Growing up in the 1970s in Los Angeles, my parents would start their day by drinking instant coffee, Elite brand from Israel if they could find it, but many times Maxwell House or Folgers crystals. I did not care for it as a child or as an adult. I did enjoy the Israeli orange juice or sweetened grapefruit juice any time of day. On special occasions, my father would make Turkish coffee which is a slowed brewed traditional drink for Sephardic Jews of the Balkans. I found it rather strong, but it does go well with burekas and huevos haminados in the morning. I don’t know how they could drink it in afternoon or evening and not be negatively affected by that massive jolt of caffeine late in the day.
At Shabbat Dinner, there was always a little taste of sweet wine for the Kiddush, but my family did not drink much wine and even less hard alcohol. I, however, took a liking to that sweet kosher wine at a young age and developed an appreciation for all types of wine as I matured. Wine paired with dishes is now a regular part of my family meals. Traditionally, the Jews of Salonica and Sofia drank arak, similar to Greek ouzo and Turkish raki. Arak is an anise-based hard liquor with a slight licorice flavor. My family, however, never drank arak. I’ve had ouzo several times, but arak and raki are less common.