6 Popular Algerian Beverages

Algerian beverages are delicious drinks that characterize Algeria’s cuisine and history.

Lastest Updated April 23, 2024
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Basic Information

Algerian Drinks: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Coffee, Tea, Aromatic Water, Fruits, Sugar.

Common Preparing Methods

Brewing, Steeping, Blending, Fermenting.

Key Taste

Sweet, Sour, Bitter.

Drinking Etiquette

Refrain from consuming alcohol in public; offer tea or coffee to guests; socialize in tea shops or coffee shops.

Culinary Festivals

Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha.

Influence and Fusion

Algerian beverages are shaped by native Berber, Arab, Ottoman (Turkish), and French culinary traditions.
Origin and Region

Algerian Drinks: Origin and Region

Cuisine

Algeria

Culinary Region

North Africa

Country’s Region

Northern Algeria, Southern Algeria, Eastern Algeria and Western Algeria.
Ingredients and Preparation

Types of Algerian Drinks

  • Alcoholic Beverages

    In Algeria, alcoholic beverages are much less popular than non-alcoholic ones due to the country’s Islamic principles.

    For the locals, alcoholic beverages are mainly consumed in private settings or in special spaces.

    Wine is a traditional alcoholic drink in Algeria and has a level of international fame.

  • Non-alcoholic Beverages

    Non-alcoholic beverages account for the majority of drinks in Algeria.

    They are mainly tea, coffee-based beverages, and soft drinks.

    These beverages are either chilled or served with ice to combat hot weather.

    Certain Algerian beverages are strongly associated with local social rituals and customs.

Algerian beverages are drinks that people in Algeria commonly prepare and consume. These beverages are deeply rooted in the country’s history and culture, with Ottoman drinks (now represented by Turkish beverages) being a major influence.

In addition, beverages in Algeria are also shaped by French traditions and beverages in other neighboring countries, such as Moroccan beverages.

As an Islamic country, Algeria has an extensive list of non-alcoholic beverages, including tea and coffee. Still, this nation has an interesting history with wine.

Read on for more information about drinks in Algeria, starting with the traditional drinking culture in the country and the global popularity of local drinks.

Then, I will delve into the most famous 6 beverages in Algeria and give you an overview of Algerian drinks.

Below are the fundamental customs and rules of etiquette that define the drinking culture in Algeria.

Legal Drinking Age

Only people 18 years old and older can buy alcohol legally in Algeria.

Alcohol Consumption

In Algeria, drinking alcoholic beverages is legal but not widespread in public due to religious and social norms.

Drinking typically occurs in private gatherings and in licensed establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, and bars.

Hospitality

Algerians often offer tea or coffee to guests as a gesture of hospitality, and refusing this drink can be considered impolite.

Communal Spirit

Tea shops, coffee shops, and roadside cafés are important gathering places in Algeria, where locals socialize, gossip, and discuss all kinds of life topics.

In the next section, I will look at how famous Algerian beverages are outside their home country.

Due to historical and cultural ties, Algerian beverages are available in France and several Maghrebi countries, namely Morocco and Tunisia.

Interestingly, Algeria played a role in popularizing coffee in Europe, as the coffee trade between Venice and North Africa in the 17th century helped spread this beverage all over Europe.

Before Algeria won its independence from France, wines from this country were enormously popular throughout the world. Today, they are relatively little known, yet international connoisseurs are increasingly paying more attention to Algerian wines.

Without further delay, let’s delve into the best drinks that Algeria has to offer.

6 Amazing Algerian Beverages

The 6 tasty beverages in this guide will tell you everything you need to know about Algerian drinks. Use interactive filters to navigate this content more easily in terms of popularity, ingredients, tastes, and preparation methods.

Also, there are additional filters based on popular, traditional, and national beverage labels; they will give you more information about the importance of beverages in Algeria.

  • The most popular Algerian beverages are widely enjoyed across the country and the region; some even enjoy international popularity.
  • These beverages are available in various settings, from cafes to homes and social events.
  • Algeria’s national beverages represent the essence of the country’s culture and traditions.
  • These beverages serve as symbols of hospitality.
  • They are deeply ingrained in the country’s history and social fabric.
  • Traditional Algerian beverages have great historical significance.
  • They have been passed down through generations.
  • These beverages showcase the diversity and richness of Algeria’s regional and culinary heritage.
Cherbet

Cherbet

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Cherbet, also known charbet mazhar, is an aromatic beverage widely consumed in Algeria. Its main ingredients are orange flower water, sugar, cinnamon, and water, though some versions feature lemons for a tangy twist.

Dating back to Ottoman times, cherbet is a must-have drink for special occasions, such as Ramadan and weddings. With a sweet and pleasantly tart taste, this fragrant refreshment goes well with various dishes, such as couscous, tajine, and bourek.

Soft Drinks

Soft Drinks

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Unspecified

Soft drinks are a well-liked beverage category in Algeria. Among the many famous local names, Hamoud Boualem and Orangina are the ones that most deserve your attention.

