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Drinking Customs and Traditions from Around the Globe

Last updated 5 years ago

Few things highlight the rich cultural traditions around the globe more than alcohol. Drinking has long been a way to celebrate community and culture, and people around the world have been imbibing in highly varied ways for centuries. As you begin your career as a bartender, get acquainted with different drinking customs by reading the following guide.


Eating and drinking in Japan is all about etiquette. It is considered impolite to pour your own drink in a group setting. Instead, groups of friends and family always pour drinks for one another. To build a sense of community and trust, the goal of every drinking session is to make sure that everyone has had a chance to pour everyone else a drink.


Russia is known the world over for its love of vodka. Mixing vodka with anything else is heavily frowned upon, as is opening a bottle without finishing it off. Russians also believe that toasts must be made before the drinking starts. In some cases, it is even customary to make a toast before each sip of alcohol.


The goal of drinking in France is to savor the alcohol and enjoy the experience. Etiquette is important here. When filling a wine glass, it’s best to fill it about half way. Don’t start drinking until everyone has received a pour, and only after you’ve toasted with a hearty santé!


Known throughout the world for its brewing traditions, Germany takes its beer seriously. One of the best varieties, Kölsch, is brewed only in the Cologne region. There are few guidelines to drinking Kölsch. It needs to be served cold-to-lukewarm (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and should only be served in a tall, cylindrical glass. Prost!

At Professional Bartending Schools of America, we strive to train well-rounded and highly skilled bartenders. Our hands-on bartending classes include training in drinks and wines from throughout the world. To learn more about enrolling in one of our flexible programs, call us at (513) 542-3500.


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