Sunday, January 3, 2010

Drinking in BA

"Vamos a tomar algo?" It's the phrase you hear all the time here in BA, the ubiquitous and seemingly innocent suggestion that covers oh so many sins, and that translates loosely to "Shall we go for a drink?"

Yesterday on the bus home I heard someone say it, and it got me thinking (because thinking is just something you do on buses, along with sweating and staring)...Argentines have weird drinking habits. For example, drinking beer, or anything really, out of jars instead of cups. Also, drinking red wine with Coke (called "jote"). What is THAT all about?

Then we have milk in a bag. (Not to be confused with yogurt in a bag.) And there's mate, which is a perfectly normal, traditional drink, enjoyed by most Argentines and many other people as well, including myself. Totally understandable. A little less understandable is the continued mate obsession into the hot summer months. Scalding hot drink on a hundred degree day? Sure, why not!

But along with the weird habits are some pretty delicious ones, Gancia being one, Fernet being another. Fresh squeezed orange juice from street vendors. Una cervecita bien fría. Malbec, Torrontes, Syrah. Café, in every shape and form. SUBMARINOS (hot milk into which you submerge a bar of chocolate until it melts, good lord I want one NOW). Grapefruit everything. Tap water you can actually drink (can't say the same about Delaware!) Old men toting thermoses everywhere they go, just in case the mood for a mate should strike them. Enjoying a liter of Stella in Plaza Serrano, or a bottle of red at an asado in Pilar...

Now I'm thirsty :-)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amy,
    Just to say I came across your Blog and really liked it!
    Will be following you now :-)