In this country, we’re no strangers to drinking, and neither are countries around the world — so much so that drinking has become a ritualistic pastime.
In fact, some drinking rituals may surprise you.
When traveling from country to country, you’ll likely to discover that each have their own customs — sometimes quirky — when it comes to drinking and getting belligerent.
Swedes will sing a drinking song before, during, and after each round of shots of aquavit, which are followed by a glass of beer. As the shots keep coming, the singing gets louder and more enthusiastic.
The Dutch style of drinking genever, a kind of flavored whiskey, is to do it by “head butting.” To do this, they pour chilled genever in a tulip glass until the drink reaches the very tip of the rim. Bending from the waist, they take a sip, then straighten up and follow with a sip of beer. The “head butt” is repeated until the drink is gone.
Russians have a habit of giving long, story-like toasts with a punch line. And when they’ve finished a drink, empty glasses go under the table, not on top.
Read on for more surprising drinking rituals you may have never heard of.
1. Australia — Shouting a Round of Beers
When grabbing “schooners” (beers) with mates, Aussies take turns buying a round, which they call “shouting.” If you don’t step up and shout a round when it’s your turn, you may labeled a “tight ass” or a bludger,” neither which are nicknames you want to be called.
2. Croatia — Rajika for Medication and Digestion
Croatians drink Rajika, which is like moonshine, for more than social reasons. They also drink it to cure illnesses and as a digestive after a meal.
3. Denmark, Sweden — Shooting Aquavit and Singing Songs
Depending on which Scandinavian country, Denmark or Sweden, that you’re in, aquavit, a traditional Scandinavia drink, goes down differently.
Denmark: Before shooting a shot of aquavit, Danish drinkers raise their glass and say “skal,” making sure to meet everyone’s eyes. Before setting the glass back on the table, everyone meets eyes once again. The shot is followed by a glass of beer and more shots, with the toast repeated every time.
Sweden: Swedes will sing a drinking song before, during, and after each round of shots of aquavit, which are followed by a glass of beer. As the shots keep coming, the singing gets louder and more enthusiastic.
4. France — Ladies First
Well-mannered French men always pour the ladies' glasses before their own.
5. Japan, Korea — Drinking and Pouring with Both Hands
When picking up, pouring, and drinking an alcoholic drin in Japan and Korea, they use both hands because it’s bad manners to use just one. It’s also impolite to pour your own glass. It’s respectful to always accept the first drink offered to you and to turn away when taking a sip.
See more unique drinking customs from around the globe.
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