13 Drinks in Croatia You Should Try

Situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia has a picturesque Adriatic coastline, historic towns, and a rich cultural heritage.

Like its geographical tapestry, Croatian cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean and Central European influences. It boasts a rich variety of dishes, often incorporating fresh seafood, meats, and hearty vegetables.

Drinking customs in Croatia are rooted deeply in social and cultural settings. Whether it’s a family gathering, a festive celebration, or a simple meeting with friends, beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, play an essential role.

So, let’s discover some of the most popular Croatian drinks!

Types of Drinks in Croatia

The Croatian national drinks include wine, rakija (fruit spirits and liqueurs), beer, coffee, and some unique soft drinks.

Croatia has a rich wine-making history and is known for its quality wines. The most famous Croatian wine regions include Istria and Kvarner, Dalmatia, Slavonija and Danube, and Croatian Uplands. Popular types of wine produced in Croatia include Plavac Mali, Malvazija, and Graševina.

Rakija is a versatile fruit spirit commonly made from grapes (komovica and loza) and other fruits, such as plum (sljivovica), pear (vilijamovka), and cherries (maraschino). Additionally, various herbs and fruits, with or without added sugar, can be infused in rakija, leading to liqueurs like honey, mistletoe, herbal, and green walnuts.

Popular drinks in Croatia, Illustration

Beer is also a popular drink in Croatia, with the most well-known brands being Ožujsko and Karlovacko. However, in the last decade, the craft beer scene has exploded in Croatia, creating countless exciting beer labels and styles, such as IPA, porter, and sour beers.

Coffee is a big part of Croatian culture regarding non-alcoholic beverages. Coffee drinking in Croatia is a ritual that often involves sitting for hours and socializing with friends and family. At home, Croatians mainly consume “Turkish-style” or “Bosnian-style” coffee, which involves boiling fine-ground coffee in a pot with water and sugar.

Additionally, Croatia has some unique soft drinks popular among locals and tourists. Some of the most well-known ones include Cedevita (a vitamin C supplement drink), Pasareta (a red-colored soda), and Pipi (a lemonade-like soda).

Croatian Alcohol

Croatia boasts a rich tradition of alcoholic beverages, many of which are integral to its cultural heritage.

According to research conducted by the WHO in 2019, Croatians consume 8.7 liters of alcohol per capita annually, which is below the EU average. However, experts note Croats drink at least 25 percent more when “domestic production” is included, which is not easy to quantify.

The most popular alcoholic drinks in Croatia are wine, brandies and liqueurs (rakija), and beer.

Rakija is a strong fruit brandy, deeply ingrained in Croatian culture and cuisine. It is typically served as a digestif after meals or offered as a welcoming drink to guests. Some of the most popular types of rakija are šljivovica (plum brandy) and lozovača (grape brandy).

Many Croatian liqueurs are based on rakija infused with various fruits, herbs, and spices. Only a few liqueurs use neutral spirits, such as Maraschino (made from cherries). Some of the most famous ones include Orahovac (walnuts), Medovaca (honey), and Travarica (herbs).

Croatian wine has a storied past, with production dating back to Greek and Roman times. The country’s diverse climate and terrain contribute to various wine styles, from the crisp white wines of Istria to the robust reds of Dalmatia and the delicate sparkling wines of the Croatian Uplands.

Croatia’s beer consumption is also significant, and the country has a thriving beer scene. According to the Brewers of Europe website, Croatians consume 79 liters of beer per capita annually. Ožujsko and Karlovačko are two of the most recognized brands. The craft beer movement has further enriched the beer landscape, with local breweries like Garden Brewery and Zmajska Pivovara leading the way.

Croatian Brandy (Rakija)

Rakija (brandy) is considered a Croatian national drink. Most Croatian brandies are made from grapes (lozovača/komovica), plums (šljivovica), but other fruits like pears (viljamovka), or apples (jabukovaca) are used too.

Croatian brandy is traditionally distilled in copper stills. The process starts by fermenting fruits like grapes, plums, pears, and apples. The fermented mash is then heated, vaporizing the alcohol, which is subsequently cooled and condensed into a liquid. This yields a raw spirit that captures the essence of the fruit.

