Enjoy wine, beer or Arak in Israel.
Beer in Israel
There are three main brands of Israeli beer:
* Goldstar — a Munich-style dark draught, it is the most popular Israeli beer in Israel. Can be found in bottles and cans of 0.5 and 0.3 liters (1 pint and half a pint, respectively), or KHE-tsi and sh-LISH (Hebrew for "half" and "third". Referring to the amount based on litres, as Israel uses SI). It is also available from tap (meh-HA kha-VIT, Hebrew for "from the barrel").
* Maccabee — a pilsener, lighter and smoother than Goldstar. Only comes in bottles and cans. This beer has a bad reputation in Israel as being of foul taste and, as such, many bars do not serve it. Be aware that the local variety of Maccabee tastes differently than the exported one.
* Nesher — comes in bottles, mostly malt.
Palestinian beers are also available:
* Taybeh — from Taybeh village, close to Ramallah, a beer popular with many Palestinians, Israelis and tourists alike. It is mainly found in Israeli Arab communities and the Old City of Jerusalem.
Lately, several brands of micro-breweries have established themselves, and a wide selection of bee rott boo teek (boutique beers) such as Bazelet, Golda, Laughing Buddha, Asif, Gamal Meofef and many others can be found in selected alcohol houses and in some chain retail stores. In addition, a wide variety of international brands are available throughout Israel, some of which are locally brewed. Among the most popular are Heineken, Carlsberg, and Tuborg.
Liqueurs in Israel
A common liqueur in Israel is Arak. It is clear, and anise-flavored, quite similar to Pastis or the Colombian Aguardiente. It is usually served in a glass of about 0.3 liters, mixed with equal amount of water and ice. Some like to drink it mixed with grapefruit juice. Arak is usually kept in the freezer. A common brand is called Aluf Ha-Arak and Elit Ha-Arak (both of the same distillery) with the former of higher alcohol per volume and the latter of stronger anise flavor. They are of slightly different volume although the price is accordingly different.
Wine in Israel
There are several local big vineyards and a growing selection of boutique ones, some of them of high quality.
Most of the regular western sodas are available, and many have local variants that aren't very different in taste. Pepsico and Coca-Cola Company fight for the soft drinks market aggressively. Israeli Coca-Cola is thought by Cola connoisseurs to be tastier and more authentic than elsewhere. This is due to the fact that Israeli Coca-Cola is made with sugar, and not with high-fructose corn syrup. Tempo (not to be confused with Tempo Industries, Ltd. which is the brewer of most Israeli beer and bottler of most soft drinks including the local Pepsi) and Super Drink are dirt-cheap local variants, at times sporting very weird tastes.
The generic name for Coke or Pepsi is "Cola", and it usually implies Coke; if the place serves Pepsi, they will usually ask if it's fine.
There are several more authentic soft drinks:
* Tropit — cheap fruit flavor drink which is usually grape. Comes in a tough aluminum-like bag with a straw. The bag is poked using the straw to make a hole through which you drink. A very portable drink (until holed), which has become very popular in summer camps. In the newer varieties there is a marked area where the straw should be inserted. Even then it can sometimes take practice to insert the straw without the juice squirting out, if you are from the US it is just like the Israeli version of "Capri Sun."
* Chocolate milk — there are a number of brands of sterilized chocolate milk (SHO-ko) which comes in plastic bags and small cartons. The tip of the bag is bitten or clipped off, and the milk is sucked out. As with Tropit, it is very portable (although due to its milky nature, not as much) until opened, after which it is impractical to reseal. It should be noted that chocolate milk in a bag is usually served cold, and it would be a very bad idea to warm it.
* Spring Nectar — fruit juice that comes in cans. Sold in most supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations, as well as many take-away stands. Comes in a number of flavors such as peach, mango, and strawberry.
* Prigat — fruit juice that comes in plastic bottles. Is sold at pretty much every supermarket, petrol station and corner-store around Israel. Comes in many flavors including grape, orange, apple, tomato and a few more exotic options as well. It is quite common to see Israelis sitting on the beach with bottles of Prigat juice they have just bought from the promenade.These drinks are very tasty and delicous