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In this post: Alcoholic beverages in Egypt. Is there alcohol available in Egypt? Can I drink alcohol in Egypt? Where to buy alcohol in Egypt?
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Many people visiting Egypt are worried about alcohol or moreover the lack of it. If you came to read this post, you are probably one of them.
Don’t worry, I have good news for you, alcohol is served and allowed in Egypt. Alcoholic beverages are not illegal in Egypt and it’s widely available. Here is all you need to know about consuming alcohol in Egypt.
IS THERE ALCOHOL AVAILABLE IN EGYPT?
Despite most of Egyptians are Muslims, alcohol is available in Egypt. Most of the Egyptians don’t consume alcohol themselves, but some do and it’s not forbidden to drink alcohol there in Egypt.
Most of the hotels, restaurants and bars in the tourist areas serve alcoholic beverages.
In the Red Sea area Hurghada, El Gouna, Sahl Hasheesh and Makadi May most of the restaurants serve alcohol, except the ones whose customers are mainly Egyptians. I mean, if you go to an oriental restaurant in Hurghada, it’s a big change that you are not getting alcohol with your dinner. But, if you go to the restaurant in the main tourist area, it’s likely to get a beer.
Anyways, thought alcohol is not served in all the restaurants in Egypt, there is no problem for tourists to have drinks. There are restrictions for tourists consuming alcohol in Egypt. The only restriction is that you are not allowed to drink alcohol if you are under 21 years old. But, to be honest, I have never been asked ID in Egypt or seen anyone asked ID when drinking alcohol.
Another restriction with alcohol is selling it during the Ramadan. Read more about Ramadan in Egypt from here. Egyptians are not allowed to drink alcohol during the Ramadan, it’s also forbidden to serve alcohol for Egyptians during the Ramadan.
Ramadan doesn’t affect tourists straightly, but some of the restaurants and bars may be closed during the holy month. Also, there are fewer people in the clubs.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL IN EGYPT?
Yes, you can. You can drink alcoholic beverages in the bars, restaurants and clubs that serve alcohol. Also in hotels and flats. But drinking on the streets or being very drunk on the streets is not accepted widely.
NEXT: WHERE CAN I BUY ALCOHOL IN EGYPT?
WHERE CAN I BUY ALCOHOL IN EGYPT?
Alcohol is not sold in the supermarkets of Egypt, but it’s actually very easy to buy it. You can buy takeaway bottles from every restaurant and bar that serve alcohol. Just tell them, what you want and they’ll pack the bottles for you.
You also order alcohol through the internet. Yes, you read right. There are companies that deliver alcohol beverages wherever you want. You select what you want, set up your location and they will bring the beverages to you. The companies that deliver alcohol in Egypt are Drinkies and Cheers.
Notice that if you use Drinkies, you must order lots of alcohol at the same time. You can’t order two beers, you need to order 24 cans or bottles at the same time. Cheers deliver less than 24 packages.
Drinkies have many stores in Cairo, but they also have a store in El Gouna from where they deliver to Hurghada. They also have shops in Alexandria, Ain El-Sokhna, El Fayoum, Tanta, Mahalla, Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor and Port Said. Check the locations from here.
Cheers have stores in Cairo, Alexandria and El Gouna. You can see the locations from here.
Both of the stores sell beer, wine, spirits and RTDs (ready to drink). Most of the alcohol sold both in Drinkies and Cheers are brewed in Egypt. The prices are affordable and ordering is easy. Download the app or call!
NEXT: DUTY-FREE SHOPS IN EGYPT
DUTY-FREE SHOPS IN EGYPT | IMPORTED ALCOHOL
If you want to buy imported alcohol, you have 48 hours to buy imported alcohol after arriving in Egypt. Imported alcohol is sold at airports and in the duty-free shops. Here are the locations for Duty-Frees in Cairo.
In Hurghada, you find a duty-free shop from Senzo Mall and beside Giftun hotel in El Mamsha, check the location from here. Duty-Free El Gouna is located in the Abu Tigi Marina and Sharm El-Sheik here.