Rakija can be aged in oak barrels for added flavors like vanilla and spice or bottled young for a vibrant, fruity taste. Typically, rakija’s alcohol content is around 40%, though homemade versions can be even stronger.

Croatian brandies offer diverse aromas, a clean, clear appearance, and a well-rounded, harmonious taste.

Rakija is often served neat (without ice) in small glasses as a digestif after meals, but can also be enjoyed independently or paired with dried fruits or nuts.

Croatian Liqueurs

Croatian liqueurs are very popular in Croatia, embodying a rich tradition of flavor and craftsmanship. They mainly use fruit brandy (rakija) as their base, though some also use neutral alcohol, like Maraschino and Pelinkovac.

Among the most popular are Pelinkovac, Maraschino, and Teranino. Pelinkovac is a bitter herbal liqueur, typically crafted from wormwood and other aromatic herbs, with an alcohol content of around 28-35%. It is enjoyed both as an aperitif and a digestif. Maraschino, made from the Marasca cherries grown in the Dalmatian region, boasts a sweet, complex profile with notes of cherry and almond. Its alcohol content is typically around 32%. Teranino, derived from the Teran grape, offers a smooth and sweet taste profile and excels in cocktails and straight sipping.

In addition to these well-known varieties, Croatia produces a myriad of liqueurs made from fruit alcohol bases, such as Medovača (honey liqueur), Rogač (carob liqueur), Mirta (myrtle liqueur), Smokva (fig liqueur), Orahovac (walnut liqueur), and Višnjevača (sour cherry liqueur). These liqueurs typically have an alcohol content of 20% to 40%, each offering a distinct flavor profile ranging from bitter to sweet.

Croatian Wines

Croatia boasts a rich winemaking tradition that stretches back to Greek and Roman times, making it one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world.

The key wine regions in Croatia include Istria and Kvarner, Dalmatia, and the two inland regions: Slavonia and the Croatian Uplands.

Croatia’s two most popular wines are Malvazija Istarska (white wine) and Plavac Mali (red wine), which come from Istria and Dalmatia. Other notable Croatian wine varietals include the indigenous Grk and Pošip from the island of Korčula, known for their full-bodied and aromatic white wines. Graševina (Welschriesling), from the Slavonia region, is highly regarded for its light and fruity characteristics, making it one of Croatia’s most popular wines.

Some of Croatia’s top-quality winemakers include Saints Hills, Milos, Rizman, Kozlovic, Benvenuti, Damjanic, Krauthaker, and Tomac.

Croatian Beers

Croatia’s beer scene is as vibrant and diverse as its wine and spirits offerings. The beer market here is dominated by well-known brands such as Ožujsko, Karlovačko, and Pan.

In recent years, the Croatian beer landscape has experienced an exciting influx of craft beers. Craft breweries like The Garden Brewery, Medvedgrad Brewery, Varionica, Zmajska Pivovara, and Nova Runda are revolutionizing the market with innovative brews and creative approaches.

Croatian Soft Drinks

Several popular Croatian soft drinks are worth noting. Pipi, an orange-flavored soda, evokes a nostalgic taste of childhood for many Croatians. Pasareta, a non-alcoholic drink from Istria, is known for its unique blend of herbs and natural ingredients.

Cedevita is a vitamin-rich powdered drink mixed with water to create a refreshing, effervescent beverage. Available in various flavors, such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit, Cedevita is widely enjoyed across Croatia, particularly by children!

Cockta, a beloved Slovenian soft drink, is also popular in Croatia. Its unique flavor profile combines herbal extracts, fruit essences, and caramel, providing a regional alternative to Coke and Pepsi.

Another refreshing option is sok od bazge, an elderflower syrup often diluted with water to create a light, fragrant beverage. This traditional Croatian drink is cherished for its floral notes and is especially popular during the warmer months.

