One of the most widely used pieces of shorthand for telling the audience about a character's personality: have the character order a drink.
Some drinks are particularly trope rich:
- Tea, the most popular beverage in the world after water. No surprise, given that besides Britain, Ireland, and the Commonwealth, tea predominates in the former Soviet Union, East Asia, and South and Southeast Asia, and is highly competitive in the Middle East and North Africa—a collection of regions that, all told, contains about half to two-thirds of the world population. Styles, strengths, sweetness, and other ingredients are strongly regional and indicative of class wherever you go.
- Coffee, its principal rival.
- Wine, reputedly sophisticated.
- Beer, reputedly plebeian.
- Whisk(e)y: Depends on the type. If a character orders Scotch they may be portrayed as sophisticated, but if they order rye or bourbon they may be portrayed as a rough around the edges Badass. Regardless of the type, whisk(e)y is always portrayed as a manly drink—a woman who likes whisk(e)y is, if not mannish, than definitely tough and determined.
- Milk or water, when in a bar, represents an especially naive or straitlaced person. (Not to be confused with Drunk on Milk). Either that or a stone-cold badass who doesn't give a damn about what anyone thinks. Or, you know, the designated driver...
The drink order can be code for nationality, and social class.
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The British Isles
- Tea. "England's national drink," but really popular across the Isles.
- Very class-indicator laden. Big, steaming mugs of really strong "Builder's" tea with lots of sugar (probably poured from a grimy metal or old "Brown Betty" teapot) = blue-collar working class; Mug of well-known brand tea, possibly made American style (teabag on a string), some sugar = white-collar or middle class; china cup of unsweetened Earl Grey poured from a silver pot = upper class.
- Immigrant groups are often seen consuming their ancestral brews, particularly Asians drinking chai masala with sugar and evaporated milk.
- Certain tea blends exist to interact with British patterns—for instance, English and Irish breakfast blends are strong, intended to accompany the heavy, fatty, salty Great British/Irish Fry-Up loaded with bacon, eggs, etc, so drinking one with the other suggests a robust ("manly") appetite; the more delicate ones like Earl Grey and Darjeeling contrariwise are served at afternoon tea with similarly delicate foods and suggest a delicate ("womanly") sophistication.
- For stronger drinks, a working-class Brit will "have a pint, landlord." (Or, if we're establishing him as a regular at this particular pub, it'll be "The usual, Jim — and one for yourself"). It'll still be a pint of bitter, though. He'll never order a particular brand; sometimes this is lampshaded by a request for "a pint of the non-specific".
- An Irishman or Irishwoman may make the same order, but rather than a pint of bitter, it's typically a pint of stout—almost certainly Guinness.
- Very good pubs may boast of many different ales on tap, but the regulars nearly always stick to a favourite ("the usual" or a fictitious name).
- Don't order a cocktail or liqueur unless you want to be seen as pretentious or a "poof".
- Don't drink your beer by half pints if you don't want to be seen as a "poof".
- The "a pint of the non-specific" trope was probably established due to the fact that brand names can't be mentioned on The BBC. EastEnders famously has a variety of fake brands behind the bar at the Vic; other BBC series do show real brands but rarely if ever mention them in dialogue. The phrase itself is a Running Gag from Alistair McGowan's sketches parodying Eastenders.
- "A broon ale" is a common order for the working class Brit when Oop North.
- An upper-class Brit in a lower-class pub will almost invariably ask for a wine list, to which the barman will inevitably reply, "Red or White?" Only after repeating this line in response to a series of increasing "elementary" wines will the barman suggest mixing the red and white to produce... not "blush", but "pink". "Blush" is almost as vulgar as "pink". Well on the way to being a Discredited Trope now that you can find two dozen varieties of Australian or South American wine in any supermarket; if it shows up these days it's probably a parody.
- In general, a professional or upper-class Brit will have wine. Even if impoverished—then he'll get cheaper wine. Beer is for farmers, proles, and Irishmen. The wine should be French. This has been true since the Middle Ages: the medieval English went positively gaga over a dark rosé called ''clairet'' from Bordeaux, and even after their tastes had shifted to red wine they kept calling their beloved Bordeaux "claret"—and do pronounce the "t" at the end, the word isn't French any longer. Wars with France in the old days led to occasional upper-class grumbling about the availability of French wine, but it did introduce the British to a few of their non-French favourites, particularly sherry; and the old alliance with Portugal gave the English—and later the early Americans—a taste for Madeira and port.
- A sophisticated Brit (read: James Bond) will order a vodka martini — shaken, not stirred, and the drier the better. As far as normal (gin) martinis go, Winston Churchill found it necessary only to gaze at the vermouth bottle from across the room while drinking straight gin. A truly sophisticated Brit will order the martini stirred, not shaken, and, if asked, will explain that shaking bruises the gin.note If it's summer, the sophisticate may prefer Gin & Tonic or a jug of Pimm's to go 'round.
- Alternatively, he'll order a cocktail containing three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka (made from grain, not potatoes), half a measure of Kina Lillet, then instruct the bartender to shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.note . This is in keeping with the source material, where the patron explains his reasoning behind such strong and persnickety orders and is played very straight. However, he does consistently get a chuckle out of everyone else ordering one as well, which may also apply. In the original books Bond was meticulous about the use of Gordon's Gin. However, liquors have changed over the years; vodka is weaker (break out the Stoli 100) and evidently Tanqueray is closer to what Gordon's was in Ian Fleming's day, so keep those in mind. Also, Kina Lillet has been out of production for quite some time now; the accepted modern substitute (at least since Daniel Craig's Bond popularized the drink) has been Lillet Blanc, a close relative, and a dash of bitters.
- Complicated NAMED cocktails are also a way to show off between globe-trotting millionaire playboys such as The Persuaders!, as for example a Creole Scream (4 cl White Rum, 2 cl Dry Vermouth, 1 Dash Angustora Bitters, 1 cl Grenadine Syrup, 1-2 Green Olive). Some arguing on a minor detail such as one or two olives is to be expected.
- An 18th-century Englishman down on his luck will have gin. Beer-swilling Middle Englishmen look upon him with disdain.
- Because it's unseemly for a lady to be seen to drink too much, a Proper Lady will, if she wants to drink heavily, discreetly drink gin and tonic and be careful not to reveal how many she's had. (The Queen Mum was famous for this.)
- A Yuppie will have, "Macallan gran reserva, with a drop", or some ridiculously specific wine (Chateau Neuf, south field, 1978). That, or a bottle of Sol or Corona with a wedge of lime in the neck.
- A non-Yuppie, meanwhile, will just order a Macallan, because it's damn good whisky. Ahem. The Macallan.
- A Brit who wants to be a yuppie or sophisticate, but isn't (such as Del Boy) will order some totally preposterous cocktail, probably with an umbrella in it.
- A character in a crime drama will always ask for "Scotch." The character will rarely specify the type, possibly because the writers don't realize that every Scotch is slightly different. If the character does ask for a specific brand, it will always be Glenfiddich or The Macallan. It's vanishingly rare that anyone asks for a brand of blended Scotch by name.
- A Scotsman or an Irishman will drink their nation's native whisk(e)y.
- In Hollywood, in contrast to the hundreds of varieties of Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey (yes, they're spelled differently, and the difference is, in fact, Serious Business) appears in just two brands: Jameson and Bushmills. They are largely equivalent, except that Jameson is Catholic and Bushmills is Protestant - thus picking the right one is non-trivial when dealing with particularly militant Irishmen - but this distinction is mostly an American fabrication, based on the fact that the Bushmills distillery happens to be located in Northern Ireland- the Jameson family were Protestant (as were the Guinness family, and most families who actually had enough money to start major breweries and distilleries)note
- A Scotsman will never order "scotch," but rather "whisky." Nonetheless, they expect to be served scotch because to them, scotch is the default variety of whisky (which is Truth in Television in Britain).
- The most popular whiskey within Ireland itself is reputedly Powers Gold Label, which is usually hard to come by at any bar in the states, outside of certain Irish enclaves like Boston or New York (and sometimes even there).
- The most popular scotch in Scotland is Famous Grouse, but it is not difficult to obtain in the United States.
- In the UK, professional footballers' "Check out my money" drink of choice seems to be Cristal champagne. £200 a bottle. Mixed with Diet Coke. Ugh.
- A character from the West Country will drink cider, particularly scrumpy (a type of cloudy, low-carbonation cider with a higher alcohol content).
- Since the upswing of sweet ciders in the mid-2000's, Cider has become the main 'beer for those who don't like beer'. Don't expect them to drink anything more dry than Strongbow though.
- Chavs may drink cheap cider, in their local park or tower block. Also, Snakebite (half a pint of beer, half a pint of cider, maybe with some blackcurrent cordial) is popular with chav girls, and also with students and other young drinkers (as it seems to be more alcoholic than the sum of its parts).
- Soft drinks in Britain are generally referred to as exactly that. Regional and time period variations do come in: anyone wanting to evoke the days of Enid Blyton will drink "lashings and lashings of ginger ale." In Scotland, any fizzy non-alcoholic beverage is referred to as "juice" or "skoosh", regardless of whether it's Sprite, Coke, or Pepsi. "Ginger" is also a common generic term for carbonated soft drinks north of the border. Virtually the only drink to be requested by name is Scotland's own Irn-Bru. And even then, it'll generally be shortened to just "bru."
- Cheap Vodka, sometimes mixed with Red Bull is quite popular with young students. As anyone who's ever been to the bar street in Magaluf will confirm.
- A Russian will drink vodka, perhaps straight from the bottle.
- Only in movie-land, though; in real Russia only hopeless drunks and hobos drink vodka straight from the bottle, and the more common drink of choice would be a cheap beer (straight from the bottle is okay with beer) or the Jaguar brand energy alcopop for the youths. Or, you know, vodka, but not straight from the bottle.
- On the other hand, hopeless drunks and hobos not exactly being in short supply in Russia, some particularly cheap forms of vodka are (or at least used to be) sold in bottles with pull-tab openings, with the expectation that bottle will be drunk in one sitting—as will its owner.
- Youths who are punks, rockers, metalheads or members of various other Western-influenced subcultures (the so-called neformaly) often prefer fortified bum wines such as the infamous "777 Port Wine". Because beer and alcopops are so pop and gopnik.
- An extra stern and grim survivalist (or just a peasant) will have samogan (moonshine). Preferably one they brewed and distilled themselves.
- Bear in mind that Russia is the country where government policy has been to encourage beer-drinking as a way of combating alcoholism.
