When traveling abroad, exploring local drinking habits usually ranks third on my list of priorities. The first two are stamping my passport and finding a clean bed. And while the architecture, the museums, and even shopping are all important aspects of exploring a new culture, I feel that the true spirit of any great city begins at the bar and ends at the dinner table.
'Barcelona' on Serious Eats
After you pass all the Jamón Ibérico hanging (and stare, drool, study the butcher slicing away at one of the legs), the second thing you'll probably notice at La Boqueria, the bustling market hall in Barcelona, are the zumos. The bright, fresh juices are all lined up on crushed ice at the various fruit stalls.
I've never thought, oh this horchata could sure use some lemon, but upon trying leche merengada while in Spain last week, I wasn't opposed to the bright, citrus-y kick at the end. It's not quite horchata plus lemon—it's actually whole milk (not rice or almond milk) mixed with sugar, cinnamon, usually egg whites, and a hearty squeeze of lemon.