The world we live in is a wonderfully interesting and diverse place… and so too are our drinking customs.
No matter how many historical monuments or works of art you visit while travelling, they say the best way to fully understand a culture is by drinking with them.
From kidnapping brides to bizarre toasts and bad sex curses, check out some of the strangest drinking habits from around the globe according to wineinvestment.com.
'Toasting' originated in 17th century England, where they added spiced bread to wine to increase flavour and cut through acidity.
Ladies are served first, glasses should never be filled beyond halfway, and it’s rude to pour your own drink.
Toasting with a glass of water will earn you seven years of bad sex. The last drink of the night is called the “penultima”, since the “ultima” drink is the last of your life!
Italians normally only drink water or wine with meals and other beverages like beer or soft drink are considered a big no-no.
The Portuguese have an interesting way of decanting Port without disturbing the sediment and spoiling it which involves using red-hot tongs and ice to open the bottle.
The night before a wedding, the bride-to-be is kidnapped and taken to a bar by the groomsmen, where the groom must find them and buy a round of drinks to get his bride back.
The Dutch have a no-hands process for drinking whiskey called the “head butt” which involves bending from the waist to take a sip, before straightening up and chasing with a beer.
Georgians give 20-30 toasts at every meal and non-Georgian visitors are expected to take part.
9. Czech Republic
Making eye contact with those you clink glasses with is very important but don’t cross arms or you’ll be cursed with seven years bad sex.
At a Ukrainian wedding, brides need to be aware of shoe thieves because if her shoe is stolen, guests will throw it around and drink wine from it.
In 1848, 13 revolutionaries were executed for leading the uprising against Austria and their deaths were celebrated with the clinking of beer glasses. Therefore, you won’t find Hungarians doing this.
Icelanders have two holidays dedicated to alcohol: 1st March is Beer Day and Verslunarmannahelgi in August is the drunkest weekend of the year.
It’s common to give long, anecdotal toasts that end in a punch line. Empty bottles and glasses are always placed under the table.
The national drink Kumis is made from fermented horse milk. Custom dictates that any leftovers are poured back into the Kumis jug so there’s no wastage.
A bride and groom are only considered officially married once they’ve both taken a drink of traditional palm wine.
During a toast, elders hold their glasses higher than juniors. The first drink is downed in one and the glasses upturned on the table to prove nothing remains.
When drinking with friends, everyone is expected to shout (or buy) a round of drinks and it’s considered bad form if someone neglects to do so - yep that’s pretty spot on!
Drinking songs are sung loudly before, during and after each round of aquavit, a spiced spirit, and usually followed by swigs of beer after each shot.
When drinking among friends, one beer and one glass is shared. The first person pours a “shot” of beer and downs it before passing the drink on.
Wine has been an important part of Indian mythology and spirituality for thousands of years. Even today, alcohol is used to reach a higher level of consciousness.
At the Sourdough Saloon in Yukon, if you finish a drink with a dehydrated human toe in it, you’ll be initiated into the Sour Toe Cocktail Club.
It’s impolite to pour your own drink so keep you neighbour’s drink topped up and they will do the same. Out of respect, drinkers will turn away from the group when taking a sip.
Moldovans make many toasts during dinner, at least one before each drink. There’s even a toast to avoid toasting, “Hai devai!” which means “let’s go”.