Talk:Alcoholic beverages

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Please help enlarge this article with more mentions of drinks that are specialties of different countries, regions, and cities, so that we can make this a great travel topic and eventually feature it on the front page. Are any of you current or former bartenders? If so, please hold forth! Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:15, 4 February 2014 (UTC)


I don't think we should list countries where alcohol is illegal for Muslims but freely available for non-Muslims, because that list would be quite long, and would include places like Malaysia and Dubai. How available is alcohol to non-Muslims in Pakistan? If it's easily available, I think we should take Pakistan's name off the list of alcohol-prohibiting countries. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:01, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

I think defer to Saqib on this question again :) Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:04, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes legally, alcohol is only available only for non-Muslims but Muslims can have them too as easily as a non-Muslim. --Saqib (talk) 22:11, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Btw, even in United Arab Emirates, alcohol is free available to Muslims and its a no offence and I'm sure the situation is same in many other Muslim majority countries. How much is it matter if its legal or not? --Saqib (talk) 22:27, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
It matters if it's prohibited to all. We can make a general comment that there are many Muslim countries that make it either illegal or otherwise difficult for Muslims to purchase alcohol, but I doubt it's important to go into detail about precisely how difficult it is for Muslims to buy cocktails in one of the United Arab Emirates as opposed to another emirate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:29, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
We could also mention that even in otherwise more "liberal" countries such as Turkey alcohol during Ramadan is at least frowned upon even if you are non-muslim (outside tourist resorts, that is) Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure. Absolutely mention it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:22, 2 February 2015 (UTC)


I'm not up to starting a section on bars and pubs right now, but I think that in "Buy," there should be some mention of the variety of ways alcohol is served, not from a standpoint of local alcoholic drinks, but in terms of things like the differences between bars in Italy - where it's totally fine for a child to get breakfast - and in the United States - where people wanting to enter are typically carded, and anyone under 21 often will not be admitted at all; the fact that it is common in Britain and Ireland to have full, hearty meals at Pubs, along with ale or bitter, and similarly, this is often the case at Brauhäuser in Germany; the fact that there are sidrerias in Asturias that are dedicated cider bars - things like that. Remarks should be made about sake bars in Japan and tapas bars in Catalunya, etc. An alternate way to organize things would be to have an "Eat" section, where bars & grills and all the other types of bars that typically serve food to accompany the drinks would be mentioned. But even if so, it might make sense to briefly outline the different meanings and practices related to bars/pubs in different parts of the world, in terms of the degree of focus on alcohol vs. non-alcoholic drinks and food. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:29, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

I did indeed type up such a section, but it's quite incomplete, and I think this is where we can help travelers most. Letting prospective travelers know what to expect, generally, in bars in different parts of the world is very useful to those who are interested in drinking culture, and sometimes its relationship to food. What are bars like in different parts of Africa? Are there bars specifically reserved for arak drinking in Lebanon? And are there bars in Qingdao that feature cuisine designed to be eaten with Tsingtao beer? These kinds of things are interesting, and I don't know anything about them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:31, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I added something for Korea that I hope is of interest. Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that excellent contribution. One small side point on soju: Isn't it a distilled liquor? I think of rice wine as being lower in alcohol content, like sake. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
You are right, it is a distilled liquor and not really like sake. I just find Koreans often refer to it as 'rice wine' in English, even though it isn't like sake or sometimes doesn't even use rice. I'll change the wording. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:06, 10 June 2014 (UTC)


Just some comments about this section regarding Tsingtao beer: "Qingdao, the city with the most famous brewery in China, that of Tsingtao beer, is another place where a cuisine of dishes that go well with the most popular local alcoholic drink has developed"

As far as I know, Qingdao does not have any special cuisine developed for beer. The beer is famous because it was developed by a German company during its colonial period. Chinese like their food (with a a good deal of justification) and their alcohol (perhaps less so) but I don't register a connection between them.

