New Zealand Drinks
Alcohol was first introduced to New Zealand with the arrival of European settlers in the late 1700's. Maori natives were banned from drinking as authorities cited that Maoris 'were susceptible to alcohol'. No records have been found that the native Maori ever produced their own alcoholic drinks.
The first commercial drink brewed was beer in 1835, and is still the most consumed beverage in New Zealand, the largest breweries being Lion, Speight's, DB and Monteith's plus many other beers that are brewed under licence including Amstel, Heineken, Tiger, Holsten, Tuborg, Kingfisher, Stella, Becks, Guinness, Bud' and Corona.
Vines were first planted in the early 1800's and their most famous wine is certainly Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in the north-west part of New Zealand's South Island. It is the driest area in New Zealand and it is where the grape thrives, producing some of the world's best Sauvignon Blanc wines, even when comparing against their French counterparts of Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre. New Zealand wineries have also proven to make some very high quality pinot noir and reisling wines.
Most of the country's spirits are imported but there are exceptions. The award-winning 42 Below vodka range is available is most western countries, though we are yet to see Stolen Rum hit our UK shores - the world's first smoked rum.