Hot Beverages in Croatia

Regarding hot beverages in Croatia, coffee undeniably takes the lead as the most popular choice. The country enjoys a vibrant coffee culture, where sipping freshly brewed coffee in local cafés is not merely a caffeine fix but a cherished daily ritual. Croatians favor espresso-based drinks, with the traditional bijela kava (white coffee) and macchiato commonly enjoyed in the mornings and afternoons. Social interactions are often centered around coffee, making it integral to Croatian daily life.

Although tea is not traditionally a dominant beverage in Croatia, there has been a noticeable shift in recent years. More Croatians are discovering the health benefits and calming rituals associated with green and black teas. While coffee maintains its stronghold, awareness and appreciation for quality teas are rising.

In many Croatian cafés, infusions and herbal teas are widely available, with hibiscus, chamomile, and mint (mentha) being particularly popular choices.

Croatians strongly believe in the healing benefits of herbal teas. Sage tea is widely used to treat mouth, gum, and throat infections, while laurel tea is favored for alleviating dry coughs.

Hibiscus tea is known for boosting immunity, chamomile is revered for aiding digestion, and uva ursi is commonly used for bladder issues.

Among the main Croatian coffee brands are Franck, a local favorite, and Barcaffè. Franck also offers a variety of tea options. The Ciglica coffee (250g, vacuum-packed Franck coffee) is an iconic product that holds a special place in Croatian culture. It’s a common gift when visiting someone’s home or expressing gratitude, often accompanied by Domacica cookies.

13 Popular Croatian Drinks

Below is a list of 13 popular Croatian drinks, including traditional spirits, wine, refreshing non-alcoholic drinks, and coffee.

1. Rakija (Brandies and Liqueurs)

Croatian rakija drink - homemade grappa with creative names
Croatian rakija drink – homemade grappa with creative names

Rakija is a fruit spirit typically made from grapes, and other fruits like apples (jabukovaca), pears (vilijamovka), or plums (sljivovica).

Other fruits and plants, with or without sugar, can be covered with rakija and left in the sun for several months, creating various liqueurs.

The most popular liqueurs include medovaca (honey liqueur), teranino (red wine liqueur), orahovac (green walnuts liqueur), biska (mistletoe liqueur), travarica (herbal liqueur), mirta (myrtile liqueur). But the combinations are countless, including our favorite liqueurs made of roses (ruzovaca), sour cherry (visnjevaca), and carob (rogac).

Other popular liqueurs in Croatia include pelinkovac (a bitter liqueur based on wormwood) and maraschino (a sweet liqueur made of Maraschino cherries).

These potent drinks are often enjoyed as a digestif after meals. Many restaurants offer a free shot at the end of the meal.

In Croatia, brandy is celebrated not only as a popular alcoholic beverage and digestif but also for its reputed medicinal benefits.

Croatians will readily offer you green walnut brandy if you have stomach issues. For back or neck pain, a simple massage with brandy on the affected area is recommended to lower a high fever. Sore throats and toothaches are believed to be eased more effectively with brandy than conventional pills. Clearly, the Croatians place great trust in the healing powers of brandy.

Rakija makes a great souvenir from Croatia to bring home. It comes in various bottle sizes, including small bottles of 0.1 l. Popular brands include Aura, Badel, and Maraska, which are easily available in shops throughout Croatia.

2. Vino (Wine)

Croatian Wine, Istrian Malvasia, Ipsa Winery
Croatian Wine: Tasting aged Istrian Malvasia at Ipsa Winery in Istria

Croatian wine, known locally as “vino,” has a rich history of over 2,000 years. Its heritage intertwines with the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Croatia has four distinct wine regions: Slavonia and Croatian Danube, Croatian Uplands, Istria and Kvarner, and Dalmatia. Each region offers unique terroirs that reflect the flavor profiles of the wines.

Istria and Kvarner are famed for Malvazija Istarska, a white wine known for its aromatic qualities and crisp acidity. Teran is another standout from this region, a robust red wine with a deep ruby color and intense fruity flavors.

