In celebrations & festivities, alcobev finds an important role to play in all cultures across the world. And as they rightly say, that you haven’t seen it all, you haven’t experienced a place fully if you haven’t eaten, drank & toasted like the natives.
So today, with this short list, let’s take you around the world sipping and toasting the right way.
Sake or Saké is the Japanese rice wine which is made from fermenting rice. Its brewing process is similar to that of beer but it differs in the process of ‘starch to sugar’ conversion, however, its ABV rate remains much higher than beer or wine.
Sake is one of the oldest drinks in the world & depending on the type kind of drink, it can be served either hot or cold. The fermentation process is important in determining the taste, aroma & quality of the drink.
The Japanese consider pouring your own drink to be rude, as part of drinking etiquette, they look out for each other, ensuring nobody’s glass is left empty & they always serve the elders first.
How you toast there? Simply say ‘Kampei’ or “Cheers”!
Vietnamese Bia Hoi
Bia Hoi is a type of local draught beer, it is made from rice. This light lager is brewed daily & matured over a short period of time & usually consumed the same day it is produced.
How you toast there? Simply say ‘Mot, Hai, Ba, Yo’, which means ‘bottoms up’ or “Cheers”!
Sangria is a traditional Spanish drink and it forms an integral part of their drinking culture. It is a popular wine-based drink which also has fruit juice, soda & it is loaded with seasonal fruits. There is no particular recipe for this beverage & it is often customizable. It is advisable that a dry & fruity wine works well to make that perfect Sangria.
How to toast like a Spaniard? People there drink to good health with a ‘salud’.
South Korean Makgeolli
Makgeolli is a traditional home-brewed rice wine popular in South Korea. Made in a single fermentation process, Makgeolli usually takes only about 7-8 days to be ready and has the alcohol content of about 6-7%. It is served as an everyday drink and on celebratory events.
As a custom in South Korea, the host offers the toast and the gesture is returned by the guest.
How to toast there? ‘Gonbae’ or “bottoms up” is a great way to toast while in South Korea.
‘Ouzo makes the spirit’, goes old saying in Greece and it stays true because the anise-flavoured aperitif remains one of the most popular drinks. The potent and fiery drink with 40% alcohol content, is customarily served neat, however, some people prefer to add water to their drink.
How to toast like a Greek? Well, the Greeks like to go according to the occasion. ‘Stinygiasou’ which means ‘to your health’, is a common informal way to toast. ‘Eis igian sas’ is reserved for more formal occasions and ‘Kali epitihia’ is said to wish someone good luck & health.
Disclaimer: Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful. Whether it is to celebrate or to unwind, it goes without a doubt that one must be a responsible drinker.