(Republic of Latvia, Latvijas Republika)
- Location : Europe (Baltic Region)
- Capital: Riga
- Language: Latvian
- Population: 2.21 million
- Total Area: 64,589 km2
- Currency: Lats
- Annual average liquor consumption per capita: 10.6 liters per year
- Annual Beer Consumption Per Capita: 68 liters per year
- The Most Popular Drink: Aldaris, Cezu Dzins
Once Latvia re-gained independence from Russia, Latvians became very nationalistic. Inherited citizenship was applied to all citizens of the Republic of Latvia in 1940 and their descendants as well as some minorities. Others were offered to either get citizenship from their native country or to become permanent residents without a citizenship.
The main alcoholic drink in Latvia is beer. If you want to sample local drinking culture head for a beer bar although it is not recommended for single ladies or even groups of ladies only. The most popular local brand is Aldaris. Famous back in the Soviet Union, Riga’s Balzam or Riga’s Black Balzam is a bitter brew made from a secret recipe of various roots, grasses and herbs. It is supposed to cure your cold or flu in a snap. While I did not test it for that, it certainly has a very distinct taste, perhaps best described as something that must be good for you because it tastes awful.
Rīga’s elegant Old Town and distinctive Art Nouveau architecture serve as a stimulating setting for a vibrant modern business and cultural life. A whole district is dominated with examples of the architecture and art works from the late 19th Century. There are over 800 Art Nouveau buildings in the city and they are certainly worth seeing.
Latvia is the central country of the Baltic States located in North-eastern Europe on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. Latvia’s capital is Riga where more than one third of Latvia’s population lives and works. Riga was founded in 1201, and it is one of the oldest medieval cities in Europe. It has been listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s most important cultural and natural sites. Riga also had an honor of hosting a NATO summit, a world hockey championship, the Eurovision Song Contest and many other large-scale international events.
Riga is just emerging as a gourmet capital. To experience Riga gourmet routes, there are three to choose from: Old City, Art Nouveau and Pardaugava. If these restaurants do not satisfy your thirst for adventure and innovation, try “Hospitalis”. Doctors in Riga have opened it and the dining room looks like an operating room and the waitresses wear nurse's uniforms on wheeled beds. There are syringes and operating tools for cutlery as well as test tube and beakers for wine glasses. If you order the cake then you're likely to see some fake fingers balanced on the top!
Story By Marina Balzac & Adebayo Ahmed Adebola.
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