On Thursday, the eyes of the world will fix on Brazil as the most popular sporting event on the planet kicks off. No soccer fan worth his face paint wants to watch the World Cup without a drink. From firewater to rice wine, here’s what to drink in honor of your favorite team as you watch the passion of the world’s best players, the excitement of a shootout and probably a lot of nil-nil ties.
This Brazilian spirit is guaranteed to be everywhere, all Cup long. Ninety minutes is a long time to watch men kick a ball, so settle in with a caipirinha made with a good cachaça and relax.
A plum brandy that will keep you warm on Eastern European nights.
During the World Cup, it an international law that every tequila shot must be followed by screaming “Víva México.”
An official Cameroon travel guide says this liquor distilled from palm wine is “something resembling gin.” An afofo and tonic perhaps?
Plan ahead for this Food & Wine sangria recipe, which should rest up to eight hours before drinking.
The Netherlands: Genever
The grandfather of all gin. Like most very old liquors, this was sold as a medicine back at a time when people did not know how medicine worked.
To be fair, this is also the national drink of Peru and when they get a better soccer team, we will move pisco to their section of the post.
Sure, it is a sweeping generalization to just declare “beer” as anyone’s national drink, but even though the country’s wine is known worldwide, 41 percent of all alcoholic drinks in Australia are made of malt and hops.
This sugar-based liquor flavored with anise literally translates to “fire water.” The Village Voice called it a “drink that may make you want to punch someone in the face,” which is probably all you need to know.
Another anise-flavored beverage. Guaranteed to make you break plates at a wedding.
Ivory Coast: Bangui
A wine made from palm oil. Côte d’Ivoirers also distill a brandy called Kotoukou from their Bangui.
As we previously said, sake is in danger of becoming an “old man drink” in Japan. Could a Japanese run in the World Cup make it cool again?
This tea probably won’t get you buzzed during a match, but it will keep you warm when your team is losing.
Costa Rica: Guaro
Another Central American drink derived from sugar. It is sometimes unceremoniously compared to Everclear. But don’t tell a Costa Rican that, unless you want to get into a guaro-fueled fight.
OK, admittedly, this is a tough one. The British do like a good pint, especially during a football match. But after losing early in every Cup for the past 20 years, they could probably use something stronger than an ale.
Yes, Italian wine is great, but you’ll never forget drinking this stuff you can distill from the leftovers.
A cinnamon schnapps we’ve all had at a college party because we used to think drinking gold was cool.
Aguardiente with a little of the edge taken off. It’s a hot cocktail made of the aforementioned firewater, sugar and agua de canela (water with cinnamon).
France: Red Wine
Some people actually want to give absinthe this distinction, but the French lead the world in drinking red wine and it would be a shame not recognize that.
A rum flavored with all sorts of herbal adjuncts—sometimes even garlic. It’s considered an aphrodisiac, so make sure you like whomever you’re watching the game with.
Ever since a presidential declaration in 2010, this has been Argentina’s national drink.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Rakia
This fermented fruit drink can hit 190 proof. Be careful, people.
You can actually be killed in Iran if you get caught drinking alcohol. Best to stay away from the hard stuff if you’re watching a game in public.
Made from sorghum or millet, it’s a little like a nonalcoholic beer.
Perhaps the best invention to come out of Germany.
IPAs may be trendy and West Coast wine is top notch, but bourbon is the only drink the United States government has claimed as its own.
A nice glass of the sweet stuff is a great way to finish off any evening.
According one Ghanaian reporter this palm liquor “tastes like fire to the uninitiated, burning all the way down.”
Belgium: Westvleteren 12
Technically, the Belgians, like the Dutch, claim genever as their official drink. But come on: They make the most sought-after bottle of beer in the world. That has to take precedence.
Algeria: Hamoud Boualem
Algerian is another country that doesn’t drink much alcohol. This lemony soft drink is actually even older than Coke, going back to 1878.
If Vladimir Putin made it legal, most Russians would probably marry a bottle.
South Korea: Soju
Usually fermented from rice, it can make for an excellent cocktail