- Intellectuals (both in real life and in fiction) often dismiss vodka as a plebeian drink and prefer brandy (either local ones, of which there are a surprising variety, or, if wealthy and cosmopolitan enough, imported French cognac) or whisk(e)y, with rarity and price of the bottle often being a point of showing off. The same is true for most affluent classes as well, regardless of education.
- Curiously, asking for French Cognac is usually the sign of being rich, sophistication is more ofter suggested by choosing a Georgian or Armenian brandy. Also, stereotypical Georgian will most likely drink red wine, preferably in large quantities.
- As for hot drinks, tea rules the day almost to the same extent as in Britain. In fiction, especially Western fiction, it's often drunk in elaborate ritual around the iconic samovar, with tons of pastries, and jams, and preserves. The latter is more or less Truth in Television, especially in communal setting, but the samovar has mostly died out, the remaining being broken out only for the most important gatherings, as did the oft-depicted way of drinking it from the saucer with a piece of sugar or fruit preserve held in the mouth — anyway, it was only characteristic of the old merchant classes of the Tsarist Russia. In modern days it usually comes from the stovetop or electric teapot, or, in the eastern parts of the country, from the dedicated hot water dispenser, a custom imported from Japan and China, and, arguably, the second coming of the samovar.
Note that the type of the tea drunk also carries the class stereotypes similar to the British ones, but they differs not by financial, but mainly on the intellectual axis. The strong and sweet black tea is for the working class too, but also for the coarse and uncouth nouveau riches, while even the poorest intelligentsia would prefer the sophisticated unsweetened types, including the green tea (which is almost entirely their territory, excepting the Central Asian immigrant laborers).
The Mafiya prefers its own type of tea, an extremely strong brew called chifir'.
- Coffee is much less popular, but still quite frequent, though its use is also centered among the educated. Blue collars, if ever seen with a cup of joe, will be drinking some godawful instant coffin varnish simply to get their gears move during the night shift, while the effeminate hipsters will spend hours discussing the blends and roasting techniques.
- A Norwegian will order pilsener beer, and refer to it as "pils". Brand? What's that?
- A Swede will order "a big strong one", meaning a half litre of domestic lager.
- A Swedish student, at least if they're a member of a student's union (often dressing in patch-covered industrial overalls), might order "Punsch" instead. Not Punch; Punsch. Basically a traditional Swedish liqueur made of arrack, tea, citrus, water and sugar. Generally taken as a shot next to the beer.
- Or a bottle of foreign booze smuggled from Germany (maybe via Denmark) for half the price it would cost at a Systembolaget shop.
- The French drink wine. Disneyland Paris almost went out of business when it first opened. Why? Because they didn't serve wine. Wine is Serious Business in France.
- Many, particularly in the north and east, also drink beer (referred to as "blonde" (light) or "brune" (dark)); a typical "neighborhood bar" is often called a brasserie (brewery). Beers from the north of France, near the border with Belgium and the Netherlands (which together form the world's beer Heaven), are considered the best in the country.
- Some drinks are seen as more regional.
- Cidre is often associated with apple-growing Normandie and Bretagne, as is Calvados (faire le trou normand "to make the Norman hole" means drinking a glass of Calvados between the courses of a meal).
- Various aniseed spirits like pastis and Pernod are associated with the south.
- Also regional is the wine. Each part of the country has its own wines, particularly further south, and locals will drink a simple local red wine with their meals or just in general. An exception to the rule that the wine is red is in Jura, in the eastern region of Franche-Comté near the border with Switzerland; there, the locals will commonly drink vin jaune, a yellowish white wine rather like an unfortified sherry, with some walnuts and Comté cheese.
- The most widely known spirit native to France is cognac. However, cognac is usually seen as a more upscale drink, perhaps to spirits what champagne is to wines. A common spirit in France is eau-de-vie: clear fruit brandy.
- The French love their coffee, but café au lait is really only drunk from a large bowl at breakfast, and late 19th century artists, writers etc. are stereotypically expected to be addicted to absinthe.
- Italians also drink a lot of wine, although they're usually depicted as being much less snobby about it. Rustic Italians in particular will stereotypically drink chianti out of a straw-covered fiasco (round-bottomed bottle) with a hearty meal.
- The chianti in the fiasco are really just Tuscan; different regions have different wines and different bottles. That said, any remotely realistic depictions of Italians will have them drinking a simple red wine. Exception: Italians are universally agreed that a beer, especially a cold pale lager, is an ideal accompaniment to pizza; the Italian breweries probably survive primarily on sales combined with pizza. (Americans, rejoice: For once, you got something about foreign cuisine right!)
- Italians of course also drink espresso—usually with a sugar or two to cut the bitterness. They regard Americans and others who don't as crazy.
- There's also a variety of aperitivi and digestivi, each with ritual and tradition surrounding them. The ones you hear about most often abroad are the ones that are commonly used in mixed drinks (e.g. the vermouth used in martinis, used as an aperitivo, and the well-noted Campari, also an aperitivo), although grappa (a brandy distilled from the pomace or dregs of winemaking) and limoncello (a lemony liqueur easily made at home—it just takes some syrup, high-proof grain alcohol, and lemon peel) are also internationally-noted digestivi.
- Spaniards are also fond of wine, and like the Italians they are generally not seen as being snobby about it; they are particularly famous for sherry, but that is far from the only kind of wine in the country. Stereotypically, wine will be accompanied by tapas, particularly olives, potatoes, chorizo, and fifty varieties of jamón (that's ham).
- Note that stereotypically is the key word - Spaniards usually reserve wine to full-scale meals and usually accompany tapas with beer.
- The Portuguese, like the Spanish, are largely wine-drinkers; Madeira and port are their most famous styles. The more interesting thing about them, though, is their beer: unlike most places, where the most popular beer is almost invariably a pale lager, much of Portugal prefers a German-style dark bock.
- For many Germans it's beer and more beer, but in some regions it may also be wine, especially (obviously) in wine-growing regions. Germans can be expected to drink both, even on one sitting, as there's a popular saying: Wein auf Bier, das rat ich dir, Bier auf Wein, das lass sein. ("Wine after beer is what I recommend to you, beer after wine better not.") In the Frankfurt area cider (Apfelwein, im Hochdeutsch, Äbbelwoi in Hessian) is also popular.
- There are quite a few regional variations. In Bavaria, manly men are expected to drink from Maßkrüge (stoneware or glass jugs holding exactly a liter) at the Oktoberfest. In other regions, it is much more commonplace to use smaller glasses; the smallest are in Cologne for Kölsch, which is served in a 1/5 liter glasse called a Stange ("rod"), or a Reagenzglas ("test tube") or Fingerhut (thimble) if you're feeling unkind (or just joking as they do in Cologne). In parts of Northern Germany they think you can't be expected to drink a beer "dry", so a beer will be accompanied by a shot glass of clear spirits, thus Lütt un Lütt (Low German for "little and little") means a beer and a glass of kümmel (caraway schnaps). Some regions prefer certain types of beer, e. g. in the Rhineland you have a type produced with the yeast floating on top, known variously as Obergärig, Kölsch (in Cologne) or Alt (especially in Düsseldorf), while other regions have a penchant for a lighter beer made from wheat (Hefeweizen). Berliners will stereotypically be expected to drink a Weiße mit Schuss (white beer with a shot of fruit syrup in a big bowl-like glass) in summer.
- Some drinks are seasonal. To quench their thirst in the hot season Germans may order a Weinschorle (usually white wine and mineral water; the red wine version is sometimes known as Türkenblut, "Turk's blood") or a mixture of beer and lemonade (what is called Shandy in Britain) that is called a Radler ("cyclist's") in the South and an Alsterwasser or Alster ("Alster water", named after one of the rivers of Hamburg) in the North. The non-alcoholic variant is also called a Schorle, usually specifying which fruit juice is mixed with mineral water; the most common one is Apfel(saft)schorle (with apple juice). In winter, especially around Christmas, Germans (and Alsatian Frenchmen as well) will frequently drink Glühwein (mulled, spiced wine), while on the coast people stereotypically drink grog. The traditional recipe for the latter is Rum muss, Zucker kann, Wasser braucht nicht "rum must, sugar cane, water need not (be)".
- Glühwein or vin chaud (hot wine), a mix of spices (especially lemon and cinnamon) and red wine is drunk all over France during winter, specifically around open-markets (as it warms people up). It's not really associated to Alsace, as it doesn't have a red wine culture (it's celebrated for its whites, though). It's reputed to not really be alcoholic, so children can often be allowed to drink it.
- Germany is also well known for various types of spirits, usually clear. The simplest of these is Korn: distilled from grain, and a bit like vodka, but it's less thoroughly filtered so you can taste the grain it came from. Apfelkorn is much the same but from grain and apples. Kümmel is a liqueur, generally distilled from grain and flavored with caraway, cumin, and fennel, so one might think of it as a distant relative of gin. Kirsch is a clear brandy, distilled from cherries and famously necessary for a true Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte;note darker brandy (Weinbrand) is more of an upscale drink. Sweet liqueurs of more unusual colours are traditionally associated with (tippling) older women. Jägermeister has of course been successfully exported.
- As regards hot drinks, most Germans prefer coffee (German coffee madness goes back at least to the early 18th century, when J. S. Bach wrote a humorous cantata on the subject and Frederick The Great became a huge fan), execpt in tea-addicted East Frisia, although many of those Germans who do drink tea like to think of themselves as better connoisseurs of tea than e. g. Britons. Among youngsters, there is a bit of a fashion for KiBa (Kirsche + Banane), a mixture of cherry and banana juice, usually poured in such a way so you get two layers or a pretty spiral design.
- Austria is very similar to Germany when it comes to beer and wine (some regions in Austria take their wine houses very seriously), for hot drinks look no further than Vienna, who "invented" coffee for the Europeans when the Turks left it behind after being defeated in the Turkish wars. Famously, the idea of putting milk in your coffee comes from Austria. Traditional coffee orders are small and large "black" or "brown" (without or with milk), Melange (not the Spice but a cappuchino with whipped cream) and for those who have been skiing and need something to warm up, tea, coffee or hot chocolate with a shot of "Stroh" rum.
- Espresso for the euro-sophisticate who wants to sip.
- In Austria, drunk like a shot of spirits. Nice.
- Espresso with sugar for the Italians, who are confused most other countries would even consider drinking such a strong brew "black". But definitely all espresso, all the time.
