Like any other traditional differences, you can find various traditions of alcohol consumption in different parts of the world. Every country has its own rituals, rules and patterns of drinking alcohol. For some countries, if you do not adhere to those rules you are considered to be an outsider and sometimes even rude. For others it is just a casual way of socializing.

However it is important to understand the drinking habit of different countries as travelling has become an integral part of business and personal reasons. Anywhere you go, if the country’s tradition allows alcohol consumption; it is obvious that alcohol will be served to you. It is always better to know the customs beforehand to avoid any embarrassing situation and easily cope up with the new environment.

global drinking etiquettes for a fine and formal dining

Different Customs and Traditions of Drinking

Here are few things you should know about the drinking etiquette of various countries:


Vodka is the most prominent drink in Russia. The thumb rule of drinking in the country is that you need to finish the bottle of Vodka you have opened till the last drop. It is against their tradition to mix any other drink into Vodka. Next thing to keep in mind is to always to keep the empty bottles on the floor and not on the table. To interrupt any proceedings between first and the second shot is considered to be an act of rudeness.


Filling your own glass is considered as a rude behaviour. Always fill your partner’s glass and allow your partner to do the same for you. As drinking in Japan, is generally a group activity, it ensures that everyone gets a chance to pour a drink for others. Being a group activity, your refusal to have a drink will be regarded as a bad manner.


Never lose your eye contact during a toast. Always tap your glass with everyone close to you and hold the glass till the toast is over. It is a sign of disrespect if you break the eye contact and people consider that you are not interested in their speech.


French people are very particular about the combination of which wine goes best with which food. It is a bad manner to take a sip unless all drinks are served to everyone out there. Filling your own glass in a restaurant is not a good gesture. If you have to serve yourself during any occasion, make sure that the glass is filled just halfway as alcohol should be relished not guzzled in France.

Make sure to communicate with your host if you are not comfortable with drinking. It is considered as a good gesture.


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