Bulgarian drinks

KAMELIYA PAVLOVA: A DEDICATED TEAM STANDS BEHIND DELICIOUS BEER

Kameliya Pavlova has over 15 years of experience in marketing. She joined the team of Carlsberg Bulgaria in 2019 as manager Research and Innovations. Through the years she helped build the strategies behind the brands Shumensko, Pirinsko, Tuborg and Zatecky, and Carlsberg non-beer portfolio with focus on Somersby and the beer mixture Garage. She is also behind the creation of the company’s long-term strategy. 

What will be the trends in beer in 2024?

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HOW TO ENJOY RAKIYA

The easiest way for a foreigner to raise a Bulgarian brow concerns a sacrosanct pillar of national identity: rakiya, the spirit that Bulgarians drink at weddings, funerals, for lunch, at protracted dinners; because they are sad or joyful, and sometimes because they do not have anything better to do. Inexperienced foreigners tend to make three types of faux pas when they try rakiya for the first time. Some declare after a sip that they would rather have a glass of wine.

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TIME FOR RAKIYA

If you have at least one Bulgarian friend and they have still not treated you to home-made rakiya, there are two possible explanations. They are sick – too sick to drink. Else there must be something very wrong with your relationship.

Rakiya is one of the national beverages of Bulgaria and the home-made stuff is held in the highest esteem. In fact most Bulgarian only drink mass produced rakiya in restaurants or when their home-made variety runs out.

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MY OWN CHOCE: 竹田 恒治

I have been posted abroad many times in my career and before leaving for a new country what concerns me most is the living conditions, particularly the local food.

When it was decided that I was to go to Bulgaria, I took my family to the only Bulgarian restaurant in Tokyo, called "Sofia." We tried some Bulgarian dishes and so I already had an idea about Bulgarian food before my arrival here.

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BINGEING IT

Is the expat community full of certified alcoholics who, instead of spending their time in Bulgaria visiting cultural sites and learning the language, sit in English bars watching satellite TV and hitting the bottle? Equally, is the indigenous male population full of alcoholics who on waking at 6 am reach for the nearest rakiya bottle?

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VSOP MADE IN BG

They say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, but I was in Bulgaria. What do they do in Bulgaria? They make rakiya! I'd settled in a small Bulgarian village and wanted to become a part of it, so when I was asked if I would like to make some rakiya I jumped at the chance.

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PELIN

The saying "bitter like pelin" aptly describes the opinion of a large part of the drinking community, and probably of all teetotallers, in Bulgaria. They believe that this wormwood wine is definitely not to die for.

But the strange drink - neither wine, nor sangria, nor aperitif a la Fernet - has enough fans among the rest of the population. So many, in fact, that the EU has agreed to accept it as a Bulgarian trademark denoting an aromatic wine-based drink.

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