Moving to Dalmatia, visitors will find the celebrated Plavac Mali, a descendant of the Croatian indigenous sort Tribidrag, better known today as Zinfandel. The region produces powerful red wines with rich, dark fruit flavors and sturdy tannins. It also excels in producing Pošip, a white wine cherished for its full-bodied structure and tropical fruit notes.

The Slavonia and Croatian Danube region is particularly renowned for its Graševina (Welschriesling), a versatile white wine that ranges from dry to sweet with notes of green apple and citrus.

The Croatian Uplands are home to various indigenous and international grape varieties, producing diverse wines, excelling particularly in sparkling wine produced by the traditional method, also known as méthode champenoise.

Among the notable winemakers, Saints Hills Winery is dedicated to producing high-quality wines in its two locations in Istria and Dalmatia. The winery produces Plavac Mali, Posip, and international sorts like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon, bringing out the unique characteristics of each terroir through careful vineyard management and modern winemaking techniques.

Other influential Croatian winemakers include the Krauthaker Winery in Slavonia, the Benvenuti, Damjanic, Kozlovic, Ipsa, and Clai wineries in Istria, some of which specialize in natural wines, the Bibich, Milos, Rizman, and Bura wineries in Dalmatia, and the Tomac and Korak wineries in the Croatian Uplands.

Croatian wines are gaining international recognition, making them a must-try for wine enthusiasts.

3. Maraschino (Cherry Brandy)

Various bottles of Maraska's Maraschino, Croatian liqueur
Photo credit: Maraska Zadar

Maraschino is a renowned Croatian cherry liqueur made from the marasca cherry, a specific sour cherry variety grown predominantly in the Adriatic region, especially around Zadar.

This liqueur is celebrated for its unique and complex flavor profile, which combines sweet and slightly sour notes. This makes it a great stand-alone drink as well as a versatile ingredient in cocktails and various cakes.

The production process involves infusing marasca cherries into alcohol, allowing the flavors to meld and mature over time.

Maraschino has deep historical roots, originating in the 16th century within the Dominican monastery in Zadar, Croatia. European royalty highly prized the drink, and it gained international acclaim over the centuries.

Today, it is best enjoyed as an aperitif, sipped neat or over ice, and as a component in classic cocktails like the Aviation, Last Word, and Martinez. Many Croatian desserts also feature maraschino liqueur.

Among the best Croatian brands of Maraschino are Luxardo and Maraska. Although Luxardo has been based in Italy since 1947, it traces its origins back to Zadar and remains one of the most respected names in cherry liqueurs.

Maraska, on the other hand, is based in Zadar and continues to produce authentic Maraschino using traditional recipes and methods. Both brands maintain the rich heritage of this distinctive Croatian drink, making it a cherished choice for connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.

4. Pelinkovac (Bitter Liqueur)

A bottle of Pelinkovac Antique, Croatian bitter liqueur
Photo credit: Badel 1862

Pelinkovac is a popular Croatian bitter liqueur made from aromatic herbs and wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), giving it its distinctive, slightly medicinal flavor. Originating in the 19th century, pelinkovac has become one of Croatia’s most beloved spirits, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

The production of pelinkovac involves steeping wormwood and various other herbs in alcohol and then distilling the mixture. This infusion extracts the herbs’ unique flavors and beneficial properties, creating a rich and complex beverage. After distillation, the liqueur is typically aged to allow the flavors to meld harmoniously.

Among the best-known brands of Pelinkovac are Badel, Maraska, and Darna (a small liqueur company from Rovinj). Badel’s Antique Pelinkovac is this Croatian drink’s most sought-after and popular version.

Pelinkovac is best enjoyed as a digestif, served neat or on the rocks, and is often accompanied by a slice of lemon or orange to complement its bold flavors. It can also be used as an intriguing ingredient in cocktails, adding depth and complexity to the drink.

5. Sljivovica (Slivovitz, Plum Brandy)

Wise Grus, Croatian Sljivovica
Photo credit: Wise Grus

Sljivovica, also known as slivovitz or plum brandy, is a potent and cherished Croatian distilled spirit made from plums. This traditional Croatian drink, popular across the Balkan peninsula, boasts a long history and cultural significance, particularly in rural areas with abundant plum orchards. The name “sljivovica” is derived from the Croatian word for plum, “šljiva,” reflecting its primary ingredient.