Also a pedantic point: Although Tsingtao is the most famous Chinese beer internationally, it is actually less popular than Snow beer w:Snow_beer. Snow beer is in fact the world's most popular beer despite it being only sold in China.

Hope this can help... --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:14, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

I guess I was operating under a misimpression. Deleted accordingly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:20, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

What's still missing before we can promote the article to Guide status?[edit] that it can be nominated for Ftt? The article should "effectively cover most aspects of the topic with no obvious omissions.". Any suggestions? ϒpsilon (talk) 20:33, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Do we need a map similar to this one? --Saqib (talk) 13:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I was going to say that a map similar to that would fit better in the Beer article, but then I discovered that's an article about a town in Devon, and we don't have a separate article about beer. That being the case, sure.
To answer your question, ϒpsilon, I think a lot more coverage of places to drink (bars, pubs, Bräuhäuser, etc.) is needed. We need to let travellers know what kind of atmosphere, food and drink to expect in establishments dedicated to drinking in different parts of the world. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
One thing that also could be added is events where alcoholic beverages play a central role like Munich's Oktoberfest. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:24, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Good point. I agree. Would St. Patrick's Day qualify? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:26, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Depends... In a sense you can't put a place on an event such as St. Petrick's day. Whereas the Oktoberfest takes place in a definitive place and time (Munich late September). On the other hand I could imagine somebody traveling to New York or Dublin to be there on St. Partick's day... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:50, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
There are actually no shortage of imitation Oktoberfests around the world! Some are semi-formal in places with German immigrant communities, and some are just a few Bavarian flags in a bar somewhere. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:07, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
There are places with particularly famous St. Patrick's Day parades. I actually thinks it does count. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Brazil has some Oktoberfests in the southern, German heritage region which are famous nationally if not continent-wide. Texugo (talk) 03:07, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
So what would qualify on this article as a suitably famous St Patrick's day parade or Oktoberfest? I know my sometimes hometown of Busan holds one, but I wouldn't say it is notable enough. Perhaps one per country with some exceptions for large Irish/German communities such as United States ? Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:37, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
We do not need a special destination to mention such events. I suppose one might want to go to an Irish pub on St. Patrick's day in any location with a sizeable Irish population, and Beaujolais Nouveau (and the older, more widespread general habit of celebrating wine of the new crop) could be mentioned as part of wine culture. In fact, the article could use a lot of more info about the culture around different beverages. Think about somebody going to France from a country where wine is not commonly drunk – our article is not terribly useful, to put it mildly. The same with other beverages; we do not even mention toasts. --LPfi (talk) 07:23, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Very good point. We should also mention sacramental use of alcohol. I wouldn't be amazed if we had readers from Muslim countries who aren't aware that Jews and Christians use alcohol sacramentally. It also might not be widely known that sake is used sacramentally in Shinto ceremonies, including weddings. So yes, a lot of work remains to do on this article, if we want people to have some sense of how alcohol is drunk and used in social and religious situations by different peoples in different parts of the world. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:02, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I added a little bit about sacramental wine and sake and positive attitudes toward alcohol among European Christians, but I think the "Respect" section is missing an intro. I'll try writing one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:17, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Well all regions and religions have "their" ritual drug... Unfortunately Christianity has imposed its drug and outlawed (almost) all others... Anyway back to topic. I know that there is a huge tradition surrounding Bierkeller and Biergärten in southern Germany, particularly Franconia and Bavaria. One of the more peculiar things that travellers are usually unaware of is that you are allowed to bring your own food in many of them (especially in rural areas) and the fact that while there technically is a limit to your blood alcohol when cycling, it is rarely if ever enforced. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:23, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think Islam has its own ritual drug; instead, it's a teetotaling religion. When I lived in rural Malaysia, my neighbors found the idea of sacramental alcohol disgusting. True, some of them were regular users of betelnut and many of them smoked, but none of that was for religious purposes. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:43, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

German Beer Culture[edit]

