Alcohol in Tunisia for tourists -
- that drink in hotels and national drinks
Attitude towards alcohol in Tunisia is very loyal. There is even a strong national drink, which is rarely found in Islamic countries. The rules of alcohol trade in Tunisia are quite tough and confusing. We will discuss all this in detail in this article.
The tradition of preparing alcoholic beverages in Tunisia dates back to the times of the Roman Empire. At that time in the history of Tunisia, the country's territory was called "the province of Africa", and the export of wines was an important income item along with the export of olive oil and dates .
Tunisia was very rich in those days. Recall at least the fact that here was the third largest in the Roman Empire amphitheater. By capacity of the audience, it was second only to the Roman Colosseum and the arena of the city of Capua. This grandiose amphitheater still stands in the city of El Jem . One of the reasons for this wealth was wine making.
Tunisia continued to be a major supplier of wine for the entire Mediterranean until the 7th century, when all of northern Africa was conquered by the Arabs. From that moment winemaking began to decline.
In 1881, 1200 years after the Arab conquest, Tunisia became a colony of France. Wine-making flourished again, and Tunisian wines were exported to France and other European countries.
In 1956, Tunisia became a completely independent Islamic state, but the industry of alcohol production was not affected. Tunisia still produces its own wine, beer and strong alcoholic beverages. Tunisians acted rationally from the economic point of view. Time only confirmed their rightness, when in the 80's the boom of tourism began and quality alcohol came by the way.
The main feature of Tunisia for drinking tourists
The level of alcohol quality in Tunisia is "higher" than in Egypt or Turkey. Strong alcohol in Egypt in general is difficult to drink to most tourists, unless it is diluted with a "horse" portion of juice or soda. In Turkey, people are poisoned with methyl alcohol, which clearly indicates its origin from the tanks of chemical plants.
In Tunisia, excellent wines, good strong drinks and delicious liqueurs. With beer here the situation is worse. We'll talk about national drinks and brands a little later.
Rules for the importation of alcohol into the territory of Tunisia
You can bring into the country 1 liter of strong alcohol or 2 liters of other alcoholic drinks per person. Drinks with an ethanol content of more than 25% are considered strong. Read more in our review " What and how much you can bring to Tunisia ."
Alcoholic beverages in Tunisia are not sold everywhere. Even a regular store can not sell beer. Although non-alcoholic beer is sold everywhere and very many varieties.
Alcohol can be found in hotels, there are no restrictions. The second source is shops "Generals". In every major city there is such a store.
If you need this store, its location is better to ask at the reception desk of your hotel. Or ask the taxi drivers, they will be happy to take you there, the prices for taxi trips in Tunisia are acceptable.
Some restaurants serve alcoholic drinks, but only large and expensive restaurants. To sell alcohol, you need a special license, and not all restaurants, she "can afford". However, there are also small cafes with a license, which they manage to "beat off" due to large sales volumes. A vivid example is a cafe in the port of El Kantaoui (pictured left).
Some large supermarkets sell beer and wine. For example, the Carrefour network in several of its supermarkets has alcohol departments. But they do not sell strong alcoholic drinks.
To sell alcohol is allowed only from 12-00 to 18-30. On Friday, alcohol is not sold for religious reasons. Also, the entire month of Ramadan does not sell alcoholic beverages. Of course, all these rules do not apply to hotels.
Buha is Tunisian alcoholic beverage number one. On foreign websites it is called liqueur, brandy and even whiskey. In fact, this is a real moonshine, made from figs.
Some guides in Tunisia tell us about Bukh an interesting story. Ostensibly, this drink was invented by Russian immigrants who arrived in Tunisia after the 1917 revolution. And its name comes from the Russian word "booze".
In fact, this name is Arabic. From the local dialect of the Arabic language, it translates as "intoxicating couples" or "pairs of alcohol." The word "booze" comes from the name of glasses and mugs for alcoholic beverages produced by the Bukharin plant. It is logical that this word appeared already in the Soviet era, and the basis for the name of the drink could not serve.
