International Culture of Drink Days


Ever since Neolithic times, alcohol has played a central role in all human cultures. Without exception, all societies have a history of embracing alcohol as part of their unique history. In fact, alcohol can be considered a cultural artifact; the form and meanings of drinking alcoholic beverages are culturally defined. The way drinks are consumed, under which conditions they are consumed, and with whom they are consumed are all part of each individual culture. And this has always been important to each one.

It's time we celebrate this. International Culture of Drink Days is our opportunity to embrace the common thread that ties the world together, through booze.

Starting on the first Friday in August, try something new, or drink something you already love. But whatever you do, think about where it comes from and celebrate that culture.

Here are a few tips: 

How To Celebrate

Gather with friends to enjoy and discover different spirits from around the globe.

Celebrate those cultures responsible for the production of spirits.

Unite the world under the banner of spirits by celebrating the drinks of all nations together on a single weekend.

However, many folks agree, just raise your glass, tankard, bottle or can and toast the single constant and common thread of all people and cultures. Whether it is at a bar, club, pub, or even at home, it is simple enough to find recipes on line, prepare drinks according to tradition, and experiment and enjoy. Drink responsibly, and share the wonders of the world thru spirits. 


Pick Your Poison

Pick a drink that says something about your heritage, or a friend's cultural background, or something that interests you (for whatever reason). Here is a list that will get you started: 

  •  Albania: rakia
  • Argentina: fernet
  • Armenia: oghi
  • Australia: rum
  • Austria: schnapps
  • Barbados: rum
  • Belarus: krambambula
  • Belgium: jenever (malt and juniper)
  • Belize: rum
  • Bermuda: rum
  • Bolivia: singani (Muscat grapes)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Rakija (fruit: apples, plums, pears)
  • Brazil: cachaça (sugarcane)
  • Bulgaria: rakia (grapes, apricots, plums)
  • Cambodia: sombai (infused rice wine)
  • Canada: Canadian rye whisky
  • Chile: pisco
  • China: moutai
  • Colombia: aguardiente
  • Costa Rica: guaro (sugarcane)
  • Croatia: rakija (fruit: plums, pears)
  • Cuba: rum
  • Czech Republic: Becherovka (herbs), or slivovice (plums)
  • Denmark: akvavit (grain or potatoes)
  • Dominican Republic: rum, mamajuana
  • Ecuador: aguardiente
  • El Salvador: Tíck Táck or Torito (sugarcane)
  • Estonia: Vana Tallinn
  • Ethiopia: tej
  • Finland: Koskenkorva Viina (barley), vodka
  • France: brandy, Armagnac, Cognac, Champagne, Pastis
  • French West Indies: rum
  • Georgia: chacha
  • Germany: Schnapps and Korn
  • Ghana: akpeteshie
  • Greece: ouzo
  • Guatemala: Rum, Cusha
  • Haiti: rum, and clairin (sugarcane)
  • Hungary: Unicum (herbs), pálinka (fruit)
  • Iceland: brennivín, aka “Black Death” (potatoes)
  • India: rum, feni (cashew or coconut), and palm wine
  • Indonesia: arrack
  • Iran: aragh (raisin vodka)
  • Iraq: arak
  • Ireland: Irish whiskey (fermented mash of cereal grains), Poitín (malted barley grain or potatoes)
  • Israel: arak
  • Italy: grappa (pomace and grape residue left over from winemaking), limoncello, amaretto, amaro
  • Japan: shochu (rice, barley, buckwheat, sweet potato), awamori, Japanese whisky