- Traditionalist South Slavs (Slovenians, Croatians, Bosnians, Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians) will have a "dec" of rakija made in the countryside and wash it down with a local beer (or wine, if you're in Dalmacija, Hercegovina or Montenegro.)
- Young "posh" people will have the standard club fare of beer and nouveau cocktails like Jagerbombs and B-52s.
- Wannabe tough guys will have shots of Chivas Regal and chase it down with Heineken.
- The "alternative" crowd will either eschew the whole concept of showing off with what you drink and gulp down everything that gets them intoxicated, stick to the traditional (and cheap) Raki+Beer or if they are of the "hipster" variety try to top each other by increasingly obscure cocktails they don't really enjoy.
- A Dutchman will order a small glass of whatever's on tap. In summer, a Dutch woman will order a rosé or (if she's trying to be hip) a rosé beer. Or just regular beer. In winter, pea soup is traditional as a drink, especially after a nice day of ice skating.
- However, nine times out of ten, the only beer on tap (or even served at all) will be domestic. German and Belgian beers are also acceptable, but anything else will often be dismissed as weak or low-quality (often correctly, often wrongly). And, of course, every region has its own preference (though it is not as hard coded as in other countries).
- A harder-drinking Dutchman will have "young" jenever, a clear spirit distilled from grain or malt with juniper and other botanical flavoring (the ancestral form of gin), typically stored in the freezer. Often taken as a kopstoot ("headbutt"): a shot with a beer to chase.note
- Sophisticated hard drinkers will drink "old" jenever distilled entirely from malt, possibly of the kind that is aged in an oak cask for several years and tastes rather like whisky with botanicals.
- A Belgian, on the other hand, will order an ale from one of the 178 breweries in the country—preferably one nearby—in one of the innumerable styles native to Belgium (dubbel, tripel, witbier, lambic, gueuze, saison, red, blonde, brown...). Said ale will be served in a glass specifically designed to accentuate the unique qualities of the beer, and will be drunk liberally alongside a hearty serving of fries with mayonnaise and mussels. When a Walloon and Fleming meet, one of the few things they will absolutely agree tie them together is their beer. Also, when the Belgian sees some British tourists talk about getting "good Belgian beer" and then order Stella Artois at the bar, he will laugh so hard he falls off his chair.
- Note that pale lagers are sold in great quantities in Belgium, but only because they're cheap and easy to get drunk on; that tends to inflate the numbers. The good beer is drunk more deliberately. It's also more expensive, so it doesn't help that Wallonia is basically the epicenter of Western Europe's Rust Belt, with decaying industry and unemployed people everywhere.
- Greeks stereotypically drink ouzo, but in some regions they get offended when you ask for ouzo—they instead drink rakki. The difference? Mostly that one is called ouzo and the other is called rakki (both are clear spirits flavored with anise).
- Truth be told, however, Greeks are at least as likely to drink wine (which they have done for longer than anyone else in Europe). Retsina (wine flavored with pine resin) exists, but it is not drunk universally; it's mostly limited to accompanying strong-flavored medzes like pastirma and garlic dip. Modern retsina contains less resin than in the past, which makes the stuff taste more like wine and less like turpentine, but naturally purists complain.
- For a hot drink, Greeks drink coffee. It is prepared very similarly to Turkish coffee, but never, ever call it Turkish coffee.
- Ever since the 1950s, the Greeks have enjoyed frappé coffee for a cold summer drink; it's made by shaking instant coffee with milk, sugar, and ice cubes, creating a cold, foamy, sweet beverage.
United States of America
- The main Australian drink is known as "piss". It's a generic term for any alcohol from finest claret to beer to absinthe to vanilla extract. Which might or might not slow down service if the bartender happened to be American.
- Australians drink beer. No-name beer, served in a glass, no matter where they are. Most Australians drink either Carlton Draught, or the variety of state beers which are only popular in each state and have only a vile taste in common: Tooheys New in NSW, XXXX* in Queensland, VB* in Victoria, Swan Draught in WA, Boags or Cascade in Tasmania, and West End or Coopers in SA. Inevitably, the beer is drunk either straight from the can or from a "stubby" (a short, squat glass bottle, in contrast to the "longneck").
- Not so! "Though Angus loves his whisky dear/And Paddy likes his tot/The Aussie has no drink at all/He drinks the bloody lot!"
- All of the above beers are invariably characterless pale lagers served at temperatures so cold that even if they did have redeeming features, they would not register on your palate. If an Australian pub boasts 10 different taps, they will consist of 8 different brands of insipid pale lager, plus Guinness and a cider.
- An Australian will sneer at British beers for being warm and flat and at mainstream American beers as being "pissweak", despite mainstream Australian beer being inferior to the former and indistinguishable from the latter (and unlike the US, where craft beer has fully come into its own and can now be found most places, in Australia....yeah).
- As for spirits, the most popular overall are various types of whisky, including bourbon and scotch. Jim Beam, Johnnie Walker Red and Jack Daniels are probably the most popular among the masses — whether bought straight or premixed with Coke. But an Australian who can afford truly good spirits, is usually an Australian who will have what are perceived to be more civilised tastes.
- For bogans, their flagship drink is rum. The rum will be Bundaberg, distilled from the finest sugar and biological waste, and it is always mixed with coke (in some pubs, "Bundy and coke" will be available pre-mixed, on tap).
- Younger people tend to opt for vodka. The default choice is Smirnoff, which is what clubs and bars mostly seem to carry. An "alcopops" tax was introduced by the Prime Minister in 2008 because of the huge popularity with the youth of Australia of the flavoured pre-mix vodka drinks that are so sugar laden that they were closer to soft drinks than alcohol. Of course, this just meant that bottles of straight vodka were cheaper as opposed to cases of the alcopops, and youth turned to vodka cocktails drinks like the screwdriver, and caused bottle shops to start selling packs of the vodka and mixers together.
- If not alcoholic, Australia offers a fine hybrid of multicultural drink influences. If they are "traditional" Aussie, expect tea. If they are suburbanite, sophisticated, white collar etc. expect espresso coffee or the unique Australian variations, "long black" and "flat white," (espresso diluted with hot water and with milk, respectively. The first is not quite an Americano* ; second is absolutely not a latte.) Australian coffee is surprisingly strong (an Italian legacy). If they are rich and don't understand what they're drinking, it's Starbucks coffee. Not to mention the variety of European coffee variations. Warning however, for calling them by the wrong nationality. For example, calling Greek coffee "Turkish" and vice versa.
- Non-alcoholic drinks are also affected by geography - coke is still the drink of choice, except in South Australia, where its sales are outstripped by iced coffee (one of the only places in the world where coke is outsold by anything, in fact). In South Australia, all iced coffee is Farmer's Union, and in the Northern Territory it's Paul's.
- Drinking wine is not uncommon, middle and upper class Aussies have no social faux pas on drinking it but its still holds a pretentious middle class image amongst working class Australians, with only very special circumstances mitigating this, however if a foreigner were to point that drinking wine is snobbery or excessive in the present context, expect a response of "Weeell I bet you wouldn't know we produce over 100 international awarded red wines, not to mention we have major share of the top white wines on the international market and [Major Winery in the Region] does a fantastic line of Chardonnays, but you wouldn't know that you foreign bastard!". It's often a lot more hostile if the questioner is English, if the person doing the questioning is French even more so. They may drink a lot of beer but they're proud of their wine.
- Disdain for wine is increasingly a marker of those of very low socio-economic status. You'd be hard pressed to find a manual labourer in any Australian capital city who didn't know their way around a wine shop. (Thank you, Italians. And the globalization of wine. Which Italians in Italy hate. Funny, that.)
- Cheap white wine is also a popular party drink for the young, bought by the cask* rather than by the bottle. The slang term for it is "goon".
- Cider experienced a surge in popularity in the late 2000's with the younger population, as they dislike the bitter taste of beer compared to the sweeter fruit flavours in cider.
- Alcoholic: Beer. Usually Canadian beer (typically either Molson or Labatt), though European beer is also acceptable. But not American beer, which has been the target of ridicule since time immemorial.
- Certain brands are distinctly more popular in some provinces, though, such as Sleeman's in Ontario or Keith's in Nova Scotia.
- Note that some Americans, particularly those from the Northeast and Great Lakes states, are fond of Canadian beer. Indeed, in some places, it's sort of unusual not to find Labatt or Molson on tap.note
- American microbrews can be acceptable—when they manage to cross the border, that is. Canadian microbrew is somewhat less developed than the American, but still has a strong showing; particularly popular are the Quebec breweries, especially Unibroue—which is oddly owned by the Ontarian Sleeman's—whose Belgian- and North French-inspired beers are considered among the finest in North America.
- The classic heavy liquor is Canadian [Rye] Whisky, though really any hard liquor will do.
- Canadian whisky is also popular in the American Northeast and Great Lakes region.note The good stuff (that gets exported) is highly favored, while the cheap stuff is the usual go-to whisky for the poor drinker who likes whisky.
- It should also be noted that, due to a primarily Scottish and English influence on the drinking culture of Canada, whisky forgoes the "e" seen in America and Ireland.
- Wine is becoming more popular, partly due to Canada's increasing reputation in the international wine community (particularly icewine and dessert wines).
- Non-alcoholic: Coffee. Which is to say, drip coffee, served "double-double" (two creams, two sugars), and purchased from Tim Hortons, which is even more popular in Canada than Starbucks is in the United States. Starbucks (along with other specialty coffee chains) does exist, but is only popular in the heart of large cities. People who drink there have even more of a "yuppie" reputation than in America, because of the essential "Canadian-ness" of Tim Hortons.
- This may vary from area to area; out West Starbucks has more of a hipster demographic than a yuppie one. See Less Than Kind for an example.
- Tea is also popular in Canada, though not quite so much as in other Commonwealth countries. Its greatest popularity is among the First Nations, who acquired the taste from the British traders and trappers of the Hudson's Bay Company.
- Canadian soft drinks are also made with sugar as opposed to corn syrup - and with cleaner water than their other North American counterparts. This means that Canadian visitors to points south of the 49th generally find any soft drinks served them to taste odd, if not outright bad, and also leads to the prevalence of flavoured variants which are less popular (and less available) in Canada. Soft drinks in Canada are usually referred to as "pop" and Coke means exclusively Coca-Cola. Note that until March 2010, non-cola soft drinks (7-up, Mountain Dew, ginger ale, etc.) in Canada were generally not permitted to contain caffeine, and still may not.
