As well as delicious food, Jordan also serves up some very tasty beverages. Being a Muslim country, alcohol isn't part of the local culture like it is in western countries, but you'll still be able to have a drink or two if you fancy it while you're on holiday (but more on that later).
Popular drinks in Jordan
There's nothing more refreshing than a glass of limonana on a hot day in Jordan. Popular throughout the Middle East, limonana is made with fresh lemon juice, mint leaves, sugar and loads of ice that is blended until it turns into a cool slush. It's a zingy upgrade on your standard lemonade that is bound to cool you down and give you a much-needed sugar rush to continue exploring long into the evening. You'll find it everywhere from cafes and restaurants to local street vendors.
2. Fresh juice
Another local favorite is fresh fruit juice. No matter where you go in Jordan, you'll stumble on juice shops on the side of the street serving up ice-cold juices made from seasonal fruits. From perfectly sweet watermelons to ripe mangos and avocado, you'll see colorful displays of fruit all around ready to be juiced (with some real sugar cane to sweeten it if you have a sweet tooth).
3. Bedouin tea
No trip to Petra or Wadi Rum is complete without sipping on countless cups of Bedouin tea. The Bedouin people are ancient nomadic tribes of the Middle East and they're known for their warm and welcoming hospitality, often opening their homes to travelers who are interested in learning about their culture. Tea is tightly woven into Bedouin culture and you'll often find yourself sitting down with a piping hot concoction of water, black tea, sugar (lots of it) and dried sage while listening to stories about life for the Bedouin people. You'll probably find that your cup will continue to be refilled unless you politely place your hand over your cup to show you've drunk enough.
When you're asked how you like your tea, you can say “bedun” meaning without sugar, “khafif” meaning a little sugar, or “thaqil” meaning a lot of sugar.
4. Mint tea
As well as black tea, mint tea is also extremely popular after a meal or during the day to accompany a sweet treat. Jordanian mint tea is often made by adding a few mint leaves to the bottom of a glass before pouring over freshly brewed black tea and sweetening to taste.
Coffee is a big part of Jordanian culture and you'll smell the rich aromatics of coffee beans as you walk around the city streets of Amman. Jordanian coffee is made by adding finely ground Arabic coffee beans (also known as Turkish coffee), ground cardamom pods and water to a stove pot which is then brewed until foam starts to appear. It's then taken off the stove and poured into dinky and often elaborately decorated cups, and sweetened with sugar to taste. The normal serving is usually three cups (don't worry, they're only small!), but if you'd like more simply hold out your cup. If you've had enough the polite way to respond is by gently shaking your cup from side to side.
Can you drink alcohol in Jordan?
Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country and alcohol isn't really part of the culture, but it's also not a taboo like it is in neighboring countries. It's important to note that it's illegal to drink on the street and in public spaces including beaches and hotel foyers. Drinking is generally accepted by the public if it's done in moderation, but any public displays of drunkenness will definitely raise a few eyebrows and may indicate that you don't respect the local culture. If you do fancy a tipple, you can enjoy a drink at a restaurant or hotel. You'll also find a fair number of bars in the capital city of Amman and in other tourist hubs.
Can you drink tap water in Jordan?
Drinking tap water in Jordan is safe depending on where you are. It's considered safe to drink water from modern hotels in big cities like Amman that have filter systems, but perhaps not so from smaller establishments and in rural areas. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water. If you're traveling in more remote areas always peel fruit before eating and avoid ice in drinks.
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