25 bizarre toasting customs from around the world

Trinquer coutume pays monde

The art of toasting in 25 countries

No matter how many historic monuments you visit on a trip, or how many museums you explore, you’ll never understand the locals and their culture until you’ ve had a drink with them. But before you toast with your new friends, perhaps take a minute to learn more about the customs of these 25 countries. Just as each country’s cuisine is different, it’s also good to know how they drink their alcohol.

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Infographie coutume bizarres pour la consommation d'alcool dans le monde. L'art de trinquer dans le monde

England: « Toaster » originated in 17th-century England. Spicy bread was eaten with wine to enhance flavor and cut acidity.

France: The French are honorable drinkers. Ladies are served first, glasses are never more than half-full, and it’s considered vulgar to pour your own glass.

Spain: In Spain, toasting with a glass of water will bring you seven years of bad sex. The last drink of the evening is always called « penultima ». The « ultima » is the last drink of your life.

Italy: Italians only drink water or wine at the table. Other beverages such as beer or soda are considered a big faux-pas.

Portugal: To open a bottle of Port without crumbling the cork and shaking the deposit, the Portuguese have invented a theatrical way of opening a bottle. They use red-hot tongs and an iced tea towel to create a thermal shock.

Germany: The night before the wedding, the groomsmen kidnap the bride-to-be and take her to a bar. The groom has to find the band and pay them a round of drinks to get his beloved back.

Netherlands: The Dutch have adopted the « headbutt » method of drinking whisky. The hands-off process involves bending over to take a sip, before straightening up and sweetening with beer.

Czech Republic: Carrying a glass is very serious business in the Czech Republic. As you toast, look the other person in the eye, but never cross your arm with someone else or you’ll be cursed with seven years of bad sex for both of you.

Georgia: Toasting is an important part of Georgian culture. Locals will make 20 to 30 toasts at every meal, and they hope foreigners and visitors will do the same!

Ukraine: At Ukrainian weddings, brides are required to keep their feet on the ground, lest their shoes be stolen. If a shoe is stolen, guests pass it around and drink wine directly from it.

Hungary: After the Revolution of 1848, the Austrians celebrated the defeat of the Hungarians by toasting with their glasses of beer. Since that defeat, Hungarians have avoided toasting with beer, and even banned it.

Iceland: Icelanders love alcohol so much that they’ve dedicated two public holidays to it. March 1st is Beer Day, but « Verslunarmannahelgi » is the drunkest weekend of the year (1st weekend in August).

Russia: In Russia, it’s common to give long, anecdotal toasts that end in a punch line. Empty bottles should be placed on the floor, under the table, and not on top.

Kazakhstan: Koumis, a drink made from fermented mare’s milk, is the national drink in Kazakhstan. Custom dictates that any leftovers should be poured back into the koumis jug, so that nothing goes to waste.

China: During the toast, the elder holds his glass higher than that of the younger. The first glass is drunk in one gulp and must be returned to the table to show that nothing has been left behind.

Nigeria: Only when the newlyweds have had a glass of traditional palm wine together are they considered officially married.

Australia: When having a drink with friends in Australia, everyone is expected to buy a round. Not paying would be considered very bad manners.

Sweden: Drinking songs are sung vigorously before, during and after each round of aquavit. Sips of beer usually follow each shot of this very strong brandy.

Peru: In Peru, a single beer and a single glass are shared between two friends. The first person serves a glass of beer and downs it before passing it on to his or her sidekick.

Canada: At the Sourdough Saloon in the Yukon, you can enter the « Sour Toe Cocktail Club » by finishing a drink with a dehydrated human finger inside, the local specialty…

India: Wine has been an important part of Indian mythology and spirituality for millennia. Even today, alcohol is used by many to reach a higher level of consciousness.

Japan: It’s impolite to pour your own glass. Make sure you keep your neighbors’ glasses full, and they’ll return the favor. Japanese people turn slightly to one side as they take a sip, as a sign of respect.

Moldavia: Moldovans make many toasts during a meal, at least one with each glass. There’s even a toast to avoid toasting, « Hai devai! » which means « Go! For health, it’s « Noroc!

Source: www.finedininglovers.com. Main photo source: Flickr – ADT 04