Don’t ever challenge a Belarusian to a drinking contest. Chances are he’ll easily drink you under the table, if the average alcohol consumption in Belarus is anything to judge by. According to a survey by the Wall Street Journal of world drinking habits, Belarus tops the chart for alcohol consumption, putting away 17.5 liters of pure alcohol per capita. It’s probably all the Krambambula. Moldova came in second at 16.8 liters, and Lithuania is third with 15.4 liters.
In fact, Eastern European countries dominate the top ten (cue Cold War era jokes about Communists sozzled on cheap vodka). The exception is the tiny alpine principality of Andorra. When they aren’t skiing, Andorrans love nothing better than guzzling cheap, duty-free booze. Americans are drinking less beer (and only put away just over 9 liters of alcohol per capita – Burundians drink more), but are drinking more wine. The survey breaks a few national stereotypes. The Irish and their boozehound neighbors in the UK are both behind the Finns, the South Koreans, and the French. Norway, Japan and China all drink in moderation, while Muslim countries predictably score as teetotal.