A wide variety of locally made drinks is available throughout Croatia, from beers and wines to fiery fruit brandies, Croatian alcohol is widely available. Croatian beer is usually of the lager type but dark beers can also be found. Foreign brands brew in Croatia under license, and there are Irish pubs selling Guinness and other Irish beers.
Croatia's vineyards yield all kinds of red and white wines, most of which are rarely seen outside the country. Spirits based on grapes are popular as apéritif and not as after-dinner drinks, as are other fruit brandies made from plumbs or pears.
Brandies flavored with herbs, walnuts of even honey are also popular. Tap water is safe to drink but if the taste doesn't appeal there's a range of bottled mineral water.
A very popular drink served in cafès and pubs is beer (pivo), which is always served very cold. Most bottled beers are of the lager type, but some darker beers are available. The most well-known brands of lager are Ožujsko, made in Zagreb and Karlovačko (Karlovac). Another common brand is Pan. Well-known international beers such as Stella Artois are also widely available (some brewed under license in Croatia), but tend to be more expensive.
Ožujsko also brews an amber variety, which is very tasty on a warm summer evening.
Spirits fro Croatia
A wide variety of spirits is available in Croatia, demonstrating the nation's fondness for strong alcoholic drinks, in particular fruit-based eau-de-vie. One of the most popular spirits is a plum brandy originating in Slavonia called Šljivovica. It's found all over the country. Loza is a grape-based eau-de-vie with a high alcohol content, and Travarica is a herb-based spirit. Vinjak is a brandy, Pelinkovac is a herb liqueur, and Maraskino, a liqueur from Zadar flavored with maraschino cherries.
Many spirits function as an apéritif. A spirit called Bermet is from Samobor, near Zagreb, it's made according to an ancient, well-guarded recipe. It's drunk as an apéritif, served with ice and a lice of lemon.
Wines from Croatia
Croatia is a land of vineyards, with vines growing on the slopes of rolling hills inland and in pockets of stony soil on the coast and islands. Production varies in quantity and quality but standards are improving and there are some very decent wines around. From the Kvarner area come the white wine Žlahtina (from Vrbnik on Krk), red Cabernet (from Poreč) and Teran (from Buzet), a light red.
Dalmatia is known for Pošip and Grk form Korčula (both white wines), Dingač (one of the best Croatian reds) and Postup from the Pelješac peninsula.
Plavac (red) comes from Brač and Malmsey from Dubrovnik. Finally, from Slavonia come Kutjevačka, Graševina, Kutjevo Chardonnay and Riesling, and Krauthaker Graševina.