The production process of Slivovitz begins with harvesting fully ripened plums, typically in late September. The plums are then cleaned, pitted, and mashed to create a pulp, which is left to ferment naturally.

During fermentation, yeasts convert the sugars in the plum mash into alcohol, creating a thick, fragrant mixture. The fermented pulp is then distilled, usually in copper pot stills, to extract and concentrate the alcohol.

This distillation process may be repeated several times to achieve the desired alcohol content and flavor profile. The resulting liquid is then aged in wooden barrels, often made from oak, which imparts additional depth and complexity to the brandy.

Sljivovica is most commonly associated with Croatia’s Slavonia and Baranja regions, where the climate and soil conditions are perfect for growing high-quality plums. Croatia also has a strong tradition of homemade slivovitz, or “domaća rakija,” with many families passing down their secret recipes through generations. Sljivovica is often enjoyed during cultural events, family gatherings, and festive celebrations.

Sljivovica can be purchased in liquor shops and supermarkets across Croatia, as well as specialty stores and online retailers that cater to international customers.

Among the best-known Croatian brands of Slivovitz are Badel, Maraska, and craft distillery Wise Grus. Badel’s “Sljivovica Premium” and Maraska’s “Sljivovica” are particularly esteemed, offering premium quality and exquisite taste. Wise Grus, hailing from Daruvar, adds a modern twist to traditional slivovitz, producing small-batch varieties highlighting the region’s unique terroir.

Slivovitz is traditionally served neat at room temperature in a small glass, allowing the full spectrum of aromas and flavors to be appreciated. It is also enjoyed as an aperitif or digestif, pairing well with savory appetizers or desserts.

Additionally, many international bartenders and mixologists have incorporated it into their drinks menus in recent years, creating a unique and refreshing twist on classic cocktails such as Cosmopolitan and Margarita.

In Croatia, Sljivovica is not just a drink but also a symbol of tradition, culture, and hospitality. It is deeply ingrained in the country’s history and heritage, making it an essential part of Croatian identity.

6. Viljamovka (Pear Brandy)

Viljamovka, Pear Liqueur, Vertigo distillery, Croatia
Photo credit: Vertigo Distillery

Viljamovka, also known as Croatian pear brandy, is a popular spirit made from Williams pears, a variety known for its juicy and flavorful profile. This exquisite drink hails from continental Croatia’s fertile and temperate regions, particularly Slavonia and Zagorje.

Viljamovka’s production begins with carefully selecting high-quality Williams pears, which are washed, crushed, and fermented to extract their rich flavors. The fermented pear mash is then distilled, often in copper pot stills, to capture the essence of the fruit.

The resulting spirit is typically aged in wooden barrels, such as oak, which adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile, or it can be left unaged for a fresher, more fruit-forward experience.

Depending on personal preferences, Vilijamovka is best enjoyed neat at room temperature or chilled. It is served as an aperitif or digestif. Viljamovka can also be incorporated into cocktails for a contemporary twist.

This exceptional pear brandy is available in liquor stores, supermarkets across Croatia, and specialized shops and online retailers serving international markets.

Among the notable Croatian brands producing premium Viljamovka are Badel, Maraska, and Vertigo. Vertigo, a craft distillery, is known for its small-batch production, highlighting the unique characteristics of the pears used.

Vertigo’s Viljamovka won the gold medal and 95 points at the London IWSC in 2023. Their Viljamovka, featuring a whole pear inside the bottle, makes an exceptionally attractive gift or souvenir from Croatia!

7. Gin

Old Pilot's Gin, Duh u Boci distillery, Croatia
Photo credit: Duh u Boci Distillery

Gin, a distilled alcoholic beverage whose predominant flavor comes from juniper berries, has undergone a remarkable transformation in Croatia over recent years. Initially known for its strong association with British gin culture, the spirit has found a new home in Croatian distilleries, where it has flourished and gained international acclaim.

