You may be asking yourself what is left to say about Italian word bevande, meaning a drink or a beverage?
Well, if we sail across the Adriatic sea and land in Croatia, on its Dalmatian coast, meaning of that word becomes more specific. Historically, word was obviously inherited by Croats in Dalmatia from Venetians who for centuries also ruled over Istria and the parts of Dalmatian coastline, including a number of the islands in the Adriatic sea.
Once you end up on Croatian side of Adriatic, bevanda is no longer any drink but wine mixed with water.
Since summer along the coast, and hinterlands in its background do get very dry and hot, with temperature in summer months raising as high as +40’C or 104F, locals started to mix wine with water to keep “happiness” part under control, while in the same time replacing liquids and minerals lost through the sweat.
This ages old tradition did not die with old generations of Dalmatians and still lives on. At the same time, wine making in Croatia (map), especially along the Dalmatian cost, with mild climate in the winter and warm to hot summers, as well as with fertile soil, have given rise to some of the best vineyards in Europe.
Variety of Dalmatian wines will accompany range of Mediterranean dishes, cheeses and deserts but bevanda will make a great refreshment, second to non, at any time of the day. That becomes the truth especially in the afternoon, right after siesta, when it’s the perfect time to head out to the nearest konoba (tavern) to cool down with bevanda.
Unwritten rule to mix wine and water for bevanda:
- 2/3 wine + 1/3 water, or
- 1/2 wine + 1/2 water
So, once in Dalmatia order bevanda!
Travel notes from Dalmatia…