Drinking Etiquette Toasting to Global Customs
Published by Abigail T

Drinking Etiquette: Toasting to Global Customs

In a world brimming with cultures, it comes as no surprise that drinking etiquette varies greatly from one country to another. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or simply curious about the customs of different lands, understanding the proper protocols for raising a glass can help you navigate a situation with ease. So, join us on a global tour as we explore fascinating drinking etiquettes and traditions, and the do’s and don’ts of “cheers” all around the world.

The German “Prost” and stare-off

In Germany, where beer is hailed as a national treasure, toasting with a hearty “Prost!” is a must. However, German drinking etiquette goes beyond the cheers.

When at a beer garden or pub, it’s customary to make eye contact with everyone at the table before taking a sip. Also, if someone offers you a toast, it’s polite to reciprocate the gesture. Oh, and remember, never order a round of drinks individually. Buying a round for the entire group fosters camaraderie within the group!

Japanese sake sensibility

In the land of the rising sun, sake holds a special place. When pouring sake, it’s considered impolite to pour your own glass. Instead, you’re encouraged to fill other people’s glasses first, and they will then pour your glass for you.

There is also a proper drinking etiquette to hold the sake bottle. Hold it with both hands while tilting the bottle towards the glasses as a sign of respect. Also, once everyone’s drinks are poured, it’s important to wait for the highest-ranking or oldest person to start drinking before you take your first sip. These customs reflect Japan’s emphasis on harmony, respect, and hierarchical order.

The Spanish ¡salud!

Spain is renowned for its lively atmosphere, mouthwatering tapas, and, of course, its exuberant toasts. In Spanish, the word “¡Salud!” translates to “health,” and is the go-to phrase when raising a glass.

It’s the customary drinking etiquette to indulge in delectable small bites while enjoying a glass of your choice of spirit in Spain.

Don’t put the glass down in Russia

When drinking in Russia, you better down your vodka in one go! The drinking etiquette in this country is to never put down a glass on the table if it still has alcohol in it.

A drink offer is also a sign of friendship and family, so it’s considered rude to turn someone down when they offer you a drink. Also, while the rest of the world may like to mix vodka with different juices, Russia is generally consumed straight in its country of origin.

Glass position matters in China

Similar to Japanese culture, the drinking etiquette in China also reflects an emphasis on hierarchy. So when drinking in China, it’s also customary to fill up the glasses of the elders first.

Another unique drinking etiquette in this country is that we should hold our glass at a lower position than that of the host or the most senior person in the group as a sign of respect. Refilling others’ glasses before they are empty is also seen as a thoughtful gesture.

A toast to prosperity in Nigeria

Nigerian drinking etiquette places great importance on generosity and hospitality. When toasting, it’s customary for the youngest person in the group to initiate the cheers.

It’s also polite to stand up and make eye contact with everyone at the table when clinking glasses. These customs reflect the spirit of togetherness and goodwill in the community.

Slovenia’s cheers to friendship

Slovenia, a hidden gem of Central Europe, boasts a rich drinking culture with unique customs. If you find yourself in this picturesque country, get ready to say “Na Zdravje!” before clinking glasses.

Here, it’s considered rude to take a sip before toasting. So, make sure to hold off on indulging until everyone has raised their glasses. This gesture symbolizes the importance of unity and friendship, key elements in their drinking etiquette.

Explore diverse drinking etiquettes around the world with a wide selection of liquor and alcohol at Red & White Shop. From Japanese sake to Russian vodka, Spanish spirits, and more, they have it all! Cheers to a world of drinking traditions!

Red & White

Red & White is Indonesia’s leading full-service wine and spirits retailer since 2014. I'm very happy to provide you information about the liquor world and let's have a drink together at the nearest Red & White store.

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