Have you ever thought about which Croatian drinks you would sip on as you let the Adriatic Sea breeze caress your skin?
Whenever I dream of the sun-kissed shores of Croatia, I think of wines. But Croatia offers much more when it comes to drinks.
Let’s see what sets these beverages apart, whether we’re talking about a shot of Rakija, an iconic fruit brandy, or a glass of Plavac Mali from the Dalmatian region.
To learn more about Croatian cuisine, be sure not to overlook this irresistible array of Croatian desserts!
Now, back to drinks!
12 Best Croatian Drinks
Here I’ll explore traditional alcoholic beverages including liquors, wines, beers and mixed drinks.
Liquors of all kinds have a long history in Croatia, and many of them have infusions of herbs, fruits, or spices grown in the region. I recommend trying these well-known Croatian liquors:
Rakija is a rich fruit brandy that holds a special place in Croatian culture and other Balkan countries.
This ancient spirit is well-known for its powerful and robust nature, and it is made from a variety of fruits including herbs, plums, and grapes.
Dunjevaca (quince rakija) is one of the most popular drinks in Serbia.
At social events, rakija is often served as an aperitif or digestif for its warm properties and unique flavors.
There are several other popular types of Croatian rakija, including:
- travarica (herbal rakija)
- šljivovica (made from plums)
- lozovača (made from grapes)
- orahovica (made from walnuts)
- medica (honey rakija)
- viljamovka (Williams pears)
- biska (mistletoe rakija)
Although most rakijas have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 40%, rakijas made at home can have much higher alcohol content (usually 50-80%).
Pelinkovac, a bitter herbal liqueur, is a distinctive addition to the Croatian drinking culture. This liqueur’s foundation is wormwood, which gives it a strong and bitter flavor.
The volume percentage of alcohol is 28-35%.
Maraschino Liqueur, made in Zadar, a city on the Dalmatian Coast, is a cherry-infused treat with a unique aroma.
This liqueur has a long history dating back to the 18th century, and it is made using Marasca cherries.
Croatia has a long history of winemaking, and its many different wine areas are responsible for the country’s broad and excellent wine selection.
Plavac Mali, Malvasia, and Graševina are some of the varieties that add life to the national wine culture.
Croatian wines showcase the distinct terroir of every region, whether it’s the coastline vineyards or the continental plains.
Croatian wine is mostly white, with some red and rosé varieties rounding out the country’s wine offerings.
Kuhano Vino (Mulled Wine)
One of Croatia’s most beloved wintertime beverages is Kuhano Vino, or mulled wine.
Warming red wine with a spice blend of cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves makes for a fragrant and comforting alcoholic drink.
I think it sounds perfect for cold days like any other type of hot mulled wine.
If you enjoy mulled wine, you can also check out this German mulled wine recipe (Glühwein), a popular Christmas drink.
There is a wide variety of beers available in Croatia, showcasing the country’s lively and varied beer culture. Most of the beer sold is produced domestically by local breweries.
Some popular brands include:
One of the most well-known beer brands in Croatia is Ožujsko Pivo. Lagers like this one are popular in Croatia because of their light and refreshing flavors.
Ožujsko Pivo has been around since 1892 and is now a popular choice for anyone looking for a refreshing and enjoyable beer at parties.
Another popular beer brand in Croatia, Karlovačko Pivo, is also known as the national beer. This beer, which is brewed in the town of Karlovac, has a balanced flavor profile that many people enjoy.
The bold and full-bodied nature of the Croatian beer Tomislav Pivo gives it character. This darker lager has a rich maltiness and a touch of sweetness; it was named after King Tomislav, the first ruler of Croatia.
Tomislav Pivo stands out in Croatia’s beer scene because it’s popular among beer enthusiasts who like stronger brews as it has 7.3% alcohol content.
If you want something even stronger, this Croatian beer boasts 7.5% alcohol content. Grička Vještica, also known as The Witch of Grič, is an extra strong dark beer with a thick light ruby color.
This craft beer is produced by the Medvedgrad brewery in Zagreb.
Croatian Mixed Drinks
When I visit Croatia, I can’t wait to try some popular mixed beverages. A few traditional Croatian cocktails are:
White wine, carbonated water, or lemonade are blended to create the popular Croatian mixed drink gemišt.
I like how you can customize the drink’s intensity by adjusting the wine-to-mixer ratio to your liking.
Bevanda is a classic drink from Croatia, commonly linked to the seaside. It usually consists of red wine mixed with sparkling water.
white wine + sparkling mineral water = gemišt
red wine + sparkling mineral water = bevanda
Red wine and Coca Cola make up the classic Bambus cocktail, a popular beverage in Croatia. A carbonated drink with a sweet flavor is the outcome of this mixture.
The ratio can be changed according to personal preference, making it a versatile and easy-to-make cocktail, much like Gemišt.
I hope these Croatian drinks make it to your must-try list! Share your favorite items in the comments!
Curious about other European beverages? Check out these alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from Ukraine!
If you like sweets, you might also enjoy these ideas:
- 14 Irresistible Romanian Cakes with both complex and light flavors
- 9 Best Ukrainian Cake Recipes to learn my top choices
- 21 Best Ukrainian Desserts from my perspective
12 Best Croatian Drinks (Alcoholic Addition)
- Kuhano Vino
- Grička Vještica
Croatian Mixed Drinks