Established in 1878, Hamoud Boualem is a long-time Algerian company known for soda and other fizzy drinks. Its typical brands include Hamoud, Slim, and Selecto.

Orangina is an Algerian carbonated citrus beverage invented in the 1930s. It is made with orange juice, lemon juice, mandarin juice, carbonated water, and orange pulp.

Most Algerian soft drinks boast a mix of sweetness and tanginess and are usually served with ice. You can pair them with dishes of all kinds, especially savory ones like kefta, chorba frik, and dolmas, for a contrast of flavors.

Algerian Wine

Algerian Wine

  • Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Algerian wine is a fascinating beverage with a long history dating back to ancient Roman times. The country’s fertile soil and ideal climate are excellent for growing wine grapes, especially red grapes.

During the French colonial period, Algerian wine production saw a significant boost thanks to the introduction of modern winemaking techniques. In the mid-20th century, Algeria was the world’s top wine exporter.

Nowadays, Algerian wine is less well-known among the population than it once was. However, locals are becoming more and more interested in its revival.

Must-try Algerian wine brands include Koutoubia, Raïs, Côteaux de Mascara, and Sahara.

The robust flavors, rich aromas, and spicy and fruity edges of local vintages go well with rich and hearty dishes, including chorba frik, tajine, and rechta.

You have just had a tour of the best beverages in Algeria. Next, let’s check out the most outstanding features of local drinks.

Coffee

Coffee

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Coffee is among the most iconic beverages in Algeria. Espresso and strong black coffee are the most popular choices.

Both coffee options are default breakfast drinks. They are often served with pastries and desserts, such as makroudh, mbesses, and qalb el louz.

Ottoman-style coffee was introduced to Algeria when this country became a part of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Still, this drink was mainly known in coastal cities in the country’s northern part.

Only after Algeria was made into a French colony in the 19th century did coffee widely penetrate southern Algeria as well as the rural regions. Today, rich and sweetened coffee is enjoyed throughout the country, especially in the north.

Algerian Mint Tea

Algerian Mint Tea

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • National
  • Traditional

Algerian mint tea is a well-known beverage prepared with dried green tea, spearmint leaves, and sugar. It is also known as Maghrebi mint tea or Moroccan mint tea, highlighting its widespread appeal in the region.

The tradition of drinking mint-flavored tea in Algeria dates back to the 19th century. Algerians learned how to enjoy tea from Moroccans, who had acquired a taste for tea from the British.

While Algerian mint tea is a favorite drink throughout the country, it is especially well-known in the south and among the Tuareg people (a Berber ethnic group living in the Sahara).

In Algeria, men are usually charged with making the tea. People often have two cups at least, while a Tuareg host always prepares three or more.

Algerian mint tea is served in decorative glasses to showcase its vibrant color and pleasantly sweet taste. Sweet dishes like m’semen, baghrir, and tamina are the best accompaniments for this tea beverage.

Mazagran

Mazagran

  • Non-Alcoholic
  • Traditional

Mazagran is a refreshing Algerian cold coffee drink that French colonial soldiers reputedly invented at the Mazagran fortress in the 19th century. It is essentially a mix of strong and sweetened coffee, water, lemon juice, and ice.

Mazagran boasts a sweet, mildly bitter, and highly refreshing flavor that is perfect for the warm Algerian climate. Some people enhance it with extra ingredients like rum, mint, or syrup.

The best type of glassware for serving mazagran is a specifically designed tall and narrow glass that is also known as mazagran. For accompaniments, light dishes like tamina and chtitha batata make perfect pairings.

When the soldiers who created mazagran returned to France, they brought this beverage with them, making it a fashionable drink in France and some European countries.

You have just had a tour of the best beverages in Algeria. Next, let’s check out the most outstanding features of local drinks.

What Makes Algerian Beverages Special?

The following aspects play an essential role in shaping the identity of beverages in Algeria.

Culinary Influence

Algerian beverages result from the interactions between various cuisines. French and Ottoman influences are particularly prominent.

Tea and Coffee

Tea and coffee are the two most popular beverages in Algeria. Serving tea or coffee is the standard Algerian way of welcoming guests and showing hospitality.

The two drinks also showcase the culinary differences between the country’s regions. Coffee is a favorite drink in the northern coastal cities, while people in the south mainly enjoy tea.

Islamic Influence

Most Algerians practice Islamism, which discourages the consumption of alcohol. As a result, alcoholic beverages don’t have many offerings and aren’t consumed in public in Algeria.

By contrast, non-alcoholic options, such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks, are very popular. They are a common sight at both daily meals and special occasions, like weddings and Islamic festivities.

What do you think about my Algerian drink recommendations? Do you know other excellent drinks that can be added to this list? I’m all ears for your feedback! Please share this compilation of Algerian beverages with your friends.

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert

Education

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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