Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta, with its sun-kissed shores and rich history, is also a haven for some distinct and delightful beverages. The Maltese islands have been influenced by numerous civilizations over the millennia, and this is evident in its drink culture. Here’s a toast to the top five non-alcoholic cocktails that capture Malta’s essence.
- Kinnie Spritz: Malta’s answer to the world of soft drinks, Kinnie is a bitter-sweet carbonated beverage made from oranges and aromatic herbs. For the spritz, take ice-filled glasses, pour Kinnie, top up with soda, and garnish with an orange slice. It’s Malta’s favorite refresher with a tangy twist.
- Prickly Pear Mocktail: The vibrant prickly pear, locally known as “bajtar tax-xewk”, is a summer staple in Malta. For this mocktail, muddle a few prickly pears, add a splash of lemon juice, a hint of mint, and top up with sparkling water. It’s a colorful concoction that embodies Maltese summers.
- Maltese Lemon Squash: Lemons play a significant role in Maltese cuisine. This squash is a simple blend of freshly squeezed local lemon juice, sweetened to your preference. Serve chilled with ice and a sprig of mint. It’s the islands’ citrusy answer to thirst.
- Carob Dream: Carobs, often termed as ‘black gold’, have a long history in Malta. This drink harnesses the sweet, earthy flavor of carob syrup combined with cold milk. Stir well and enjoy this unique taste, reminiscent of Malta’s age-old agrarian traditions.
- Pomegranate Fizz: Pomegranates, with their jewel-like seeds, are celebrated in Maltese folklore and cuisine. This fizz is a blend of fresh pomegranate juice, a touch of lime, and sparkling water. It’s not just vibrant in taste but also in appearance, symbolizing Malta’s zest for life.
Malta’s non-alcoholic cocktails are a reflection of its diverse cultural influences, fertile soils, and the ingenuity of its people. From the local favorite Kinnie to the traditional carob-based beverage, each drink tells a story of the land, its people, and their traditions. So, whether you find yourself exploring the silent city of Mdina or lounging by the beaches of Comino, ensure you take a moment to indulge in these Maltese beverages. As you savor them, raise your glass with a heartfelt “Saha!” — the Maltese way of celebrating good health and cheer.