- "Rum and Coke" (known elsewhere in the world as a Cuba Libre) usually means exactly that - dark rum (preferably, although some order with light) mixed with Coke-thank-you-very-much. Lime is optional (as Canadian Coke tends to taste better) and may have to be specifically requested (i.e. "With a twist). Sometimes referred to as "Down And Dirty." Use "Rum and Diet" for the sugar-free variant.
- Smirnoff Ice is a relatively popular pre-mixed vodka drink in clubs or for parties. Although dismissed as "cheerleader beer" in the United States, this is because the American and French versions are made with malt liquor and generally have a lower alcohol content. The vodka variety sold in Canada has no social stigma attached when drunk at clubs or dance parties.
Asia and North Africa
- A member of the Communist Party of China will down several small glasses of baijiu at Party functions and while entertaining the Western, Korean, and Japanese businessmen who come to visit. The stuff tends to be stronger than Western liquor and even the finer varieties—let alone the mediocre ones provided to middle- and lower-level functionaries—have been compared in flavor to jet fuel. All of a sudden, the Great Leap Forward makes a whole lot more sense.
- At a quieter or more informal occasions, the functionary will usually drink either traditional rice wine, or a beer. Whether imported or domestic depends on position in the Party. Besides the bit about position in the Party, an ordinary modern Chinese fellow will be much the same.
- A commonly shown brand would be Maotai for baijiu and Tsingtao for beer. It is important to note that while Tsingtao is relatively cheap, Maotai is not, usually going for over $200 per 500mL bottle—it's basically the 30-year-old single malt of Chinese liquor.
- Chinese Nouveau Riche will purchase a rare bottle of European wine at auction for several times its expected price. He will then meet up with his buddies, who all have similarly-overpriced bottles, empty them all out into a big, silver bowl, and drink the resultant cocktail. If the wines boast particularly tannic characteristics, cola will be added. Liberally. The European sommelier brought in for some reason has a heart attack.
- In a period drama, a character would usually order nu'er hong if he has come into a small fortune at hand.
- Also a wealthy man would sometimes drink tiger penis wine for virility if he was getting lucky that night. Or deer penis, or elephant penis, or really any penis.
- For a vagabond, his liquor would mostly be stored in a bottle gourd.
- Everyone drinks Kumis in a plate when in Mongolia.
- A Salaryman in his native land will have sake, or perhaps an exotic foreign brew. Say, Budweiser.
- Or Suntory "Scotch". Makes you happy faster. Well, Suntory whisky is at least drinkable, unlike the ever-popular Old Nikka, which, ironically, nobody outside of Japan ever heard of, despite its massive following.
- Japan's true native hard liquor is shochu, which is substantially weaker than whisky. Connotations depend on era; in 1950s-1960s Japan, shochu was the drink of choice for the bohemian artistic types of the postwar generation. After that, it increasingly became identified with old men—including ex-bohemians—until a revival in the early-to-mid 2000s, when it suddenly became hip again.
- Possibly poured into a plate instead of cup.
- The post-war years also left another legacy regarding the consumption of shochu: since beer was hard to come by back then, but shochu wasn't, the liquor was added to a malt-flavored non-alcoholic drink called Hoppy to approximate drinking a beer. Since then, shochu and Hoppy has become something of a Japanese tradition.
- In Real Life, though, sake has generally fallen out of fashion and beer is the drink of choice, mostly local brands like Sapporo, Kirin or Ebisu, most of which are of roughly equal quality to other mass-produced beers.note If a character was smoking and drinking, he would most likely extinguish the cigarette bud on the beer can and throw it in.
- Schoolgirls choose orange juice, from a vending machine. Or just any other kind of soft drink, "juice" being the Japanese equivalent of "soda" or "lolly-water", or indeed "coke". One might get a nice, warm canned soup from the vending machine during those cold winter times in Japan.
- Korean men will down soju (hard liquor distilled from rice wine) like it's water. This is aided by the fact that it is very nearly cheaper than water. A drinking contest between a Chinese official and a Korean businessman is better known as a contract on both their livers.
- Soju is a bit weaker than Western liquor (typically in the 30-35% abv range), but the quantities typically drunk, facilitated by its fairly mild flavor, make this an irrelevance. American servicemen newly stationed in South Korea often learn this the hard way, with many a gigantic soldier or Marine having to be dragged unconscious from the bar. Servicemen stationed longer, as well as their Korean comrades-in-arms, typically have a good laugh at the newbie's expense.
- Beer in Korea, meanwhile, is almost exclusively viewed as something cheap and poor-tasting that exists solely to get fucked up on, which is largely Truth in Television due to domestic production largely consisting of two major companies who collectively hold an iron grip on the market and whose brews are of exceptionally poor qualitynote , while international options aren't much better in addition to being outrageously expensive. Outrageously restrictive regulations kept microbrews out of the picture until 2011, and while they have now begun to enter the market, they're still very much in their infancy and haven't done much to shake the perception that Korean beer is goat piss.
- Milk tea is pretty prevalent in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, especially "silk stocking" milk tea in Hong Kong, often paired with egg tart as a meal. For teenagers it would often be soda or bubble tea, especially in Taiwan.
- In the Middle East, your choices are tea and coffee. And a couple of herbal drinks. And soft drinks. Because Islam says so.
- In reality, this isn't exactly true: while some countries, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, have Culture Police who enforce the drinking ban, alcohol is actually legal in most of the Middle East, if rather stigmatized socially in some places. As a result, you'll find the region's substantial non-Muslim minorities, as well as many secular or less-observant Muslims, indulging in... well... let's be honest, it's still hard going:
- Every country that allows it has a single dominant brand of beer. These are rather different in some ways, but much like the beers of the Australian states, share a common vile taste, with the added benefit of no quality control (alcoholic percentage is typically given as something like "3.5-6.5% abv", and the flavor ranges within a single brand, bottle to bottle, from "not unpleasant" to "ohmygod, I can't believe I'm drinking something so foul"). The most well-known of these is the Egyptian Stella (unrelated to Stella Artois and often pronounced "Istella"), if only because Egyptian movies and TV are so ubiquitous in the Arab world. These awful beers are typically found in the hands of people short on cash (including students) and the sorts of unpleasant men who frequent the bars that double as brothels.
- Domestic wine and liquor will almost inevitably be a cheapnote and foul imitation of something foreign. There are two exceptions. One is Lebanon, where the Christian and secular populations are large enough (together, they probably form a majority) to warrant attention to quality. The other is araq (aka arak, raki, rakia, and ouzo, and not to be confused with Iraq) the native liquor of the Eastern Mediterranean. This is a sort of clear grape brandy flavored with anise; the long tradition of making the stuff means that the quality is actually halfway decent (although not always). It is drunk by mixing 50-50 with water, which turns the stuff from clear to milky-white by bringing the essential oil of anise out of solution and into an emulsion; sugar may be added as well. Araq (by all its names) has connotations of poor farmers and laborers in the 19th century and nostalgia for those times (and therefore nationalism); the foul, cheap wine and liquor are again associated with poverty and sleazy-looking johns.
- Wealthy, secular types will have imported liquor. Depending on the country, this means that it was either imported legally, in which case high tariffs have been paid on it, or illegally, in which case it will command a high price on the black market. Or it will have been purchased at the duty-free store, which while cheaper than the other two options indicates foreign travel—a relatively expensive luxury. Either way, it's more expensive. The brand doesn't matter terribly much, as it's a mark of wealth that you could buy the stuff in the first place, but for whatever reason, the rulers of oil states and other such men are stereotypically associated with Johnny Walker Scotch—and the most expensive kind within their price range, if you please. Christopher Hitchens has noted that Johnnie Walker Black Label was the favorite drink of the PLO, the Iraqi Baath party, and Muammar Gaddafi.
- A guy who wants to be seen as "manly" or "cool" enough to drink beer without breaking the Islamic prohibition on drinking alcohol will drink alcohol-free beer and try to avoid grimacing. His drinking friends (if he has any) secretly laugh at him.
- One more thing to mention: Many of these countries have illegal moonshine operations. One of the biggest markets is Sudan, which has enforced an alcohol ban (poorly) since The Eighties: the traditional date-liquor araqi (unrelated to araq except by name; they both derive from a term meaning "sweat") is by all accounts rampant in the countryside and in the vast working-class neighborhoods of Khartoum. Moonshining is also fairly big business in Iran, although not as big as illegal importation of foreign liquor or secondhand purchase from the country's non-Muslim minorities (there are substantial communities of Armenians, Assyrians, and—believe it or not—Jews in Iran), who can purchase alcohol legally.
- Also, the coffee, tea, and herbal drinks? Most of them are pretty good, and any traditional coffee shop/tea house will have a smorgasbord of them ranging from the typical (hot tea and direct-infused coffee) to the interesting (mint tea, hibiscus tea, cinnamon tea) to the medicinal (e.g. hot lemonade with honey and mint for sore throats and ginger tea for sour stomachs) to the weird (the strangest being a thick drink what the Arabs call sahlab, the Turks call salep, and the English called "saloop" back when they drank the stuff four hundred years ago; made from ground orchid root and flavoured with cinnamon, this stuff is said to help with male potency—and given that orchids are called orchids because their roots look like balls and the actual drink is thick and milky white, you can see why).
- Did we say "the Middle East"? We forgot about Israel. No worries about finding a good drink there.
- American Jew visits Israel and is offered a Kosher wine. Trying to be polite, but expecting (based on the aforementioned Manieschewitz and Kedem) that all Kosher wine is awful, he takes the glass, steels himself... then is pleasantly surprised that the wine is actually pretty good. Actually, beyond pretty good—it's one of the better wines he's ever had. He downs the whole bottle. His Israeli hosts are bemused, but happy it's Purim, they down a bottle too, merrily fulfilling the only holiday-related commandment they'll obey all year.
- Also, Israelis enjoy drinking Goldstar beer (or Maccabee if you're a masochist) and Araq Ayalim (Deer Araq - Domestic, cheap, Israeli brand that has some deer drawn on the bottle).
- Turkey is also exempted from the general rule of the Middle East, thanks to 90 years of government-enforced secularism. Bear in mind, however, that some Turks will insist that their country is part of Europe, thank you very much—and never mind that Iraq and Iran are just across the border! As for what they drink, the Middle East rules do apply for softer drinks, but as for alcohol:
- The traditional drink is arak, which goes by the name of rakı in Turkey. As mentioned above is a clear grape brandy flavored with anise, and usually consumed by mixing with water; unlike some other places, sugar is not added, but a glass of plain water is sometimes taken as a chaser/side drink. Purists may drink the stuff straight. Regardless of how you take it, rakı is associated with the kinds of people who drink "traditional" drinks: old men, rustics, nationalists, and hipsters.
