Ayryan is a typical analcoholic drink made with yoghurt and water, to which you can add as much salt as you wish. I tried it at the O!Shipka restaurant. More information here.
When I went to have lunch to O!Shipka with my future friend Kristian, he let me taste this drink and, although I found it a little disgusting in the beginning, I didn't dislike it and had it when I went to that restaurant again. It's one of the few Bulgarian specialties I have had the chance - and the courage! - to taste.
Like Mexico, The Bulgarians do not sell Alcohol during time of elections...at most establishments. You may have to walk around in order to find some one that is. The stop selling at 2200 the day before the election and at about 2200 on the day of the election. Unlike our Tuesday elections....Bulgarian elections are on Saturday.
We tend to drink reasonably steadily but we also tend to carry it reasonably well. A small drink is a 50ml (note: big one in the West is 40ml) and a normal is 100ml. Men drink a few normal ;-) and even if you don't feel like getting plastered, get a 'normal' and nurse it all night (you don't have to finish it). ON the other hand, if you are pressured into the numbers game, after the first normal get small ones -- this will also give your BG opponent the false sense of security that they are leading in the game (while you'll be just waiting for the right moment)..... ;-)
Be careful with cocktails! The BG cocktail tradition is based on some combination of rakiya, vodka and mentovka (mint liquor). The names are descriptive: "Cloud", "Jump in the Grave", "People's fist". There are quite a few Russian borrowings such as "The bear is coming" (start with vodka, and add beer as you drink) and "The bear is going" (the other way round).
I am not a beer lover so my opinion on Bulgarian beer cannot be trustworthy. Still I guess you should taste a few kinds ...
Bellow are a fe well-known (in Bulgaria) kinds of beer:
1. Kamenitza - its ad line is "Men know why" (my favourite although I am not a man and probably have no idea why!)
4. Plevensko Pivo (Beer from the region of Pleven)
4. Shopsko Pivo (Beer from the region of Sofia)
Just at the back of the Banya Bashi mosque people come to get their mineral water from this source, even hot water is available