Several small craft distilleries showcasing Croatian ingenuity and local ingredients have sprung up nationwide. They produce world-class gins that have captured the attention of connoisseurs globally.

Among these distilleries, Duh u Boci and Aura Distillery stand out as leaders in the Croatian gin movement. Duh u Boci, with its “Old Pilot’s Gin,” has received numerous accolades, including a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2019. Aura Distillery, renowned for its premium fruit brandies, also produces the celebrated “Karbun Gin,” which adds a unique touch with charcoal filtering and over 20 varieties of locally harvested herbs and spices.

Croatian gin’s production process mirrors traditional methods while embracing local twists. Juniper berries form the core of the spirit, but botanicals like lavender, rosemary, and various citrus peels from the Adriatic coast infuse regional authenticity.

Croatian gin is best enjoyed in various ways. A popular choice is a classic Gin and Tonic, neat for a more refined experience or incorporated into contemporary cocktails.

An enthusiastic community of distillers and consumers fuels this burgeoning gin culture. Craft gin festivals and tasting events across Croatia have become popular, like GinIstra, which takes place every October in Rovinj.

Croatian gins can be purchased in local liquor stores, specialized shops, and online retailers that cater to international markets. With brands like Duh u Boci, Aura Distillery, and others gaining recognition, Croatian gin is a great drink to taste or bring back home.

8. Beer

A display with Croatian craft beers

Croatian beer has seen a remarkable evolution over the past decade. Craft beer has become immensely popular in Croatia, with many small-scale breweries emerging that are now producing world-class craft beers.

Croatia offers a diverse range of beer types that cater to all preferences. From light lagers and pale ales to robust stouts, IPAs, and porters, Croatian breweries have perfected various styles to captivate beer enthusiasts.

The best Croatian craft beer brands are the Garden Brewery, Nova Runda, Zmajska Pivovara, Varionica, Medvedgrad, Lepi Decki, Bura, and Kampanjola.

Several must-visit bars and pubs are available for those eager to taste Croatian craft beer while exploring popular tourist centers.

In Zagreb, Craft Room, The Beertija, and The Garden Brewery Taproom offer a broad selection of local brews.

In Split, The Daltonist and Leopold’s Delicatessen Bar highlight local craft beer varieties alongside delicious food pairings.

In Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Beer Company, Beer Factory, and Glam Café provide cozy spots to savor Croatian craft beers against the backdrop of the historic city.

Istria is home to Bura Brewery in Porec, San Servolo Brewey in Buje, and Kampanjola Eco Brewery in Savicenta, along with a couple of bars like Habitat Cafe in Porec and Circolo in Rovinj. On the island of Hvar, don’t miss BackLane Craft Bar and Vunetovo. Lastly, Zadar offers the lively Deja Brew Pub and Brlog Brewery.

Croatian craft beers are also available in various locations, including specialized craft beer shops, bars, and supermarkets that cater to craft beer enthusiasts. Many breweries also offer online sales, allowing for easy access to their latest creations no matter where you are.

In addition to visiting these fantastic bars, craft beer enthusiasts should consider attending some notable craft beer festivals throughout Croatia. The most popular beer festivals include the Split Beer Fest in April, the Zagreb Beer Festival, the Osijek Craft Beer Festival in May, and the Zminj Beer Festival in June.

9. Prosek

Tomic prosek Moro, Croatian Dessert Wine
Photo Credit: Tomic Winery, Hvar

Prosek is a traditional Croatian dessert wine. Originating in the Dalmatian region, it is crafted from dried, late-harvest grapes, contributing to its high sugar concentration and distinctively sweet flavor. Prosek production also involves extended alcoholic fermentation and longer aging in barrels. It is typically packed in 0.5-liter bottles. Prosek wine can be made from either white or red grapes.

Prosek has been a part of Croatian culture for centuries. Historical records from the medieval Republic of Dubrovnik mention its presence in trade, purchases, and diplomatic gifts.