- Several brands of wine can also be found, usually cheaper than but inferior to imported wine. That said, there has been some improvement of late.
- Imported wine and liquor is available relatively cheaply, as Turkey has been in a customs union with The European Union since 1996.
- And beer is popular with everyone. Efes is the most common brand, with several variations. Including a weird brown ale with coffee flavour that no one likes.
- An Indian who has money will drink imported Scotch. An Indian who wants to look like he has money, but doesn't, will drink the native "Scotch", which is really rum (being made from molasses), diluted 50-50 with water.
- Or he will have the native Kingfisher beer, which has the same lack of quality control that the aforementioned Middle Eastern beer does.
- Amusingly, the airline bearing the Kingfisher name and owned by the same family is actually pretty luxurious—and in absolute terms, not just compared to other Indian airlines—but unlike the beer, it loses money...it rather makes one think about their priorities.
- An Indian trucker will have palm toddy. Hopefully after he's done driving for the day. Hopefully.
- Palm wine—made from the sap of palm trees—is a traditional favorite in West Africa. It's the same thing as the aforementioned Indian palm toddy. However, beer is seen as more modern, so generally palm wine is used to evoke precolonial times and ancient traditions (for instance, the Igbo people of Nigeria use it in traditional weddings).
- Millet beer is stereotypically Central and East African.
- Very East African is the spiced mead tej, particularly endemic in Ethiopia, whose sweetness despite the spicing (also a bittering agent) hides a massive hit of alcohol.
- Unfortunately, Kenya has a reputation for changaa—moonshine that's as likely to be jet fuel as alcohol.
- Carling—still called Black Label—is a standard bar beer in South Africa, although more sophisticated South Africans will drink the excellent local wine.
- People who enjoy spirits but do not wish to be seen as alcoholics will mix their shots with water, much like the aforementioned Indians. Must be a British colonial thing.
- Across Africa, import duties on liquor are very high (with a few exceptions), so only the super-rich will be seen drinking it.
Latin America & Caribbean
- Brazilians will order a beer (usually of one of the major 4-5 brands) as a cheap drink, a caipirinha (cachaça with lemon, ice and sugar) at a party or a shot of cachaça (sugarcane spirit; if you're a real Brazilian, you'll call it by its diminutive cachazinha) if they want to get piss drunk.
- Note: cachaça is not rum. Rum is produced from molasses—the thick, brown, sweet byproduct of refining cane juice into cane sugar. Cachaça is distilled from raw cane juice.
- In the media, in the Caribbean they apparently only drink rum, or maybe tropical smoothies or ginger beer if they are children. Has elements of Truth in Television as rum production started in the Caribbean and continues to be a major industry there, hence its popularity.
- Mexicans in non-Mexican works will be usually seen ordering tequila. Drinking mostly tequila actually happens in Guadalajara, where the town of Tequila is an hour-long drive away; in Mexico City it's far more common to see people ordering rum or brandy, and in the North they very much prefer whiskey and Tecate or Pacífico beer.
- If someone's done their research, a Mexican period piece set before 1920 or so will feature pulque as a drink of choice for many Mexicans. The drink was mostly killed by a concerted Scare Campaign by the recently-arrived beer industry (which came with German and other Central European immigrants), who touted beer as being "cleaner" and "healthier" than pulque (which they accused of being made with human feces—falsely, by the time they started saying it). Ever since, Mexico has been lager country.
- A 19th century aesthete or decadent will have absinthe ... and find the prospect of impending madness and death terribly dull. And maybe, should they be so inclined, write a poem on the subject.
- Absinthe is actually completely innocuous. Those clichés come from the French propaganda in the 1910s to get it forbidden in a attempt to fight alcoholism. Pastis, which immediately came to replace it, is pretty comparable (and still very popular).
- The alternative is Laudanum - opiates mixed with wine.
- Laudanum was primarily used as a painkiller and cough suppressant before the 20th century, so it may also be a sign that a character is dying of a terrible disease instead of decadence. Although it is entirely possible that one got the disease from decadence, so...
- If you're medieval and wealthy, you'll drink red wine from a goblet. If you're not so wealthy, mead or ale. (You don't have much choice about the 'drinking alcohol' part, since the only clean water available will have been brewed into beer or the like.)
- Any race of warriors who wear fur and armour (from Vikings to dwarves) will quaff beer, ale, or mead — ideally from a drinking horn, tankard, or stein.
- Mead, we should note, is the oldest known alcoholic beverage. All you need is a container, some honey, and some water, and it'll soon turn to mead.
- Important to note that they "quaff" their beverages. It's like drinking, only you spill more.
- Pirates will drink whatever's handy—but rum is the usual, either straight (when they can get it) or diluted 3:1 with water (called grog).
- Truth in Television: Grog was for a long time standard issue on military ships at sea because the booze made the water safer/more palatable to drink. Lime juice would have been added to fight scurvy. These concoctions were also the forebearer of alchoholic punch drinks.
- For an extra kick and quicker recovery in a cold climate you can make your grog not with water, but with the strong tea. This itself is a variant of hot toddy (an old Scottish cold remedy which usually calls for whisky, but any brown liquor would do in a pinch; indeed, brandy, in some opinions, actually makes for a better toddy, although you should never say this to a Scot).
- Noblemen will almost certainly order a bottle of the landlord's finest wine with their meal. If they're not ordering a meal or courting someone, they'll have the finest brandy instead.
- A pimp, a rockstar, or anyone who's flaunting his massive wealth, will order 5 bottles of the most expensive champagne, whiskey or cognac in the house.
- Fans of hard rock and metal music, as well as musicians, will generally drink Jack Daniels or Jagermeister. If they're a real rock star, they'll drink it straight out of the bottle, though JD and Coke is also well regarded. These are often combined with large amounts of cigarettes. Lemmy of [[Motorhead]] is known for huge consumption of JD (he has stated he's drunk a whole bottle a day since he was 30), as are Motley Crue (parodied on the cover of "The Dirt").
- Mangaka or Japanese student working overnight would usually go for energy drinks which often come in a small glass capsule bottle and perhaps a sipping straw.
- Teenage or young adult delinquents will have their soft drink with some sort of alcohol mixed in for extra kick. Cuba Libre or a Screwdriver is often the popular choice, and one of the few that doesn't get one laughed at after one can legally go to a bar.
- A young woman (or an effeminate man) will have a martini derivative such as a Cosmopolitan, or else a margarita derivative: sweet liqueurs, comparatively high ratio of mixer to spirit, lots of sweetened garnishes, maybe an umbrella in the glass. Expect it to be pink, blue, or green.
- An inexperienced drinker (probably young) will take a sip of a spirit like whiskey or vodka. On taking a sip they will grimace and immediately spit it out.
- The Cool Old Guy will take a Scotch or brandy (unless Southern, in which case he'll take a bourbon or rye).
- Farm labourers will order a flagon of cider.
- Similarly, the American frontiersman will take a hard cider, or perhaps applejack (distilled or freeze-distilled cider, i.e. American apple brandy—George Washington had a prosperous distillery for it, and Alton Brown recommends that you use it instead of water for making apple pie crust* ).
- That is, until about the 1810s-20s, after which he'll have whiskey instead. The hard cider would be reserved for old coots; see below.
- Middle-aged, middle-class women of the Real Simple-magazine-reading variety will get together and drink white wine.
- And when they go out to dinner Friday night, they'll have margaritas.
- The Cloud Cuckoo Lander will have an Umbrella Drink of some kind.
- A character gets extra Bad Ass points if he or she makes a point of ordering "Coffee. Black."
- Real-life lovers of coffee, just actual coffee, will drink Turkish coffee and enjoy the grounds at the bottom of their cups. Also known as Greek coffee, Arabic coffee, Lebanese coffee, Armenian Coffee or a similar variation depending on the ethnicity of the restaurant. Don't get this wrong. Ordering a Turkish coffee in a Greek restaurant is a dire insult, and vice versa.
- Though the last example may be more of a product of the unpleasant history between the Greeks and the Turks.
- And the unpleasantness between the Arabs and Turks. And the Serbs and Turks, and the Armenians and Turks, and the Kurds and Turks and the Bosniaks and the Turks, and the Georgians and the Turks, and the Greek Cypriots and the Turks, and the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks, and the Australians and the Turks, and the Turks and the Turks... (Damned Turks. They ruined Turkey!) And it's not limited to coffee; pretty much any Eastern Mediterranean food item is subject to Misplaced Nationalism. Just try ordering ouzo in the parts of Greece where they drink rakki, or if you’re truly suicidal, try asking who invented said coffee variety, or who invented that sweet mint tea, or who invented hummus or any other food or drink anywhere in the eastern Mediterranean or the Levant and watch war be declared as everyone clamours to stake their claim to having invented it (baklava is particularly notorious for starting this sort of nastiness). The only place you can go without raising this kind of ruckus is Israel, whose inhabitants are so new to the region that they freely admit to having stolen half their cuisine from their neighbors and who have invented their own coffee variant that nobody else will admit ever drinking (called "mud coffee," it's made by pouring the grounds and hot water in your mug and drinking the whole thing).
- There is, however some difference between the different kinds of coffees mentioned above, mostly in the spicing. Those mostly accustomed to Saudi-style Arabic coffee and Turkish coffee will swear there is a world of difference between the two. One has a lot more cardamom for one.
- For more Balkan and Middle Eastern fun, visit this page.
- As a general rule, if the cafe/restaurant is from run by Arabs/Arabic-speakers, they won't bite you in the ass if you order "Turkish coffee" note , and while they might gently correct you if you call it Greek coffee, they (usually) won't kick you out.note If the owners are actually Turkish, calling it Arabic coffee might get you a short lecture and bad service (and your coffee), and calling it Greek, Armenian, or other-Christian-country coffee will get you the boot. If the place is run by folks from any of Turkey's Christian neighbors, however, you'd better damn well know where they're from (particularly if the owners are from the Balkans, where besides hating the Turks, more or less everyone hates each other, too).
- Caffeine-addicted geeks are as likely to reach for soda or energy drinks as coffee.
- Nervous types will order decaf. If someone wants to mess with such a person, they'll switch the decaf for caffeinated, and Hilarity Ensues. A semi-subversion of the trope is the reverse situation, in which a hard-driving personality type or group of same has their extreme caffeine replaced with decaf. As Dilbert's Wally gasps among the fallen (asleep) bodies of his co-workers: "Must... find... antidote..."
