Russia — Chug that vodka before you put your cup down
In Russia, it’s a rule to never put a glass down that still has alcohol in it. Also, when done drinking, don’t put your glass on the table; put it where you’ll no doubt be by the end of the night, on the floor.
Italy — Eat something
Italians love their food. So much so that when drinking, they’re also probably eating too. Hit a traditional wine bar like Al Brindisi — billed as the world’s oldest bar — where they serve small plates with your tipple. Buon appetito!
Denmark — Don’t break your gaze as you raise your glass
Maintaining eye contact at toast-time is considered a courtesy to your host. So do it, or you may not get a second pour!
Germany — When toasting, stare your eyes off
But not because it’s courteous. Don’t even think about looking away as you raise your stein for a toast in the Fatherland — break eye contact, and you can look forward to seven years of bad sex. Though it’s hard to believe your Hofbrau could bring you anything but goodness, it’s the absolute truth.
France — You better hope you’re still staring
Aside from putting your sex life on the line (yea, another bad seven years in the sack await you in France if you’re not careful), the country boasts some downright weird drinking rules. Like, never fill a glass of alcohol over the halfway mark (a glass half empty, surely?), and sip on your drink slowly. You should also never drink before everyone else has been served, but that’s just common courtesy.
China — Toast so many times
As France slowly sips from its half-empty cups, China fills its glasses all the way to the top. They also love a good toast, often offering many during a meal or special occasion. (Just make sure you’re holding your glass lower than anyone older than you — it’s polite.) Indeed, drinking is so sociable an activity in China that doing it alone is considered impolite..
Israel — Only toast if you mean it
Don’t even think about going all Chinese-toast-like in Israel, as the act of toasting is taken more seriously here, and reserved for formal occasions. It’s also totally acceptable to drink outdoors, and you’re certain to see people sipping their brews street-side.
Greece — Go easy on that ouzo
The only bouzos you’re gonna see ripping shots of ouzo in Helios’ Taverna are American bozos. Get it? Bouzos? It’s all about sipping with this anise-flavored spirit, so relax and enjoy the evening. Opa!
Spain — Mix it up and drink outsideWhile the vino flows freely en España, and locals might invite you to join them on the town plaza for some botellón-ing (drinking various amalgams of booze from large bottles), drinking in excess is uncommon. More of a social thing, imbibing is less about the destination and more about the journey of enjoying a fiesta.
Turkey — Order for everyone Drink a glass of Raki (or ‘Lion’s Milk”), the unofficial national alcoholic drink of Turkey, leisurely over a meal with friends. If you’re with a group of people, it is impolite to order your own glass — instead, order a bottle for the whole table. Just make sure you have enough Lira in your hidden money belt to cover the check.
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