Food & Drink

The National Celebration Boozes of the Winter Olympics

How Everyone's Favorite Countries Cap Their Evenings During the Games

By Hadley Tomicki ·
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Winter Olympics time is one of those rare times where countries come together and agree on something. Alcohol helps. And just like every country has its own weird, obscure sport that it excels at, they all too have their own national booze preferences. This article is here to teach you about those. Because talking skeleton over a glass of baiju is the best kind of diplomacy happening any time soon...

USA

The drink: Bourbon

The reason you’ll drink it: You have American stereotypes to fulfill. So just put on the cowboy hat and do some legitimate MAGA-ing.

The Koreas (Limited Time Only)

The drink: Soju, a clear, traditionally rice-based spirit with an ABV between 16.8%-53%.

The reason you’ll drink it: Because South Koreans are reportedly the biggest hard alcohol consumers in the world. And you wouldn’t want to offend your hosts. The DPRK did not get back to us with drinking statistics. 

China

The drink: Baijiu, a funky-tasting, grain-based spirit commonly made from sorghum.

The reason you’ll drink it: 1.3 billion baijiu fans can’t be wrong.

Russia

The drink: Literally anything. But if you have the resources, vodka.

The reason you’ll drink it: Because Emperor Putin orders you to.

Mexico

The drink: Tequila

The reason you’ll drink it: To celebrate gold medal wins for the country’s four competitors, before crying and singing into the early hours accompanied by some guy on a tuba.

Great Britain

The drink: Dry gin.

The reason you’ll drink it: It’s basically that or tea.

Germany

The drink: Schnapps, a broad category of flavored elixirs, brandies and solutions popular in central Europe.

The reason you’ll drink it: Because Germans only come in fourth when it comes to international beer consumption. And there’s no medal for fourth place.

Japan

The drink: Sake, the rice-brewed beverage you sometimes drink with sushi.

The reason you’ll drink it: You just need to take the edge off a little after seeing Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi’s sick curling skills in action.

France

The drink: Champagne and cognac.

The reason you’ll drink it: You’ve yet to learn any good rap songs wherein the protagonists pop bottles of Baijiu. And you’ve got a reputation at Olympic Village to look out for.

Canada

The drink: Whisky, out of a maple syrup jar.

The reason you’ll drink it: Canada seems to do a lot of things right. They're probably really nice drunks, too. So it’s worth a shot.

Finland

The drink: Oak-aged, fermented shark skeet, the most traditional beverage throughout Scandinavia.

The reason you’ll drink it: Okay, we just made that up.

Jamaica

The drink: Overproof and Ting

The reason you’ll drink it: To celebrate the island’s crushing victory in women’s bobsledding. We can only hope.

Iceland

The drink: Brennivín, a liquorice-y aquavit distilled from fermented potato mash flavored with caraway seeds.

The reason you’ll drink it: You may not be competing on an Olympic level, but at least you can say you drank something nicknamed “Black Death.”

Argentina

The drink: Fernet and Coke

The reason you’ll drink it: Come on, Argentina needs all the Winter Olympics love it can get.

South Africa

The drink: Umqombothi, a traditional, low-alcohol beer brewed with maize and sorghum.

The reason you’ll drink it: It’s rich in vitamin B. Ah, the things you learn on Wikipedia.

Ghana

The drink: Akpeteshie, a once-prohibited, traditional spirit distilled from palm wine or sugar cane, usually found in used, plastic bottles.

The reason you’ll drink it: The spirit is said to be so strong, drinkers pound on their chest after taking a sip. The biathlon will never be the same.

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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