Macedonians love their drinks, be it alcoholic or non-alcoholic. We usually tend to have a drink or two during lunch, several drinks when we go out or have meze and drinking coffee is our favourite midday activity.
Macedonian (Turkish) Coffee is our favourite drink and we have it several times per day. This coffee has been introduced during the Ottoman rule and has found its way into daily Macedonian life and slowly but surely became a traditional daily drink. It is often consumed with the traditional desserts and is drank after big meals.
For Macedonians drinking coffee in a coffee shop or cafe bar serves many occasions, from business deals, to just two friends catching up or even as a first date, and usually lasts more then an hour and a half. If you go through any city centre square in the afternoon then you will see every coffee shop filled with people drinking their coffee. But, this is not just limited to Macedonian coffee as younger Macedonians also have the more international coffee types.
Rakija is the most famous alcoholic drink in the Balkans and every country has its own Rakija type. Rakija comes from distilling fermented fruit and the Macedonian Rakija is made from grapes so it is also known as Lozova Rakija (Grape Rakija). There are companies that produce branded Rakija, but this drink is mostly home made. There are many homes especially in the Tikvesh region that produce home made Rakija that is considered high quality, so there can be a large difference between home made Rakijas is different regions. Rakija is drank from small shot like glasses and is mostly consumed with salads prior to dinner or with meze as a popular way to spend a quiet evening with friends.
Mastika is very similar to rakija, with the difference being that the mastika is seasoned with a spice coming from the tree mastic which is native to the mediterranean region. Mastika is also consumed with meze and the best one comes from the region around Strumica.
Although Wine is not an exclusively Macedonian drink, it is one of the most consumed beverages in the country and the wine making industry considered as one of the more important. There are several large and many medium and small sized wineries across the country with the most famous types of wines being Vranec, Kartosija, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the red wines, and Smederevka, Reisling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for the white wines. The most famous region for wine making is the Tikvesh with cities Kavadarci, Negotino and Demir Kapija.