A Euromonitor report on worldwide alcohol consumption has shattered some misconceptions on who are really the heaviest drinkers in the world. The first countries usually springing to mind are Russia, Ireland and Germany. But you have to guess again for the country which holds the #1 spot.
Because taking a near inconceivable lead on the rest of the world is South-Korea, where drinking isn’t a pastime, it’s a way of life. And an advanced drinking skill is even known to advance your career. Take that stereotypical alcoholic nations.
With the average bottle of beer costing around $1, and no real legislature on drinking, South Korea is probably the most ‘liberal’ country in the world when it comes to drinking, even drinking on the job is socially acceptable. In South Korea’s Hangover, a documentary on the country’s excessive collective drinking behaviour, it is reported that the people there have some of the most unforgiving working hours in the world and face incredible pressure to perform by their bosses. Drinking seems to be the perfect remedy then to cope with this professional paradigm.
So how much do they drink exactly? The average South Korean drinks 14 shots of hard liquor a week (this compared to 6 shots on average by Russians) and counts a total of 1.5 million alcoholics.
Fun fact: the most popular drink in South Korea is Soju, which has an alcohol percentage of 20% and is known to get you drunk fast. A bottle costs around $2,-. We’re kind of starting to get why South Korea is peaking in the world list of alcohol consumption now.