With a dramatic buildup and hasty last-minute alterations — like stadium alcohol sales being banned just two days before the opening match — the 2022 World Cup officially kicked off in Qatar on Sunday. With football lovers traveling from all over the globe to cheer on their nations, the tournament — held every four years — brings together dozens of cultures from around the globe.
Our motto here at VinePair is “Drinking is Culture,” so we took this opportunity to explore the national drinks of each of the competing nations. It should be noted that the following is an unofficial list of beers, wines, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages compiled from a number of sources based on popularity of the drink and prominence in each nation’s culture.
For host nation Qatar — where drinking alcohol is highly restricted and being drunk in public is illegal — the national drink is non-alcoholic karak, which originally hails from India where it is known as “kadak” (strong tea). Enjoyed hot, the tea is a type of masala chai with fewer spices that can be made from just tea, water, and milk.
Other Middle Eastern nations competing also have notable non-alcoholic drinks, like Saudi Arabia’s “Saudi Champagne.” Despite the name, Saudi Champagne contains no sparkling wine. Instead, the refreshing sipper can be made from a number of ingredients, the most common being apple juice, sparkling water, and mint, with fruits like apples and oranges also added to some recipes.
For other countries, like Canada and Brazil, the national drinks are cocktails — the Bloody Caesar and the Caipirinha, respectively — while nations like France and Spain enjoy wine as their most popular national beverages. Here in the United States? Bourbon reigns supreme.
Curious to know the national drink of each country competing in the World Cup? Read on for more!