Buha has a taste of ordinary vodka, but with a slight citrus flavor. The taste of the drink is very pleasant. We declare authoritatively, we have a staff taster - our editor-in-chief. He even tried Chinese alcohol , and this is a brave act, given the "hellish" smell of Chinese vodka.
Bukh is rarely drunk in its pure form, but is more often used for making cocktails, mixing with juices. The most popular brand of this drink is called "Bokobsa" (pictured above), but in Tunisia hotels prefer to drink guests with cheaper varieties.
Dat de liquor is not a drink, it's just a name. So in Tunisia they call all alcoholic beverages from dates from liqueurs to date vodka.
Liqueur Tibarin is the second alcoholic pride of Tunisia. This is a date liqueur with a strength of 45 degrees with the addition of herbs (pictured left). The taste is pleasant, although a bit harsh.
It is believed that the liqueur is named after the Roman emperor Tiberius, and that the prescription for this liqueur is 2000 years old. Of course, this is a fiction, since such strong drinks in those days still could not do.
Tibarin is an expensive drink, and not all hotels offer it in the "all inclusive". If you want to try it, you will most likely have to look for the Generals store. European tourists have a Tibarin liqueur in demand as a gift from Tunisia . It is very colorful - dark color, slightly thick consistency and original taste and aftertaste.
Beer in Tunisia is not very high quality, so most of the tourists respond. The most common brand is called Celtia. Do not look, that on a label the emblem of the European sample is drawn, and the name is consonant with a word "celt". This is purely Tunisian beer, to Europe, which has nothing to do.
Almost all beer in Tunisia is local. In hotels, imported beer is present, but for a fee. Also, imported beer can be bought at the Generals stores.
In Tunisia, a lot of beer is brewed - 1.5 million hectoliters. Given the population of 10 million people, this is 15 liters per Tunisian per year. Arabs themselves do not drink alcohol for religious reasons, and almost all this volume is drunk by tourists.
The tourist flow to Tunisia is 5-6 million tourists a year. This is a modest figure - to the resorts of Egypt comes twice as many tourists. If you take all these figures and take into account domestic consumption and exports, you will get the following. The average tourist in Tunisia drinks about 20 liters of beer for the holidays!
Now many tourists will ask: "Why do we publish all these figures?" We want to show the respected readers the attitude of Europeans to Tunisia.
For the French, English and German, Tunisia is Alco-Mecca. Affordable and quality alcohol, along with cheap cigarettes, made the country a "breakout" place for Europeans, who behave very decently at home.
If you see a German in a Tunisian hotel in a state of "junk", then do not be surprised. For this, they are here for the most part and go. They do not arrange debauchery, they do not climb into fights and they do not yell at the whole hotel. Quietly and peacefully get drunk "in insole" and crawl to the numbers. However, let's return to the topic of local drinks.
Tunisian wine is the pride of the country. The number of stamps is thousands, and there is no point in describing them. It is believed that the white wine here is very good, and the red is a little worse. Red Tunisian wines are considered too harsh. Dry wines in Tunisia are considered the best. On the winery even arrange tours for tourists. A photo from one of these excursions is higher.
As for Tunisian wines, we will give only one piece of advice: "Tasting, tasting and tasting again!" Just do not overdo it with tastings. Being in the street drunk is punishable by law, as we discussed in detail in the article " Dangers for tourists in Tunisia ." In addition, travel insurance does not cover the treatment of injuries received "under the shafe."
Tips & Prices
A bottle of wine costs from 8 Tunisian dinars , it's not recommended to try something cheaper. A bottle of beer - 2-3 dinars. Bukh - 30-60 dinars. If you buy a tour not All Inclusive, use these figures to calculate the budget of your trip to Tunisia .
If there is a desire to bring some Tunisian alcoholic drink home, then remember the restrictions on the Russian and Tunisian borders, read about them in the article " What and how much can be exported from Tunisia ".
Have a nice holiday in Tunisia, and read our interesting articles about this country ( links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website