Coffee, tea, and even juice is pretty ubiquitous when it comes to breakfast around the world, but there are plenty of other beverages to choose from when dining overseas. Just as every country has their own delicacies and gastronomical treats, so too do they have their own traditional breakfast beverages that they pair with their meal, just as many do with wine for lunch and dinner.
Hot chocolate, for one, is a popular beverage to consume, whether you’re dining on a baguette in France during a cooking vacation, or exploring Mexico. In France, le chocolat chaud is a rich, delicious experience, no matter what the time of year, and it’s often made with milk instead of cream, as well as top-quality chocolate, naturally.
As for the Mexican version of hot chocolate, the history of the drink dates back to the Aztecs and that history is deserving of a blog series all its own (including this Mexican chocolate ice cream recipe). But when it comes to hot chocolate for breakfast, the Mexican atole is quite popular, especially considering all the amazing varieties, from sweet to savory. What makes atole different from what Americans typically think of as hot chocolate is the use of masa harina to enrich the flavors of the chocolate and cinnamon.
Too warm outside for a hot chocolate? Then let’s look back toward Europe, where freshly squeezed juices — with or without alcohol — are often enjoyed alongside fresh bread and croissants. And speaking of alcohol and the fact that it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere — especially when you’re traveling on vacation! — mix it up and try something other than mimosas.
With some inspiration from Italy, Prosecco cocktails can be the perfect bit of sweetness to complement your breakfast, and you can elevate them with some macerated fruit and a bit of added sugar. In Italy, a bicicletta is a popular brunch drink, which supposedly gets its name from old men who imbibe the cocktail and then swerve around town while riding their bicycles. It’s made with campari, white wine, and club soda — simple but delicious!
But a discussion about breakfast beverages from around the world is simply not complete without talking about coffee. After all, just look at the enormous range of coffee beverages – and no, we’re not talking about the huge list of options at Starbucks – when you’re in Italy. Just remember: don’t order a cappucino in Italy at any meal other than breakfast (and never at the end of a meal), unless you want to let everyone know that you’re a tourist!
By Liz Hall
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