Ethiopia is beginning to welcome a much greater number of tourists these days, all keen to appreciate the wonders of this characterful land. And one thing that they always ask is – what drinks are available?
In this international world of ours, we are hardly going to surprise you if we say that certain bottled drinks are found very widely indeed. Coca-Cola and Pepsi battle it out for dominance, as in so many countries, but the orange drink Mirinda, 7-up, Sprite, Fanta – all are a very normal part of urban life in Ethiopia.
Bottled water is fairly ubiquitous these days, whether in its sparkling form of Ambo or in the much larger bottles of Highland or Abyssinia.
Some good beer factories have been developed in Ethiopia in recent years – Dashen, Castel, St George, Bati and Meta – and they produce a very refreshing and palatable draught for the sun-drenched tourist.
More characterful by far are the two famous local alcoholic drinks – t’eller and t’ej.
T’eller is a local beer produced in all areas and varies from a decidedly earthy brew with many floating ingredients to a much more refined and honey-sweetened version.
But the drink of celebration is certainly t’ej, a powerful concoction made from delicious local honey and drunk out of little round flasks that look as though they started life in the school’s chemistry room! Absolutely delicious – but beware of the kick!