Drinking Culture

What is drinking culture?

Drinking culture refers to the traditional consumption of various beverages as a form of socialization, relaxation and recreation. While most popularly and typically drinking culture is association with alcoholic beverages, due to the fact almost every culture on Earth discovered the process of alcohol production individually and thus were able to implement traditions surrounding alcoholic beverages through time, it can also be used when talking about non-alcoholic beverage consumption in certain parts of the world.

Due to varying opinions on drinking in different areas, drinking culture also assimilated in certain countries in the form of tea or coffee consumption. For example, in Japan, tea ceremony is a traditional event which is greatly engraved in Japanese culture and people’s minds. Tea ceremony has many customs and is restrained by traditions far more than a usual understanding of drinking culture but is still considered a specific part of it.

On the other end of the world, in South and Central America, coffee rituals are a widely popular, very appreciated and practiced form of traditional exposure to drinking culture. In Mexico, coffee is traditionally drunk in the morning and at night before going to bed. Despite the caffeine which makes the body active, the tradition is carried on to this day.

Types of drinking culture

Aside from being categorized into alcoholic  and nonalcoholic beverage consumption, drinking culture has even more types of drinking within each individual category. Below you will find examples of the most popular and well-known types of drinking around the globe that can be further subdivided and culturally enhanced/adjusted depending on the area and national traditions.

Social drinking

Social drinking refers to a gathering or event where people choose to drink on occasion, in social settings and are not attempting to get intoxicated but only to relax and become more social. In this sense, alcohol is considered a ‘social lubricant’, which allows people to communicate more freely and without awkwardness. In many cultures, social drinking is a form of celebration and takes place on a number of occasions, both festive, such as birth or wedding, and casual, such as gathering of friends or a laid-back business related event.

Binge drinking

Unlike social drinking, binge drinking does not employ safe drinking practices and is used for the opposite purpose, that is, to get intoxicated. Binge drinking may refer to an excessive use of alcohol over an extended period of time, or to a large consumption of alcoholic beverages in a shorter amount of time or one sitting. Binge drinking is not widely accepted as a correct social behaviour, however it is widely practiced and sometimes even expected in some cultures due to norms that have formed over time.

Competitive drinking

Competitive drinking is an event-type thing usually performed or organized with the goal of setting a record or for the adrenaline rush of a friendly competition. The competitive drinking may be performed in the sense of speed or amount. Competitors may choose to try and drink their beverages in a limited amount of time, or faster than other competitors when the goal is speed. On the other hand if the goal of the competition is a large quantity of consumption, the individuals competing for the prize should try and drink as much of the beverages as they can in an attempt to consume more than other people they are up against.

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