- Note: hilarity may not ensue in real life, so don't try this at home.
- Recovering alcoholics will have club soda.
- Geeks are always ready to Do the Dew. Real geeks still have half a case of Jolt Cola. Half a case, because the original stuff is impossible to find nowadays. "Proper" Jolt Cola (i.e. the stuff that children of the 80s drank in high school) is dead, but the brand still exists, only retooled as an energy drink. Has been seen at some gas stations, convenience stores and other random places. Can be ordered here.
- Many geeks stocked up when Pepsi Throwback or Mountain Dew Throwback hit the stores. Both of these are made with sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup. Should Mexican Coca-Cola (also made with sugar) be available in that part of the US, add that to the shopping list as well. Now the throwbacks are now available permanently in the US.
- Mountain Dew is only intermittently available in the UK, so fans will stock up when it does hit the stores (or when they visit America) because it doesn't tend to be available for very long.
- The all-night-gaming/LAN-Party favorite soda is usually Mountain Dew (either the original radioactive yellow-green variety or whatever limited-time-only flavor is available this month), though Bawls Energy Drink is also popular.
- In Germany, while geeks may have Mountain Dew, energy drink or coffee, those who identify as hackers will always be seen with at least one bottle of Club-Mate, a yerba mate based soft drink (always from the bottle, though not because of convention, but merely that it tastes rather bad in a glass). This goes so far that the relatively small brewery producing it always has delivery difficulties whenever there's a major hacking convention. Recently it has fallen into fashion with ordinary university students though and is being offered by a few national store chains. For an alcoholic drink, the hacker will have a Tschunk (rum, limes and cane sugar, topped up with Club-Mate of course).
- Two types of characters order milk: total pansies and stone-cold badasses. The common gag is when some ornery local mistakes the latter for the former due to his drink order, tries to pick a fight, and Hilarity Ensues. The former has been largely overtaken by the latter in fiction; just look at all the milk-drinking badasses further down the page.
- If a character identifies as a Juggalo (or Jugalette), expect him/her to drink Faygo.
- And every madman with a death wish drinks a Gargle Blaster
Sometimes though, characters make a special point of ordering against type, such as an hardboiled character ordering milk (as mentioned above) or something sweet and girly.
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Anime and Manga
- In an episode of RahXephon, Makoto Isshiki orders Bond's signature drink. Unlike Bond, he isn't a dashing spy, but (like Bond) he is a cold-hearted seducer.
- Monster uses whether or not one orders alcohol for character development. A recovering alcoholic orders whiskey, but then manages to stop himself from drinking it; a chronic lush orders coffee to indicate she's taking things seriously; and a workaholic orders whiskey to illustrate that he's actually treating his vacation as such.
- Black Lagoon: The Lagoon Company's drink of choice when on the boat is Heineken. When they're at the Yellow Flag, they'll usually knock back rum or whiskey, with the hardest drinker by far being Revy.
- Ricardo from El Cazador de la Bruja orders "Beer and milk" in any bar. The beer is for himself; the milk is for the Cute Mute orphan girl Lirio, whom he takes care of.
- The nameless Information Broker and her successors from Mnemosyne always introduce themselves by ordering a Grasshopper from the bar.
- Captain Haddock, of Tintin, will have a Loch Lomond whisky. In Tintin Tintin And Alph Art (never completed due to Author Existence Failure), he was actually suffering from ill-effects as a result of not drinking. However, if whisky's not available, he's been known to favour rum.
- Tintin himself, meanwhile, invariably goes with something softer.
- The drink of choice for John Constantine of Hellblazer is a gin over ice.
- Marv from Sin City ordered "a shot and a brew" and told the waitress to keep it coming. He seems to like whiskey and beer. Due to his size, he doesn't seem to get drunk easily.
Live Action TV
- Artie kills a lot of Salty Dogs over the course of The Larry Sanders Show.
- Sea breeze is the drink of choice for Dennis Q. Finch.
- J.D. and his appletinis on Scrubs.
J.D.: An appletini and the girliest drink in the house.
Bartender: Two appletinis coming up.
- A typical bar order for the main character of the Canadian TV series Butch Patterson: Private Dick consists of "eighteen gin and tonics, nine rum and cokes, three bottles of wine, six banana daquiries, fourteen whiskeys, and a large jug of draft beer."
- On Snuff Box, Matt Berry has a very distinctive way of ordering "Whiskeyyyyy!" at the gentleman's club he frequents.
- Don Draper will have an Old Fashioned made with rye, generally Canadian (and particularly Canadian Club, of which he keeps a bottle in his office). Before Season 4, anyway.
- Betty seems to prefer white wine and/or gimlets, although she goes for red wine in the earlier seasons when drinking alone around the house; her new husband (as of Season 4) Henry Francis seems to like brandy before bed. Roger Sterling seems to drink whatever's handy, but has a general preference for vodka, and starting in Season 4 there always seems to be a bottle of Smirnoff in his office. Product Placement, anyone?
- In a late episode of Mash Rosie's bar gets trashed and Rosie injured, so the surgeons fill in for her. She tells Hawk & BJ about an Australian MP who comes in and orders "coffee," but that's a code word for whiskey. If he doesn't get what he wants, for free, he'll shut her down. Unfortunately, Charles is the one tending bar when the guy comes in.
You put coffee in my coffee!
- Rumpole of the Bailey: Rumpole's drink of choice is "Pommeroy's Plonk," aka "Chateau Fleet Street," aka "Chateau Thames Embankment," aka whatever claret Pommeroy's Wine Bar stocks for two quid a bottle. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed (i.e. his wife Hilda) is typically seen quaffing gin and tonic. The clerk Henry goes for Dubonnet and lemonade, while Claude Erskine-Brown fancies himself a wine connoisseur and Sam Ballard Can't Hold His Liquor and therefore drinks mineral water.
- The women in Cougar Town, despite being heavy drinkers, are never seen drinking anything stronger than wine. The men will drink wine but also beer.
- Fitz will have a Scotch and dry. Make it a double if someone else is paying.
- Henry Crabbe from Pie in the Sky always has "gin and tonic. No ice; no slice." He explains in the second episode that he doesn't trust any ice cube that he doesn't know where the water's been, and that too many places now use lemon slices that were pre-sliced in a factory somewhere and shipped to the bar in individual plastic bags; in context, he's clearly bunging it on a bit for his audience, but it's characteristic enough to be his real reason.
- A Running Gag on NCIS is Gibbs's love of bourbon-brand bourbon. Shepard drinks bourbon as well, which is a plot point in one episode when he finds a bottle of scotch in her study and realizes that someone else had been there. La Grenouille drinks reserve Courvoisier in one scene and serves some to Ducky-as-Harot, who brings it up frequently after. The rest aren't seen drinking as often, but when they are, Tony usually comes back to sake bombs, and Ducky, left to his own devices, drinks the Macallan.
- Vince Noir in The Mighty Boosh in keeping with his androgynous persona, prefers flirtinis with a twist of lime. Which becomes amusing when he makes the drink fashionable in a pub frequented by hoary old fishermen.
- On Insomniac With Dave Attell, Dave would usually order a couple shots of Jager at any bar he visited.
- 30 Rock:
- Jack is always drinking scotch. There is one exception, in the scene where he meets C.C.; she hears him ordering "white rum with diet ginger ale and a splash of lime" and remarks, "Wow. I never would've pegged you for a University of Tennessee sorority girl." She herself has a shot of whiskey. After she leaves, the bartender gives Jack his drink, saying, "Here's your Nancy Drew," and Jack stiffly tells him that "for men it's called a Hardy Boy."
- In Tracy's Establishing Character Moment, he asks for apple juice in a fancy restaurant, and, when told they don't have it, settles for a vodka tonic.
- At her high school reunion, trying to feel successful and sophisticated, Liz orders a Manhattan. The bartender says, "Sure, what kind of bourbon?" and she folds and amends her order to a white wine spritzer.
- Also, when Liz is suspended from work in "Jackie Jormp-Jomp", she runs into a group of middle-aged, wealthy women (who would probably read Real Simple if their income was reduced by a zero or two) who drink white wine in the afternoons and go out to spas and for meals on weekdays. Turns out, it's a fight club.
- Call the Midwife: The nurses smuggle in small bottles of whatever they can into Nonnatus House (most often cheap spirits, and most often gin) but Trixie has developed a fondness for Babycham sparkling perry, and Cynthia and Jenny join her (historically accurate; Babycham was very popular among young women in the late 50s). It also seems the nuns drink whisky sours before going carolling, and Constable Noakes likes himself some whisky.
- In season 3 of Chuck, Casey recommends Johnnie Walker Black to Chuck when the latter must contend with the guilt of burning his first asset
- Hawkeye, Trapper and, later on, B.J always have a martini from their still and Radar O'Reilly will always order a Grape Nehi
- Throughout the Star Trek franchise, Romulan Ale (a blue alcoholic beverage) pops up from time to time as a somewhat popular (If outlawed in the Federation) alcoholic drink amongst Starfleet officers, its popularity and contraband status evidently being on par with Cuban Cigars. Interestingly enough, in Star Trek VI, when Kirk and McCoy are on trial for assassinating Chancelor Gorkon, their previous consumption of Romulan Ale is not brought up to merely suggest intoxication, rather than impact their overall credibility (showing that nobody, even people plotting against the Starfleet officers, takes the ban seriously enough to use their violating it against them).
- In one instance, a Romulan diplomat is seen discussing the effectiveness of replicated 'kali'fal' (a blue drink implied to be 'Romulan Ale' by its proper name). He remarks that the replica is accurate in most respects, but not near as aromatic as the genuine article. Apparently real Romulan Ale should forcibly open one's sinuses well before the first sip.
- Chekov and Scotty once compare drink orders. Chekov likes vodka—which Scotty calls "soda pop." His drink of choice is scotch—which, according to Chekov, "was inwented by a little old lady from Leningrad."
- Given the personal nature of tastes, what one drinks plays a very large part in identity politics. One extreme example is the "log cabin and hard cider campaign" run by William Henry Harrison in the US presidential election of 1840. The campaign started when an opposition newspaper mocked candidate Harrison's age by remarking "give him a barrel of hard cider, and ... a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year ... and ... he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin." Given that hard cider was the main beverage of the grain-poor Thirteen Colonies but had long past been replaced by beer and whiskey and the only people who still lived in log cabins were crazy old coots out in the middle of nowhere, this was basically the period equivalent of everything that has ever been said about John McCain. Harrison decided to turn this around, declaring himself "the log cabin and hard cider candidate" to promote an image of old-fashioned, working-class frontier values (i.e, "small town values"), which was actually very much against his background, as he had been born on his family's Virginia plantation.