To fully appreciate Prosek, it is best served slightly chilled in small dessert wine glasses. It pairs perfectly with rich desserts such as chocolate torte, fruit-based sweets, and blue cheese. Prosek can be enjoyed as a delightful end to a meal or on its own as a decadent treat. It’s also commonly used in cooking, adding a unique sweetness to cakes and cookies.

Several Croatian brands are renowned for their superior Prosek, including Tomic’s Hektorovich, Bibich Ambra, and Bura Moskar.

Prosek is available for purchase in specialized wine shops across Croatia, as well as in some supermarkets and online platforms. You can also find this traditional dessert wine in restaurants, wineries, and even local markets nationwide.

There is a controversy surrounding Prosek wine due to disputes over its naming rights within the European Union. Although historical records indicate that the name “Prosek” was in use long before the introduction of the Italian sparkling wine prosecco, Italian prosecco producers have prohibited Croatians from using the name “Prosek” for their sweet wine.

The controversy arises from the similarity in names, even though the distinct differences between the two wines are evident.

Prosecco is a light and sparkling white wine, whereas Prosek is a sweet wine with an amber hue and a syrupy texture. These differences cater to different palates and occasions, reducing the likelihood of consumer confusion.

The dispute remains unresolved, and Croatians hope the European Union will rule in their favor and allow them to use the name “Prosek” for their traditional dessert wine.

10. Cedevita

Cedevita, Croatian vitamine powder drink
Photo credit: Cedevita

Cedevita is a popular Croatian instant vitamin drink that has become a nationwide household name. Developed in the late 1960s by the pharmaceutical company Pliva, it is a convenient way to boost vitamin intake. The drink comes in powdered form and is easily prepared with water.

Cedevita is available in a wide array of flavors. The most popular options include orange, lemon, and grapefruit, but other flavors like lime and tropical fruits are also available. Each flavor contains 9 essential vitamins, including C, E, and B-complex.

Cedevita is served in cafés and restaurants across Croatia, often as an alternative to sugary sodas and juices. It’s also a common sight in Croatian households.

Cedevita is widely available in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience shops throughout Croatia. It can also be found in online stores specializing in Croatian products, making it accessible to those living abroad who wish to enjoy a taste of home.

11. Pipi

Pipi, Croatian soft drink

Pipi is a beloved Croatian soft drink. It is refreshing and lightly carbonated, and it has captured the hearts of many since its inception in the 1970s.

Initially developed and produced by the local beverage company Dalmacijavino in the Dalmatian city of Split, Pipi quickly became one of Croatia’s most popular sodas.

Pipi is known for its refreshing taste and unique character. The drink’s branding, featuring a playful depiction of a girl named Pipi on its label, adds to its charm and easily recognizable identity.

While the classic orange flavor remains popular, Pipi has other flavors, including cola, tonic, and watermelon.

Pipi can be tasted in numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants across Croatia. For many Croatians, enjoying a Pipi by the Adriatic coast is a quintessential summer experience. The drink is also widely available in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience shops.

Croatians love Pipi for its taste and the sense of nostalgia and heritage it evokes. Often referred to as the “drink of our youth,” Pipi holds a special place in the hearts of many, symbolizing an era of simpler times and joyful memories.

12. Pasareta

Pasareta, Istrian Soft Drink

Pasareta is a traditional Croatian soft drink from the picturesque Istria region. This distinctive beverage, produced by the Ferenčić family in Pazin, has been a local favorite since its inception in 1924.

Pasareta is characterized by its delightful cherry-red color and a flavor profile that combines hints of sour cherry and pomegranate, resulting in a refreshing and slightly tangy drink.

The drink’s authentic recipe has been passed down through generations, preserving its traditional essence and local charm. However, besides water, sugar and citrus fruit aromas, the other key ingredients have remained a secret for 100 years.

Pasareta can be enjoyed in numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants across Istria. It is also widely available in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience shops throughout Istria. However, it is relatively unknown and unavailable in bars, restaurants, and shops outside this Croatian region.

Istrians hold Pasareta in high regard, not only for its taste but also for its sense of tradition and regional pride. For many, enjoying a glass of Pasareta is a nostalgic experience that brings back childhood memories. This deep-seated appreciation ensures that Pasareta remains an iconic drink in Istria, deeply embedded in the hearts of its residents.