EGYPTIAN BREWED ALCOHOL
Like said, the alcohol sold in Egypt is mostly brewed and produced in Egypt. Some of the Egyptian brewed alcohol can make you very sick afterwards. This is why I usually don’t touch Egyptian spirits, beer and wine are more than enough for me.
I haven’t tried Egyptian Whisky myself, but I’ve tried Vodka and it wasn’t the best one I’ve had. A friend of mine loves Egyptian brewed Gin, so not all the alcohol is bad. Depends on the person.
Here is a list of the most common and popular alcoholic beverages brewed and sold in Egypt.
Egyptians have been brewing beer since the days of Ancient Egypt. The oldest modern beer sold in Egypt is Stella. Don’t confuse it with the Belgian beer Stella Artois. Egyptian Stella beer is the most popular beer in Egypt, in 2016 it was sold 47.5 million litres in Egypt. It has been on the market since 1897. The company that produces Stella, distributes Heineken and Desperados beers to the Egyptian markets.
Stella is my favourite Egyptian beer (4.5% of alcohol), it’s light and the taste is good. It’s sold both in 0.5 litres cans and glass bottles. The price in the restaurants varies from around 20 Egyptian pounds to 60 Egyptian pounds.
The other popular beer sold in Egypt is Sakara. Sakara Gold is 4.0% malt beer, served 500 ml bottles and cans.
The more dangerous version of Sakara beer is Sakara El-King which alcohol content is 10% and 15%. You don’t have drink many of these to get drunk, so be careful!
There is also other beer with a relatively high alcohol content available in Egypt. This beer is called MEISTER MAX and its’ alcohol content is 8%. It’s sold in a bottle (330ml) and cans (330ml & 500ml).
The other beer brands sold in Egypt are Heineken and Desperados by Al Ahram brewing company. Both Heineken and Desperados are more expensive compared to local brands such as Stella and Sakara since they are international brands and brewed outside Egypt.
OMAR KHAYAM WINE
From my experience, Omar Khayam is probably the most common wine in Egypt. You can find it, wherever alcohol is served. For me, it tastes like a wine, but I have a feeling that wine experts won’t appreciate the taste as high as I do. Omar Khayam is available in Red, White and Rose. It’s produced in Egypt and the price is affordable around 100-200 Egyptian pounds/bottle.
The other Egyptian brewed wine brands are Obelisque, Grand Marque, Ayam and Leila. You can order these wines and imported wines also from Drinkies and Cheers.
NEXT: EGYPTIAN SPIRITS
EGYPTIAN SPIRITS: VODKA, GIN & WHISKY
Like said earlier, I don’t have the best relationship with Egyptian spirits. Actually, I haven’t even tried the Egyptian vodka since 2010. There must have been progressing since the Egyptian Vodka called BLUE40 has been winning awards because of its’ quality. BLUE40 vodka is produced in Egypt under the supervision of Heineken international. It makes this Vodka is worth trying.
There is also a vodka called BLACK50 available. It’s also an award winner and produced under the supervision of Heineken company.
If you want to have an authentic experience with Egyptian vodka try Volga vodka. This vodka is the reason for not tasting Egyptian vodka since 2010. Even the smell of this vodka akes you consider twice before trying it. BUT like said, I haven’t tried this for years, so who knows if the quality has improved. Have you tried Volga Vodka lately? What was it like?
Devlin whisky is the first single malt whiskey produced in Egypt. It’s a little pricey compared to other Egyptian Whiskies (i.e. AULD STAG WHISKY) but for sure the quality is better. At least it should.
The gin sold in Egypt, it’s not exactly the same they sell outside of Egypt. But at least it’s cheaper!
There are also rum, liquors, tequila and RTD’s available in Egypt. The only alcoholic beverage missing in Egypt is cider, but luckily there are RTDs to substitute cider.
As a conclusion, alcohol is available in Egypt, but the quality of alcohol bought in Egypt depends on a lot. My advice is: Don’t buy the cheapest bottles (wines & spirits) unless you know what you are buying. If you pay a little extra, you’ll get better quality.
Do you have any thoughts of alcohol in Egypt? What’s your favourite alcoholic beverage sold in Egypt?