- Billy Connolly routine: "Hey barman, is Jimmy 'Chainsaw' McHaggerty in here? How about Angus Kick-em-in-the-balls-first-and-ask-questions-later McGuinness?" Et cetera with similar scary names, to which the barman says no. Billy (in a sissy voice) "Then I'll have a Campari and soda please".
- In the VIPER sourcebook for 5th edition Champions, the titular villainous organization provides "Snake Beer" at all its bases. Quality varies, as they normally hijack beer shipments and slap a new label on the cans/bottles. But for the average VIPER recruit, the important thing is that it's free. (For the leadership, the important thing is that it keeps their members from getting sloshed in bars and talking too much.)
- Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire is a heavy alcoholic, but loathes beer and only drinks whiskey.
- The play State of the Union by Linsday and Crouse has a scene (shortened in the film version) in which Spike tells the Matthews' butler what drinks should be served: Judge Alexander (a Southerner) will "probably stick to straight bourbon"; his Lady Drunk wife requests Sazeracs and a lot of them. The only other character with a notably specific drinking preference is Sen. Conover, who takes Scotch and soda after dinner.
- In The Time of Your Life, Joe likes to loaf around at Nick's and order champagne, though Nick's isn't the kind of high-class joint that would ordinarily stock up with it.
- In the world of Monkey Island, grog is a mixture of kerosene, propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, sulphuric acid, rum, acetone, red dye no. 2, SCUMM, axle grease, battery acid, and/or pepperoni.
- Team Fortress 2 The Demoman is never without a bottle of scrumpy.
- According to Poker Night at the Inventory and Poker Night 2:
- In an early episode of Futurama Bender is seen ordering three very specific, high class wines at a dinner party... He then instructs the waiter to "Mix them all together"
- In The Venture Bros., Rusty is at a low-rent strip club where beer is the drink of choice - he orders a Rob Roy, and the burly bartender reaches down under the bar, looking like he's going after a baseball bat (but reaches for a drink recipe card.)
- Eddie Valiant, Hardboiled Detective of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, orders a Scotch on the rocks. And he means ice.
- Hunter S. Thompson was noted for his fondness for both rum and Wild Turkey 101, a fondness shared by his alter ego Raoul Duke (as anyone who's read or seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas can attest).
- His contract riders for speaking engagements are legendary. In Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, Thompson says he typically received so much Wild Turkey he ended up giving quarts away before leaving town, and some schools actually took him up on his half-joking offer to reduce his speaking fee, should they provide him with cocaine.
- In "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved":
"Yeah, what are you drinkin?" I ordered a Margarita with ice, but he wouldn't hear of it: "Naw, naw...what the hell kind of drink is that for Kentucky Derby time? What's wrong with you, boy?" He grinned and winked at the bartender. "Goddam, we gotta educate this boy. Get him some good whiskey..." I shrugged. "Okay, a double Old Fitz on ice." Jimbo nodded his approval."
- Frederick The Great was fond of coffee boiled in champagne, which combined perfectly two of his passions: modernity and French culture. Coffee was very modern in the early 18th century, and champagne is of course French. Note that this didn't keep him from banning coffee to commoners to protect the brewing industry, despite his hatred of beer (he found it too German).
- Charles, Prince of Wales, prefers Laphroaig scotch, the mesquite barbecue of scotches. It's the only scotch ever to carry the Prince of Wales' royal warrant (which means they are his official supplier and can use this fact in advertisements).
- Tokaji wine was the signature drink of the Austrian and Hungarian upper classes starting around the 17th or 18th century and anyone associating with them (for instance, Joseph Haydn, who spent most of his career in the employ of the somewhat eccentric and ludicrously wealthy Hungarian princely House of Esterházy). They evangelized for it, and found great success for it with Louis XV (who poured a glass for the Madame de Pompadour saying Vinum regum, rex vinorum ("Wine of Kings, King of Wines") and The Pope. Emperor Franz Joseph made a tradition of sending Queen Victoria one bottle of Tokaji for each month of her life on her birthday; on her last birthday (her 81st) in 1900, this amounted to 972 bottles.
- Christopher Hitchens was famously an aficionado of Scotch, particularly Johnnie Walker Black Label—hence his amusement at its popularity among Middle Eastern and Third World autocrats.
- Bob Hope in Road to ... Utopia. Hope's character tries to fit in at tough-guy frontier bar, but then orders a lemonade. Realizing his mistake, he quickly turns to the bartender and growls, "...in a dirty glass!"
- Lovable Rogue Brodie Bruce of Mallrats spends much of the movie sipping from a dixie cup full of soda that he brought from home. At one point he successfully orders a fast-food cashier to "Fill this up with Coke. No Ice."
- In the epic comedy The Blues Brothers, John Candy in the role of a police detective attends the film's pivotal fund-raising concert in order to arrest the performing band, but decides he wants to see them perform first and orders three Orange Whips for himself and the much more "serious" uniformed state troopers he is with.
- The line was ad-libbed as an informal promotion of a non-alcoholic orange creame beverage sold by the family of the film's costumer. Since the film the beverage has morphed into a sweet alcoholic cocktail.
- When times get rough in 1885, Back to the Future genius Emmett "Doc" Brown heads to the bar. For him the bartender makes an exception to his usual lineup (when Marty tries to order a nonalcoholic drink, the barflies laugh while the bartender pours him a free shot of whiskey—that BURNS the bar top where it spills) and keeps some sarsparilla in stock just for him. Doc has, however, been known to hit the whiskey. It hits him back quite promptly.
- Used for humor in the first film, when Marty gets George to man up and try asking Loraine to the dance, he goes up to the counter of the diner and orders milk. slaps bar "Chocolate!" The glass slides in from off-screen, George takes a big sip, and heads off to talk to Loraine as Marty looks on, dubious.
- In Shane, a line is quickly drawn between the titular character and the drunken members of the Ryker gang when he walks into their bar and orders a soda-pop.
- Rustlers Rhapsody. When Rex O'Herlihan walks into a Western bar he first orders a glass of warm milk. When everyone in the bar in the bar stares at him he changes his order to a sarsaparilla. See the entry under "Strong Drinks" above for what happens next.
- Xander Cage in xXx orders club soda and cranberry juice. This could just be to contrast him against the James Bond-types who he's intended to be an inversion of, or because he's an extreme-sports fanatic and doesn't want his reflexes dulled while he's undercover. Some people theorise that Xander is in fact Straight Edge.
- In The Great Muppet Caper, Fozzie is messing with what appears to be a martini, or possibly champagne served in the wrong glass. He takes a sip, then turns around and informs the people behind him, "Hey, if you add enough sugar to this stuff it tastes just like ginger ale!" He gives the distinct impression that he finds this to be an improvement (possibly the fact that he was adding sugar to it was a pretty solid hint).
- In the Doctor Who novel The Infinity Casket, Rose orders water at a tough Space Pirates tavern, and the Doctor hastily adds the dirty glass.
- Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!', once trekked across an Ork-infested continent in order to get to the nearest available pot of tanna tea. (OK, to be honest, he actually made the trip because it was the closest point of relative safety on the planet, but the fact that he did get the tea at the end was certainly an added bonus.)
- Tanna is a national drink of all Valhallans, Cain just picked this habit from his long association with them. He's just as well would take an (alcoholic) amasec, a brandy analogue.
- Starting from the first major Star Wars Expanded Universe trilogy, Luke Skywalker's favorite drink is an exotic but very safe, comforting beverage called "hot chocolate". As his wife muses, it fits his farmboy personality perfectly.
- Wookieepedia says that toppings for hot chocolate include "orchid bean extract" vanilla, "tang bark" cinnamon and "mallow paste" marshmallows.
- Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze film. While at Captain Seas' dinner party, Doc's aides order lemonade, root beer and a glass of milk, and Doc himself asks for a Coke.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur Dent tries very patiently to get a simple cup of tea from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer which, while it claims to produce the widest possible range of drinks personally matched to the tastes and metabolism of whoever cares to use it, invariably produces a liquid which is "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea" (possibly a Take That at coffee). Arthur's determination leads him to explain the process of making tea, from geography to the social aspects to preparation. In the end, it almost gets him and everyone else on the Heart of Gold killed by Vogons, but he does indeed get a cup of good tea out of it.
- The radio series had a sentient-machine that dispensed drinks apparently tailored to every customer's exact tastes and nutritional needs, provoking Arthur to exclaim "Wonderful, apparently I'm a masochist on a diet" before beginning another rant about tea, and the fall of a civilisation and the creation of a race of bird-men.
- Dragaera's Vlad Taltos is a wine connosseur and also favors "klava," a coffee derivative probably based on Hungarian egg coffee.
- Ubiquitous in Tamora Pierce books. Because her books take place in medieval settings, where beer at breakfast was common (they hadn't really figured out sanitation yet), but have child-to-teenage protagonists, she explains why they're going with the soft option:
- In the Circle of Magic books, mages are usually teetotalers for good reason—when the four protagonists tried some alcohol, they destroyed a barn.
- In the Tortall Universe, Keladry prefers cider and Beka Cooper drinks twilseynote at taverns because they dislike the uncontrolled feeling that alcohol brings. Lord Raoul is also a teetotaler after being The Alcoholic in his youth.
- Horatio Hornblower: Hornblower tries to drink very lightly when he's at functions with alcohol since he likes to be in control of himself at all times. (He does get drunk in The Commodore after having to prevent his aide from assassinating the Czar and winds up sleeping with a Countess... also, half the fleas in the Russian palace.) Usually he drinks coffee or whatever pitiful substitute is left on the ship, like burnt toast.
- Jonathan Coulton, on geek preferences: "Code Monkey like Fritos, Code Monkey like Tab and Mountain Dew..."
- Hawke from Advance Wars apparently like black coffee. Just look at his profile on the game.
Anime and Manga
- Roberta from Black Lagoon orders milk, and she's a human Terminator! It's a good way to provoke a fight. Also drinking milk in the series were Torch, a psychopathic Mormon pyromaniac and Rotton the Wizard a (not so) Badass Longcoat who can't hold his liquor. However, in a later appearance of Roberta, she orders tequila, signaling a return to her bloodthirsty past personality.
