Local Tipples


Sample local tipples that tickle the taste buds, warm your throat and leave you with that holiday glow. They’re not just a treat for the senses – destination drinks are packed with tradition and follow proud production rituals. Experience an insight into the local way of life as you enjoy a glass or two.

We’ve delved into some popular choices which pair perfectly with any culinary adventure, or simply enjoyed on their own after a busy day living the villa lifestyle.


This well-loved fruity punch is the heart and soul of Spain, poured lovingly by locals from a hefty jug. Made using a combination of red wine, brandy, syrup and fruit, it’s often the centre stage of a Spanish sojourn. There are different variations served throughout Spain’s shores. The best typically have a base of good Spanish wine creating a deep authentic flavour. It’s the perfect complement to a tasty tapas feast! A jug of Sangria goes down delightfully as the sun sets over the horizon from your villa terrace.


It may be made from grape skins, seeds and stalks left over from the wine-making process – but don’t let that put you off. The clean and fragrant flavour of Grappa has made it a popular after-dinner serve. Enjoyed either as a shot or with an espresso, it’s a tempting tipsy treat! There are hundreds of producers throughout Italy – so take your pick from plenty of variations. Aged Grappa is best served at room temperature, whereas a younger pour is better chilled. Sip this delicately in the warmth of Tuscany, or the tranquil setting of Sardinia.


“Ouzo makes the spirit” is the Greek saying. Held close to many local hearts, Ouzo is enjoyed as an aperitif with liquorice notes giving it a distinctive taste. First poured as a clear liquid, it creates a curious cloudy effect once water is added. Serve it up in shots for a memorable evening. Ouzo is also used in food dishes to add an aniseed flavour. Why not get creative in the villa kitchen and add a dash to your own Greek culinary creation?


The brewing of rum is seen as an art, one that the Caribbean has mastered to perfection! Locals pride themselves on inducing a sense of quality and sophistication with every mouthful. Take your pick from white, gold and dark classics from the rum artist’s palette. The taste brings images of lazy days on sun-soaked beaches, as you relax to the sound of reggae beats fading into the horizon. A rich history sits behind many well-known brands, with roots in Barbados, Jamaica and beyond.


Forget about a skinny hazelnut latté with two shots and whipped cream! Coffee in Italy is stripped back, traditional and seamless. Nothing is overcomplicated. Expect a memorable deep flavour and rich aroma. Enjoy your cup in a quirky side street hideaway alongside locals. Takeaway cups are nowhere to be seen. Italians have influenced the worldwide adoration of this beverage, so immersing yourself in the religious coffee culture from within the cosy café walls is an experience to be treasured.


Made using sugar, water and tiger nuts, Horchata is a traditional Spanish beverage. A flavour similar to rice pudding makes it a popular drink at merienda, the late afternoon snack intended to carry you over from lunch to a late dinner. Dunking sweet pastries into your Horchata creates the perfect pairing. Served throughout Spain with early roots in Valencia, it’s non-alcoholic and suitable for vegetarians. Those with a nut allergy can also tuck in – tiger nuts are actually a type of plant! Sample this delightful delicacy for a taste of Spanish tradition.


We’ve left the best (or should that be zest) until last! If anything says ‘Italy’, it’s Limoncello. Lemon skins are infused in alcohol, creating a deep yellow colour and zesty flavour. With its origins stemming from the Amalfi Coast, it’s traditionally served as a delicious after dinner digestivo. So pour a glass and drink in the aromas while on holiday along this coastal masterpiece. Even at home, the tempting zing of this fruity liqueur will bring back precious memories each time you enjoy a sip after an Italian feast.

Whether it’s a villa near a vineyard, or you just love trying new destination drinks – there’s a holiday home from home waiting for you…

Rebecca Blakeburn

Rebecca Blakeburn is a Senior Communications Executive at James Villa Holidays.

See all articles by Rebecca Blakeburn

See all articles by Rebecca Blakeburn

Related articles