8 salty drinks you don’t expect

8 salty drinks you don’t expect

From cocktails to traditional Southeast Asian drinks, we discover a world of flavors that we will hear about more and more: salty drinks.

Water, fruit juices, coffee , wine: the drinks we are used to drinking can be defined as sweet, sour, bitter, but the word salty will hardly come to mind.We are used to drinking sweet drinks, but it’s time to consider salty ones tooThis taste therefore seems mistreated by the liquid sector, notes that perhaps remind us when as children, by mistake, we swallowed sea water and it was not a good experience. Yet this is not the case. Think for example of the margarita cocktail  , where the salt covers the edge of the glass and gives that extra touch to three simple ingredients,  tequila , triple sec and lime juice. And it is precisely from the world of mixology that a revaluation and enhancement of salty drinks is starting . They can be distant traditions or new creations, perhaps born to meet the needs of the market. After all, today the open battle is against sugar, no one is protesting yet for a pinch of salt! So let’s discover the world of salty drinks and let us be surprised.


  1. Gose , beer Leipzig is a top-fermented beer  brewed particularly salt water or by adding a pinch of salt. Because? And how did all this come about? In Eastern Germany there is still a town called Goslar today. The area was known since the Romans for its mineral deposits, especially salt. Thus, when in the 11th century , beer began to be produced using the waters of the local river, the Gose, it was realized that the aquifers had been contaminated from the salts present in the subsoil and the beer was slightly salty. And when in 1738 the master brewers of Goslar began to bear their fruits in nearby Leipzig, it was a success, to the point that today the beer takes its name from this city. With the world wars it fell into disuse a little, but since the 80s we have returned to talk about this style, inserted in the historical category . Also in Italy there are breweries that interpret this recipe with pink salt from the Himalayas, Cervia, Sicilian or even purified sea water .
  2. Chanh Muối : not only in Europe. Salty drinks are also an oriental tradition, particularly Vietnamese . The name Chanh Muối indicates a tradition of this country of preserving slices of lime in salt . These slices are then placed in a glass with water and sugar ( nước chanh muối ) to obtain the so-called Vietnamese salted lemonade. Alternatively you can use soda or just soda water to create a cool drink and sparkling ( soda chanh Muoi ). This recipe is particularly popular in Hong Kong. Especially outside of Vietnam, you can find the version with lemon instead of lime.
  3. Salty drinks for sportsmen : speaking of variants of Chanh Muối, we cannot fail to mention the invention of the Japanese company Kirin. It is a lychee and salt drink from Okinawa , an island in the south of Japan, flavored with mint and lemongrass. It is particularly recommended in summer and for sportsmen who need to replenish after intense activity. In fact, it seems that the salt present helps to recover the sodium lost due to sweating. After all, it is the same concept as isotonic drinks which generally contain just water, sugar, salt and lemon or orange juice. The name Salty litchi,  however, captures more attention by highlighting the salty notes, in fact.
  4. Kefir : it is one of the most fashionable drinks of the moment, also thanks to its probiotic properties. What is it about? There are two types , one based on milk and one based on water. In both cases, fermentation is necessary to reach the final productand this takes place thanks to the kefir granules that host colonies of yeasts and bacteria. The result is, on the one hand, a creamy preparation, similar to yogurt, often used as an ingredient in particular recipes, such as  bread , soups or cheeses. On the other hand, a refreshing, slightly alcoholic and sparkling drink, rich in mineral salts, with a slightly salty flavor when flavorings do not prevail.
  5. Lassi : it is a drink of Indian origin , particularly appreciated in Ayurvedic medicine . There are several versions, including the salty, particularly thirst-quenching one, called namkeen lassi . How is it prepared? Yogurt or kefir is mixed with water and salt . Some also add cumin, ginger, and black pepper. It can be drunk on its own but is particularly interesting in combination with spicy and spicy foods, such as the Aloo gobi cauliflower and potato dish . In the northernmost part of India and in Bangladesh there is also chaas , a more liquid type of salty lassi.
  6. Doogh : similar to lassi is the Middle Eastern drink called Doogh. Again this is yogurt, water and salt. In Iran, salty liquid is often flavored with mint. The drink is served cold, especially in summer, perhaps as an aperitif or together with a kebab. Its origin is lost in the mists of time in Persia and today it is present in various states of the ancient empire, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Jordan, the Balkans. In Turkey it is called ayran and is considered the national drink .
  7. Cocktail : in recent years the fashion for salty drinks has been exploding . Not just the Bloody Mary or the aforementioned Margarita, but new and original creations with a pinch of salt or the addition of a saline solution. There are also those who add other tasty ingredients. This is the case of the  Dirty Martini where olives are not just a garnish, but a real ingredient. In fact, a drop of conservation brine or olive juice is added. Other products used are fish sauce, kombu seaweed, Japanese salted plums ( umeboshi ), glasswort, bacon,  miso, to give some examples. According to some, these notes allow to best enhance the overall flavor of the drink. There are also those who think that salt is useful for balancing the bitterness of some recipes.
  8. Sho ban : and that it is good to drink something salty, the macrobiotic confirms it with this drink with invigorating and restorative properties . What is it about? Japanese hot bancha green tea and tamari sauce , a thicker and tastier soy sauce. One or two teaspoons per cup are enough. If you are particularly tired, sipping a cup or two a day of this salty drink will get you back on track. You can then add some grated ginger to enhance the digestive effects . The tamari can be replaced with another savory ingredient, gomasio, made with toasted sesame seeds and coarse salt. A teaspoon dissolved in a cup of hot bancha is enough to relieve headaches, for example.

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