Trends and traditions: what methods of drinking alcoholic beverages are preferred nowadays in different countries?
A roundtable discussion titled "Scotch Bouquet under Belarusian Cork" took place in BelTA’s press center on June 1. The participants, representatives of the Belarusian and foreign alcohol industry enterprises, discussed many interesting and topical issues, including the question: What are the preferred ways to drink hard liquors nowadays in different countries?
Marketing Director at MV Group (Lithuania)
Algirdas ČIBURIS: – Ten years ago in Lithuania 50 grams of vodka would have been taken as a shot, in one swig. Five years ago there were already several popular vodka-based cocktails. Today the latest trend in bars is to drink vodka shots, not straight, but in mini-cocktails with addition of such ingredients as Tabasco sauce or syrup, among others. The culture of drinking shots is entering the market, while more traditional ways of consuming alcoholic beverages are on the decline. Nowadays people tend to mix their drinks, by experimenting, searching for a flavor they like, looking to find something new and interesting. When you invite guests to your house you want to surprise them. Both in the culinary art and in the art of drinking it has now become fashionable to serve something original, unusual.
Area Director for Northern and Eastern Europe at Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Stuart THOMPSON: – With whisky first I take a sniff, and then hold it in my mouth to feel the taste. We see many new trends and ideas for mixing drinks appearing these days, with many new Scotch whisky-based cocktail recipes, but I personally prefer traditional methods, and this trend is also gaining popularity.
Some bar owners in Britain are very sensitive about matters concerning the “proper” way to drink whisky. Some would say it’s improper to add ice to the drink; others would categorically refuse to add cola. So those people who like to mix whisky should better not go to Scotland but to some other country, such as Spain, where they eagerly mix it with almost anything.
Deputy Director for Technology at the Brest branch of JSC “Minsk Grape Wines Factory” (Belarus)
Aleksandr TSVEN: – First and foremost, any beverage is primarily sold and consumed where it is produced. Being so, the local drinking traditions are the most “proper”. In the Slavic tradition vodka is to be taken in such a way that would make one want to follow it with a snack. Hard liquors should be followed by some food, and the question of how exactly to drink them is up to everyone to decide for themselves.
Most importantly, the product must be of high quality!
General Director of JSC "Minsk Grape Wines Factory" (Belarus)
Ivan TROTSKY: – Belarusians are quite traditional in their culture of drinking. Here a rich feast with solid snacks is usually accompanied by drinking both hard liquors and wine. It has historically become accepted among our hospitable people. And even semi-sweet wines, very popular in Belarus, are not served with desserts, fruits and sweet pastries, as it is done in Europe, but most often with heavy meat dishes, poultry and salads.
However, we have already noticed among young people, who are more receptive to new ideas, a marked trend of transition to drinking wines that contain less sugar - dry and semi-dry ones. And these are served with lighter snacks – cheeses and fish with white wines, certain types of seafood, vegetables and light meats – with red wines. Such type of feast is becoming increasingly European.
And champagne, as always, remains a drink predominantly marketed to women. The freshest combination of fruits to serve with champagne in the summer consists of fragrant strawberries, juicy peaches and ripe grapes. And in colder seasons Belarusians drink champagne with desserts.
The full text of this roundtable discussion can be found at www.belta.by.