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Alcohol: The best way to loosen up and ingratiate yourself with the locals. OR

Alcohol: The best way to completely make a fool of yourself and alienate yourself from the locals.


Here’s your quick guide to drinking like a pro (and making friends) while traveling in 10 different countries.


international drinking rules cool infographic


10 International Drinking Rules:

  1. Ireland- Never ask for a Black & Tan. Order a “half and half” if you want a mix of pale ale and dark stout. The term Black & Tan is reminiscent of the notoriously brutal “Black and Tan” British troops during the Irish War of Independence.
  2. Japan- Do not leave a tip. Leaving a tip in the Land of the Rising Sun is almost as rude there as not leaving a tip is here in the States.
  3. Korea- Do not pour your own drink. It is considered rude. So when you see your pals’ glasses running low, fill ‘em up! They’ll do the same for you in return.
  4. Russia- Leave your empty bottles on the floor. It’s considered bad luck to leave empty bottles of booze on the table.
  5. China- Serve the elders first. Older folks get the utmost respect in many parts of Asia. Make sure they get the first pour.
  6. Turkey- Always clink glasses. And always clink the bottom of your glass. If you touch the top of someone’s glass, that indicates you think you’re better than they are.
  7. Hungary- Never clink glasses. Knocking glasses is associated with the Austrian generals who toasted Hungary’s defeat in the Revolution.
  8. Denmark- Maintain eye contact. It’s customary to keep your eyes locked on your fellow revelers for good luck when you raise your glass.
  9. Germany- Never let your reach cross anyone else’s when toasting. And make eye contact. Or be cursed with seven years of bad sex. Yep.
  10. Cuba- Save the first pour of rum for the saints.


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Tagged: Europe

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Martina Sheehan

Martina Sheehan

Martina is a Chicago-based travel writer and editor who has written for the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Budget Travel, Forbes Travel Guides, and Time Out Chicago, among other publications. You can find her at

3 thoughts on “10 international drinking rules every traveler should know (infographic)”

  1. Black and Tan, Half and Half are two different drinks…if B&T is offensive, just ask for the ingredients…
    B&T – Guinness and Bass(Irish/British)
    H&H – Guinness and Harp (all Irish)

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