13. Coffee

Coffee Cup with a map of Croatia

In Croatia, coffee is not just a beverage but a cultural cornerstone woven deeply into the country’s social fabric.

Turkish coffee is the most popular coffee in Croatian homes, followed by Italian Mocca and the quintessential espresso.

Turkish coffee is prepared in a traditional pot called a džezva or kogoma and served with grounds settling at the bottom. Italian Mocca and espresso, on the other hand, reflect the Italian influence, providing a smoother, less intense cup.

The social significance of coffee in Croatia cannot be overstated. Coffee time is a quintessential part of daily life.

Croatians often gather in cafes with friends and family, spending hours engaging in conversation and enjoying the relaxing ambiance. This ritual is not just about drinking coffee but connecting with others, sharing stories, and taking a moment to unwind.

In recent years, there has been a rise in specialty cafes across Croatia. These cafes are elevating the coffee experience, offering meticulously crafted brews using high-quality beans from around the world.

Some renowned specialty cafes in Zagreb include Eliscafe, Cogito Coffee, 42 Coffee Co., and Quahwa.

Over in Istria, Augusto Coffee Shop in Rovinj and Bora Nera in Vodnjan offer a unique selection of coffee.

Split boasts notable spots like Kava2 and D16 Coffee. On the island of Hvar, Coffee Snob and Kava37 serve some of the finest specialty coffees.

In Dubrovnik, Cogito Coffee Shop and Coffee Break are popular spots for coffee enthusiasts. Finally, in Zadar, places like D16 provide an excellent coffee experience.

Drinking in Croatia

Croatia’s drinking culture is rooted in social tradition and leisurely enjoyment. Croatians often gather in pubs, bars, and konobas (traditional taverns) to enjoy a variety of beverages, with a particular emphasis on socializing and savoring the moment. Alcohol consumption is generally moderate and accompanies Croatian food or celebrations.

Public drinking is permitted in Croatia, though it is essential to observe local regulations, as rules can vary by municipality. The legal drinking age is 18, and the blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05%.

The most popular drink in Croatia is Rakija, a traditional fruit brandy that comes in various flavors.

The tap water in Croatia is safe to drink.

What is the legal drinking age in Croatia?

Croatia’s legal drinking age is 18, aligning with many European countries’ standards. This limit applies to the purchase and consumption of alcohol in public places.

Can you drink alcohol in public in Croatia?

Public drinking is permitted in Croatia, though it is essential to observe local regulations as rules can vary by municipality.

For instance, in Split, you can receive a €150 fine for drinking alcohol in public. In Dubrovnik, minors are not allowed to drink alcohol in public, while in Pula, strong alcoholic beverages are prohibited in public spaces for people of all ages.

It’s common to see people enjoying a cold beer or a cocktail on the beaches, especially during the warmer months.

Can you drink the tap water in Croatia?

Regarding water safety, Croatian tap water is of high quality and safe to drink nationwide, including in big cities and rural areas.

What is the most popular drink in Croatia?

Rakija, a traditional fruit brandy, is Croatia’s most popular drink. This potent spirit comes in various flavors, such as plum (šljivovica), grape (lozovača), and honey (medica), and it often accompanies special occasions and hospitality rituals.

Drinking and driving in Croatia

Croatia has stringent regulations regarding drinking and driving. The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.05%, except for professional drivers and drivers under 24, for whom the limit is 0.00%.

It is also worth noting that if you participate in any traffic accident, the blood alcohol limit toleration goes down to 0.00%.

What are Croatian drinks prices?

Drink prices in Croatia vary depending on the location and type of establishment. On average, a domestic beer costs about €4 ($4.40, £3.40) in a bar, international beer around €5, while a glass of wine ranges from €4-€7 ($4.40-$7.70, £3.40-£6). Cocktails can cost between €9 and €14 ($9.90-$14.40).

Prices may be higher in more touristy areas. Overall, drinks are reasonably priced compared to many Western European countries.


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