Staying hydrated is essential in a country that’s as dry and hot as Egypt. Here’s a guide to the must-sip drinks you’ll find during your travels.
Made with orchid starch (different to the kind your uncle uses on his shirts), this thick and sweet drink is served hot and is found throughout Egypt. Perfect for sipping on cool nights along the Nile.
While the standard black tea served in Egypt is fine, it’s generally made from imported leaves anyway – so it might not be much different to the kind you can drink at home. Karkade (hibiscus tea), on the other hand, is subtle and floral. Usually served cold, it's a refreshing (and pretty) drink on a hot day.
Asab (sugarcane juice)
This wildly popular juice is sold just about everywhere in Egypt from roadside stalls to fancy juice shops, and is drunk by people from all walks of life. Sticks of sugar cane are crushed to extract the green juice, which is sweet at first with a slightly sour aftertaste that some travellers love and others hate. If you enjoy the flavour, it’s a great boost after hot days spent wandering ruins.
It's important to stay hydrated while travelling in Egypt, but drinking tap water isn’t recommended. Remember to avoid drinks with ice and to peel fruit before eating it, too. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water from your hotel or pack water purification tablets.
The sale and consumption of alcohol in Egypt is complicated. As Egypt is a majority Muslim country, many locals abstain from alcohol completely. However, it is possible to find liquor stores and bars in some upmarket neighbourhoods, and many hotels and resorts serve alcohol.
Home brewing is also relatively popular, but if you want to avoid getting sick (or worse), we recommend avoiding any alcohol not prepared in a professional environment. Many travellers find it easier to abstain completely during their time in the country.