9 Surprising Drinking Rituals Around the World (Slideshow)
April 3, 2014
When it comes to drinking and getting belligerent, some countries have surprising customs
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.
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.
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.
France — Ladies First
Well-mannered French men always pour the ladies' glasses before their own.
Japan, Korea — Drinking and Pouring with Both Hands
Netherlands — Genever “Head Butt”
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.
Peru — Passing the Glass
In Peru, one beer is shared among a group. One friend pours a glass from a bottle, and the bottle is passed to the next friend, who waits for them to drink the glass and then flick the froth onto the ground. The next drinker does the same, and the beer is passed until it’s finished and it’s time for another.
Romania — Palinka In the Morning
According to folk wisdom, palinka, a type of fruity brandy, gives strength, so Romanians take a shot first thing in the morning.
Russia — Empty Glasses Under the Table
Russians have a habit of giving long, story-like toasts with a punch line. When they’ve finished a drink, empty glasses go under the table, not on top.