Every four years, the FIFA World Cup gives fans a chance to watch vibrant cultures from around the world express themselves on the soccer field. For the 2018 tournament, Russia will host players and fans from 31 other countries around the world, each with its own soccer traditions — and each with its own distinctive drinking culture. We’ve selected a signature beverage from every World Cup nation, from the Brazilian caipirinha to South Korean soju to Saudi Arabian coffee.
Although host nation Russia is among the world’s leaders in per capita alcohol consumption, a number of World Cup teams come from nations whose proudest beverage traditions involve coffee, tea, or fruit juice. But for people in most countries on this list, the drink that most represents their nation — perhaps the drink they’ll nervously sip before kickoff or swallow in one celebratory gulp after a goal — is some kind of intoxicant.
One type of booze you won’t see represented on this list is whiskey. Scotland, Ireland (both Northern and Republic of), the United States, and Canada all failed to qualify, leaving Japan as the World Cup nation with the proudest whiskey tradition — but that spirit can’t hold a candle to sake as a symbol of the Land of the Rising Sun.
You will see distinctive national or regional spirits like pisco, rakija, akvavit, and ginja, as well as lively cocktails like the chiliguara, shandies such as the refajo, and proud signature beers and wines — not necessarily the most popular beverage in each country but its most culturally distinctive.
We’ve scoured The Daily Meal’s archives for recipes and recommendations for any Americans who want to adopt a surrogate nation to cheer for (and beverage to sip) during the tournament. The contestants are ordered according to their FIFA ranking, so look for the true underdogs near the end — and read on to discover the signature drink of every country in the 2018 World Cup.