If you are in an American bar right now, chances are you’re knee deep in Hops and Barley. But if you and your Amore are O’ Solo Mio in Rome, there’s a 73% chance that the Godfather just suggested a nice vino to pair with your Clams Casino. Who are you to argue with the Big Papa?

“Why do I care who’s guzzling what?” you may ask yourself. But may I remind you that partaking in local custom is not only adventurous and polite, but also may save your life – “No thank you Mr. Corleone. I think I’ll stick with my Bartle’s & James?!!” At this point, you should ignore the horse’s head left under your bedcovers.

  • Water – In Europe, ice in your H2O is considered bad form. But if you do ask to have ice served in your Pellegrino, be prepared to savor the one cube bathing in your bubbles that you will receive.
  • Beer – The Americas, both North and South, are responsible for slamming back 75% of the world’s brewed, micro-brewed, and malted beverages. It’s no longer a mystery why the annual Buck’s Beer Belly competition is hosted in Sturgis and not in Paris each year. We drink all the beer!
  • Wine – Entire civilizations have been steeped in wine. Even one of Jesus’s top 10 miracles was awash with wine. Europeans slurp down 26% of this cultured drink. While bubbly is technically considered a member of the wine class, be mindful while ordering up in the Champagne vineyards region. They wear their vino snobbery well and will be glad to educate you on the difference. To practice, start with the story of “widow” Veuve Clicquot, Champagne’s first house to produce a lovely Rose. Her attractive image is even emblazoned on every cork today.
  • Spirits – Tea Totaling would be quite a bust if one had to actually drink tea. Good news though. If you are resting in a rice paddy, plan to spelunk some spirits. Asia, South-East Asia, and the Western Pacific are world-class drinkers and responsible for 45% of all distilled beverages.
  • Other Alcohol – Yes, Charlie Sheen, there are other types of alcohol in the world. These include fermented beverages made from maize (corn on the cob for those in the Midwest), millet, and rice wine. Strangely, these make up a whopping 48% of the keggers in African Regions.
  • Mystery Regions – According to Chartsbin, there is incomplete or missing data for Greenland and Antarctica. Apparently, if you are a phantasmagoria play-acting Dane in Denmark or a penguin named Kowalski ice fishing in the South Pole, there are no drinking statistics chronicled in the imaginary files of the FBI (where this data would be kept if such files existed).

So, if you are in Rome, order up a nice-a pizza pie and a stem of wine. Save the brews for when you’re in Sturgis and can possibly win a contest.


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