever. The two styles are distilled differently and have unique flavor profiles. Jonge is clear, tastes similar to vodka, and is typically served chilled, whereas oude has a malty flavor and is best enjoyed when sipped slowly at room temperature. Jenever is served in a tulip shaped glass, but hardcore FIFA fans would probably prefer a kopstoot – or headbutt – where you drink a beer alongside the shot of Jenever. Try one with the locals and really get into the World Cup spirit!
Croatia – Get ready for the Crocktail – Croatia’s first ever national drink! Croatia is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and after hearing about the Crocktail, we know why! Expert Croatian mixologist Marin Nekic first created the drink in 2008 by blending cherry and orange flavors with Maraschino liquor made from the distillation of cherries grown on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. This deliciously tart cocktail will be the perfect treat when Croatia takes home the trophy!
England – Cheerio, and grab the Pimm’s, chap! Pimm’s is gin flavored by a mix of fruits, spices, herbs, and other aromatics. The drink was invented in 1823 by James Pimm, the owner of an oyster bar in London, who originally served the drink as a digestive aid. Eventually, the bright citrus and herb flavors were mixed with lemonade or ginger ale, making it the perfect summer cocktail served at nearly every polo match in England! Try the Pimm’s Cup cocktail and cheer on the England National Football team with the Queen!
While I’m still coming to terms with the fact that my beloved USA didn’t qualify this year, these drinks definitely have me in the World Cup spirit! When we do win it will be Jack Daniel’s all around. Until then, fill us up with your county’s favorite drink!