Each year the holidays promise friends, family, food—and often a rigorous drinking regimen. But although Americans may be geared toward heavy consumption, our counterparts abroad appear to be doing more sodden celebrating. According to World Drink Trends 2004, published by Britain's World Advertising Research Center, the United States ranks just twenty-sixth among forty-five countries in per capita alcohol consumption. Here slow and steady wins the race: big beer- and wine-drinking countries generally imbibe more alcohol per capita than countries that favor liquor. Russians drink more spirits than any other nationality—the equivalent of one 80-proof shot a day for every citizen. But Russia ranks only fifteenth in overall drinking. Americans on average throw back twenty-two gallons of beer a year, but the United States lags in wine and liquor consumption. Here's how you'd have to pace yourself to keep up with the world's heaviest drinkers.
of pure alcohol
|Drinks per week, roughly*|
|3||Czech Republic||2.85 gallons|
|9||Great Britain||2.54 gallons|
= pint of beer
= 4-ounce glass of wine
* Alcohol content of beer and wine varies from country to country