First and the most important thing is that you can drink water from the pipe in the entire region of Dalmatia! That includes homes, hotels, apartments, restaurants, coffee bars, even on the street ( you can get the water from the water fountain or pipes) or Marjan Hill, simply we have water safe for consumption.
But, if you ask Dalmatians, water is for washing and wine is for drinking! Well, not only wine, of course. To be fully simplified – the most popular drinks in Dalmatia are water and – alcohol drinks!
The minimum age for purchasing liquor in Croatia is 18, but there is no minimum age for consuming it. Croatia has strict laws regarding drinking and driving; the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 per cent, but only for drivers older than 24 years.
It is not allowed to drink in public places, but still, there are lots of people who do that. For example – fishermans place called “Matejuška” at the west end of riva is a currently the only official place in the centre where you can drink alcohol. Just keep in mind you are not too loud and you’re not making any problems in public. But to be sure, the best choice is to drink dalmatian drinks in bars od restaurants. Furthermore, if you planned to try authentical domestic wines the best decision is always to sit on the terrace of some Wine House or a Bar by the sea and get a little effort to pick true domestic drinks.
Wines are number one!
Beer ranks second on drinking list and we can say that whiskey, vodka, gin and rakija are the rest of the most popular drinks in Dalmatia people drink.
Brandy, grappa, spirit, schnapps…you will probably hear many different names in Dalmatia for this drink, but once you taste it, the name will become irrelevant! It is not accidentally we chose this beverage as a first on the list. Rakia is one of the most popular drinks in Dalmatia. Locals will say ‘rakia connecting people’ and they won’t lie.
Rakija is the Serbo-Croatian name given to an alcoholic drink made from the distillation of fermented fruit. Usually without any colour with a percentage of alcohol that can range from approximately 40% to 65%. O Yes, it is too much, indeed. Taht’s exactly why you won’t drink it every time you step up to the bar.
On the coast or countryside, rakija always offers. At home or in the bar. Short, strong drink – tastes similar to Italian grappa or Japanese sake. Or maybe not. Maybe this would be complitely new experience for your mouth, since some tourist find it too strong and even undrinkable.
“It will destroy bacteria, relieve you of stomach and muscle pain, annihilate any virus and disinfect a wound instantly. In fact, it used to be called «aqua vitae». Other than its evident medicinal use, it goes down extremely well in any possible occasion. “
Sometimes the taste of the fruit from which it was made prevails (for example pear rakia, quince rakia or very often carob or cherry rakia). Advice is to order it before a meal as an appetizer, or after as a liquid dessert (sweet rakia). Important – be careful! Two or three will be enough. If you don’t want to go home crawling. But, if you don’t have any obstacles, be our guest! Get a bottle of this domestic goldie, and sit around with some good friends and prepare to make a story you are going to tell your grandkids :)!
Pint of beer (in Croatia means 0.5 litres – not 0.4 as in some parts of EU) you’ll pay from 2 to 4 euros, in night clubs up to 5€. Glass of wine, according to the quality, from 3 to 7 euros. Bottle of wine from 30 to 100 euros, at the restaurants. At the supermarket, keep 5 € lower limit when buying wine.
Rakia is the cheapest – 1,5 to 4 €. Thereby more ‘dangerous’. If you drink beer or rakija, and even wine, we recommend making an effort to find domestic, dalmatian drinks. There are some great craft beer breweries in Split and liqueurs made on Dalmatian rural homestead. Some restaurants and bars promote sales of domestic products, so don’t waste this opportunity! Centre of the town is not too wide, and you can walk around all those bars in just one night.
Thanks to the sunny climate and rich soil, Dalmatian wines are among the best ones in Europe. Still, Croatian wines are not recognized enough and promoted as they deserve. But this shouldn’t stop you to refresh your tastes with a glass of the most popular dalmatian wines – like Dingač, Babić, Pošip, Vugava or Zinfandel.
The potential of Croatian wines in tourism is on the rise and every season increases a number of popular walks of vineyards combined with Wine tastings and tasting of autochthonous cuisine.
Dalmatia is a destination with so much to offer, especially if you are delicacy and wine addict. It would be stupid, not to at least give it a (gastro) shot.
When we talk about beers, we recommend visiting local brewery and try the best of IPA, Pale Ale or Season IPA Beers. You can find some in the usual market in the street, too.
A few tips about the most popular drinks in Dalmatia with the traditional cuisine of the region.