I don't know whether it is local bias, but I think German beer culture is a topic about which a lot can be said (from the diverse nature of Volksfeste such as that in Canstatt or the other one in München or the variety of smaller ones, to the uniquely German invention of Bierkeller and Biergärten to many other things that I don't know about right now) and yet next to nothing is said about it in this article just now. Should information on this topic go a) in the Germany article b) go into local/regional or city articles (such as information on Bierkeller into any article from Stiebarlimbach to Muggendrof) c) Be split of into another article entirely d) not be mentioned at all? Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:14, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I think the German beer culture has influenced the beer culture around the globe, and is thus better handled here. But is there a uniquely German beer culture, or should we talk about the Middle European beer culture? --LPfi (talk) 20:01, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd think yes and no... Some aspects (like Volksfeste) seem to have globalized, while others have - even though they are bound to have existed elsewhere in the past - pretty much stayed in Germany or even parts of Germany, such as Bierkeller. If you have once been to a Bierkeller, I doubt you could say such a thing authentically exists outside of a region comprising parts of Southern Germany. Other things such as family run restaurants on the countryside where you get your Radler with your Schnitzel may or may not be a more Middle European thing, though... Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:17, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Korean drinks[edit]

User:Wyote just made some great additions to this article. I'm wondering whether some of them should be moved to different sections. Makgeolli is merely brewed, not distilled, correct? Is it similar enough to sake to belong in the "Wine" section? Samhaeju is distilled liquor, though, is it not? In which case, it belongs just where it is. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:40, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm sorry, you're right. I didn't pay attention. I'll move it.... Wyote (talk) 08:06, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
No reason to be sorry. But is samhaeju a distilled liquor? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:34, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Ordinary samhaeju is a variation of soju (sometimes called "samhae soju," it is soju made from "samhae yakju") but a different product of the brewing process can be used to make samhae makgeoli as well. There is also a "samhae moju" made from samahe makgeoli, which seems to be analogous to a fortified wine. I haven't tried that, but I will try to find out more about that. Also, I could be wrong about any of this, and it's also possible (maybe even likely) that Koreans from different parts of Korea use similar or the same terms to mean different things. Please let me know if you have different information. I'd love to get to the bottom of it. Wyote (talk) 09:49, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I really don't know. I've never tried samhaeju, but I do like to drink soju. If the more or less default version of samhaeju is a distilled liquor, it should probably be covered in that section. I'll move it there for now, and maybe some of the other Korea mavens on this site will have more to say in time. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:03, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Style of English[edit]

Lately, some edits have seemed to move this article toward being entirely in British English. I don't see an important reason or justification for this. It seems to me, when specifically British beverages are being covered, such as Scotch whisky, it makes no sense to force American spellings (in this case, whiskey), but otherwise, why do things like change practice to practise? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:45, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

I concur. Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:01, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
According to "Whilst many in the US have adopted practise as the verb and practice as the noun, it is acceptable to use practice for both noun and verb in American English." (my emphasis added).
Since Alcoholic beverages is a travel topic that does not relate exclusively to subjects linked to a particular national flavor of English, my understanding of our policy is that it should be written in U.S. English.
This may interest: since it shows that the "s" version has been steadily declining in U.S. English. However, although it looks to be becoming an endangered species, it is no more extinct than the bald eagle.
BushelCandle (talk) 22:24, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
I occasionally see "whilst" in the US, where we consider it quaint, but I _never_ see "practise", which looks all wrong to me (and incidentally, has a wavy red line below it from Spellchecker, but that's not by any means always reliable). Trust me on this: I'm a professional musician who knows something about practicing and reads that word more often than most other people, except I guess lawyers and doctors. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:33, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
I trust you. BushelCandle (talk) 22:41, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

The German word "Schnaps" versus its use in English[edit]

The text of this article currently contrasts schnapps (in its American sense) as a sweet beverage from other non-sweet licors. However, it goes on to say that schnapps is German, which might cause confusion as Schnaps (sic!) is simply a generic term for any high alcohol distilled beverage. I don't know how to resolve this elegantly, but I wanted to point this out. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:44, 4 March 2016 (UTC)