  • Jordan: arak
  • Kenya: dawa (vodka, honey, sugar, lime) 
  • Korea: soju (rice, barley, corn, potato, sweet potato)
  • Levant: arak
  • Lithuania: midus
  • Macedonia: rakija and mastika
  • Malaysia: tuak
  • Mexico: tequila, mezcal, rum, Kahlúa, and brandy
  • Montenegro: rakija
  • Nepal: raksi
  • Netherlands: jenever (malt and juniper)
  • Nicaragua: rum
  • Norway: akevitt
  • Panama: Seco Herrerano (sugarcane)
  • Peru: pisco
  • Philippines: lambanog, basi
  • Poland: vodka, mead
  • Portugal: port wine, ginjinha or jeropiga
  • Puerto Rico: rum, pitorro
  • Romania: ţuică (plums) or palinka (fruit)
  • Russia: vodka
  • Serbia: rakija, lozovača (pomace and grape residue left over from winemaking) and vinjak
  • Slovakia: slivovica  (plums), Borovička (juniper berries)
  • South Africa: Amarula (cream liqueur)
  • Spain: sherry
  • Asturias: alcoholic cider
  • Navarre: patxaran
  • Sri Lanka: Kasippu arrack (coconut)
  • Sweden: brännvin, akvavit and schnapps
  • Switzerland: absinthe, Goldschläger, Pflümli, kirsch
  • Syria: arak
  • Taiwan: kaoliang
  • Tanzania: konyagi
  • Thailand: Sato, Mekhong whiskey, rum, brandy
  • Trinidad & Tobago: rum
  • Tunisia: boukha (fig brandy)
  • Turkey: rakı
  • Uganda: waragi (Ugandan gin)
  • Ukraine: horilka (Ukrainian vodka)
  • United Kingdom
    • England: Gin
    • Northern Ireland: Irish whiskey
    • Republic of Ireland: Irish whiskey
    • Scotland: Scotch whiskey
    • Wales: Welsh whiskey
  • United States: American whiskey, bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, rye whiskey, and moonshine
  • Venezuela: rum, Cocuy (agave)
  • Vietnam: Rượu nếp, Rượu đế, Rượu cần, Rượu Thuốc, Rượu Nhàu Rừng - Noni (herbal wine), snake wine

A Toast in 20 Languages

CHEERS! Here’s to you! Bottoms up!

The clinking of glasses can  help cement friendships and celebrate new ones. it’s an expression of goodwill. So raise your glass and celebrate the cultures that enjoy drinks as much as you do. Here is how to toast in 20 different languages:


Afrikaans: Gesondheid
Pronounced: Ge-sund-hate
Meaning: Health

Chinese (Mandarin):干杯 / gān bēi
Pronounced: Gan bay
Meaning: Cheers

Czech: Na zdravi
Pronounced: Naz-drah vi
Meaning: Cheers

Dutch: Proost
Pronounced: Prohst
Meaning: Cheers

French: Santé! / À votre santé!
Pronounced: Sahn-tay / Ah la vo-tre sahn-tay
Meaning: To your health

German: Prost / Zum wohl
Pronounced: Prohst / Tsum vohl
Meaning: Cheers/ to your health

Greek: ΥΓΕΙΑ
Pronounced: Yamas
Meaning: Health

Irish Gaelic: Sláinte
Pronounced: Slawn-cha
Meaning: Health

Italian: Salute / Cin cin
Pronounced: Saw-lutay / Chin chin
Meaning: Health/ cheers

Japanese: 乾杯/ Kanpai
Pronounced: Kan-pie
Meaning: Cheers/ Empty the glass

Korean: 건배
Pronounced: Gun bae
Meaning: Cheers/ toast

Lithuanian: į sveikatą
Pronounced: Ee sweh-kata
Meaning: To your health

Moldovan: Noroc
Pronounced: No-rock
Meaning: Luck

Polish: Na zdrowie
Pronounced: Naz-droh-vee-ay
Meaning: To your health

Portugese: Saúde
Pronounced: Saw-OO-de
Meaning: Health

Russian: Будем здоровы/ На здоровье
Pronounced: Budem zdorovi/ Na zdorovie
Meaning: To your health (It is interesting to note that most Russians rarely use this expression, and the above is used more by foreigners. Russians will change their wishes based on the person and celebration.)

Spanish: Salud
Pronounced: Sah-lud
Meaning: Health

Swedish: Skål
Pronounced: Skawl
Meaning: Cheers (and don’t forget to look everyone in the eye!)

Welsh: Iechyd da
Pronounced: Yeh-chid dah
Meaning: Good health

Yiddish: Sei gesund
Pronounced: Say geh-sund
Meaning: Be healthy