- One of the many ways that Devil May Cry showcases Dante's quirkiness despite his status as a Badass is in, among other things, his tendency to instantly assume that people who enter his shop are looking for the bathroom, his fondness for tomato juice, and his habit of ordering a strawberry sundae from any bar he walks into. The last one in particular is seen in the very first scene in the anime.
- Badass giant robot pilot Van of GUN×SWORD has as his drink of choice... milk. He does have an excuse, however - he Can't Hold His Liquor worth a damn.
- Same with above example, although the guy in question is Yusei Fudo of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. Has a yellow shape on his face? Criminal. Wears leather or denim with shoulder, elbow and knee pads? Biker. Bar near a prison? This guy came form prison. Completely emotionless face? No Nonsense type of guy. What does he order? Get me Milk.
- Of course, he expects to ride in a high-speed motorcycle race at any time, so staying sober is probably a good idea.
- Fridge Brilliance and Justified Trope here. Previous episodes showed Yusei's age as 18 years old (at the time). The Japanese Legal Drinking Age is 20. Also a Casting Gag as above-mentioned Van shares a Seiyuu with Jack Atlas.
- The favorite drink of Afro Samurai: "Lemonade. Ice cold." (Lemonade is a major part of one of his few good childhood memories.) Do not interrupt the man while he's drinking, either.
- Colonel Paya Livingston from Dai Mahou Touge orders "the usual" at the bar and gives the barkeep a jar with "sake" written on it. However, "the usual" turns out to be chocolate milk, which the barkeep pulls from under the counter.
- Another classic example is when The Phantom goes to town in the guise of Mr. Walker, to extract information. He will invariably visit the grungiest bar in the seediest part of Morristown and order milk. And they will always have a bottle handy.
- Naturally. They need it to make Caucasians, which in turn is the girliest cocktail ever and only an acceptable guy's drink after The Big Lebowski was made.
- In the Marvel G.I. Joe comic, Zartan's Dreadnoks all drink grape sodas, usually served as if they were alcoholic.
- Many members of the Joe team drink the fictional Yo-Joe Cola, which reportedly tastes nasty.
- Jackie Estacado of The Darkness is a non-drinker, and only orders non-alcoholic items at the local bar because "likes himself the way he is."
- Batman seldom drinks alcohol, however, as he plays up the role of the Rich Idiot with No Day Job, he is known to order Ginger Ale and pretend that it is champagne or the like. On the rare occasions when he does, he favors bourbon.
- In the early days of the comic book, Lucky Luke would always drink lemonade or Coca-Cola when he was at a saloon. But ever since the comic changed its publisher, he always orders beer.
- In Mesmo Delivery, Rufo, a huge, broad-shouldered former boxer now working as truck driver, stops at a roadside diner and since he's working gets himself a glass of milk, unfortunately since he also has a rather pudgy, round face the other customers decide to call him a big baby.
- When Sam & Max hit up a bar before travelling to ancient Egypt, Sam orders a root beer and an Orange Julius; Max demands dish water in a dirty glass.
- A John Wayne quote (that he never said): "Get off your horse and drink your milk."
- Forgot the exact source, but a bartender in some western once explained he keeps milk around because people tough enough to dare order milk at his bar really aren't the kind of people he'd want to offend by not having any.
- Jean Girard from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby daintily sips an espresso from a real china cup and saucer as he drives his stock car. It's against stereotype for NASCAR, but totally in-stereotype for a gay Frenchman. At least he's not downing Bordeaux during a race.
- The Mariachi from El Mariachi and Desperado, despite his Badass gunslinger persona, orders soda when visiting a bar. He explains that he doesn't drink because he's a musician and afraif that it would ruin his voice.
- When Bond loses it all in Casino Royale, he evidently does not give a damn about whether his martini is shaken or stirred.
- Billy Costigan in The Departed orders a cranberry juice. A mob flunkie who cracks a joke about it gets the glass in his face.
- In Spike Lee's Clockers, one of the main characters is a low-level drug dealer who at one point walks into a bar and orders chocolate milk, specifically "Chocolate Moos." He thinks it will help his ulcer.
- In Sidekicks, Chuck Norris drinks milk... which automatically means milk is awesome.
- Charlie Chan is The Teetotaler, but in spite of the fact that he's Chinese and is a teetotaler he is no fan of a Spot of Tea; he prefers sarsaparilla (a root beer-like beverage).
- Rory, a badass Yardy gangster in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels likes frothy drinks of the Umbrella Drink type. On one occasion, he does order a cocktail with a very high alcohol content, but that was only so he could spit it on someone who annoyed him and set them on fire.
- In Final Justice, Joe Don Baker's character is made fun of by a comically tiny Maltese Man for wanting to order milk (after trying and failing to procure some Maalox). This goes well for neither the tiny man nor the other Maltese guys in the bar.
- Archie Goodwin of the Nero Wolfe series generally orders milk (although he doesn't completely avoid strong drinks).
- In The Thrawn Trilogy, Mara Jade Skywalker, a female Rambo and Mama Bear with a lightsaber, also loves hot chocolate. Of course, she used to be a courtier (well, court assassin), where the drink was too unsophisticated; after that she was a smuggler, and her business partners, "like the good smugglers they were, had turned up their noses at all nonalcoholic drinks in general." By the time she marries Luke, she's looking for the comforting, homey atmosphere. See above.
- Biggles is an absolute teetotaller, and is seen in one of the early stories taking enormous risks in competition with a fellow airman over a crate of lemonade. This makes rather more sense when you know that it was originally a crate of excellent pre-war whisky, but was retconned later when the books became popular among children. In the post-WWI books he's teetotal even in the original editions, but this is because a mix of PTSD and lovesickness led to him becoming an alcoholic, which nearly got him killed on the last day of the war.
- In Star Wars, Darth Maul opts to order pure water - dedicated warrior that he is, he'd not dull his senses on a mission with anything alcoholic. Woman at the bar is somewhat disdainful, partly that he's not spending much... she gets a glare, and a mind whammy to bring him his drink and leave him alone.
- Honor Harrington's drink of choice is hot chocolate when she's on duty. When she's not, then it's an Old Tillman in a frosty stein, and she and her hubby just love to snark at her brother-in-law, a known wine snob.
- In The Dresden Files:
- Sanya, a Russian-born Knight of the Cross, prefers brandy instead of stereotypical vodka, but will happily drink either.
- Father Forthill has been known to keep a hip-flask of good scotch on him.
- Harry himself will drink anything that contains enormous amounts of sugar and caffeine. His alcoholic beverage of choice is beer. Specifically, Mac's beer. It's brewed personally by Mac, every step of the way, and served at room temperature, old-world style. This has first-time patrons at Mac's skeptical, for about the first sip. Karrin Murphy, all-American to the core, once complained it had "too much flavor".
- In one of the The Adventures of Samurai Cat books, Miaowara Tomokato goes into a rough bar and orders a saucer of milk. And gets it, though he needs to disassemble most of the patrons before being allowed to drink it in peace.
- In the Discworld books, hard-boiled cop Commander Vimes drinks lemonade. Justified, in that he's a recovering alcoholic.
- In one of E. E. “Doc” Smith's Lensman books Kimball Kinnison goes into a bar and orders a pineapple pop, in order to deliberately provoke a fight.
- In the Mechwarrior: Dark Age novel Ghost War, intelligence operative Mason Dunne is at a party and notes that the bar has his favorite Irish Whisky on tap... but then deliberately avoids ordering it; his cover identity prefers a different drink, and he wants nothing, no matter how how small, to link back to his true identity.
- In "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", the Western episode of Red Dwarf:
Rimmer: I've seen Westerns. I know how to speak cowboy. Leave the talking to me. [turns to the bar woman] A dry white wine and Perrier, please.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, all Klingons take bloodwine (straight out of the barrel). Worf, who was raised on Earth, likes his bloodwine "very young and very sweet" but Federation replicators can't do it justice and Starfleet is rather more strict in their opinion of drunken revelry. His drink of choice? Prune juice, introduced to him by the ship's bartender, Guinan. (Expanded Universe novels suggest that prune juice has become a major Federation export to the Klingon Empire.)
Worf: This is a warrior's drink!
- One of the rules for Lone Ranger screenwriters was that he never touched alcohol - even the saloons had to resemble cafés.
- On Hustle, stylish con man Mickey Bricks seems to be a fan of orange juice.
- In one episode of ER, Mark Greene's father orders a fancy latte and explains to his son (paraphrased), "We're navy, but this is still California."
- The Middleman orders milk from bars. This wouldn't be against stereotype since he's such a boyscout, but he proceeds to torture his interrogation victim every time he takes a sip. The man cracks when he goes to get another bottle. "Lemonade. Ice cold".
- BA Baracus, the resident Scary Black Man from The A-Team is a strict teetotaller and only drinks milk.
- The McPoyles in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the criminal inbred rivals to The Gang, show up to the bar after word of mouth marketing reached them about The Gang's wild, total freedom policy:
Liam: I heard you got 'anything goes' going on in here. So can we get a couple glasses of milk?
- El Chapulín Colorado features the outlaw and horrible villian El Cuajinais, entering the bar and ordering... a glass of milk.
Waiter: A glass of milk?
Cuajinais: ON THE ROCKS.
Cuajinais: *grabs his shirt threateningly* And without pasteurizating. I HATE SOFT DRINKS.
- In the short-lived show Legend, Nicodemus Legend is well-known for never drinking alcohol. But Ernest Pratt, the writer who publishes under the alias of Nicodemus Legend, does not follow this practice. In order to get his liquor without upsetting all the people who know that Legend doesn't drink, he drinks his whiskey from a teacup.
- In the Community episode "Mixology Certification" Troy, to honor his deceased uncle, wants to order a Seven and Seven as his first drink after turning 21, but is convinced by Jeff and Britta not to since that is "a high school drink for girls". In the end, he ends up ordering it anyway, but ends up leaving it on the counter to go take his drunk-off-their-asses friends home.
- In one episode of The Young Ones where they go to the pub, Vyvyan cheerfully orders a Babycham.
- In the Supernatural episode Swap Meat, one of the first indications that Sam may not be quite himself comes when he orders an enormous sweet, fruity, frosted mixed drink instead of the Winchester brother standard of cheap American lager.
- When the brothers travel back in time to The Wild West, Dean annoys Sam by ordering sarsaparilla for his little brother and a straight whiskey for himself, only to end up gagging on his shot (due to either poor quality or high alcohol content) much to Sam's amusement.
- In Final Fantasy IV, a sidequest sees Cecil having to go to a bar and buy some time by talking with the barmaid. So, he orders a drink. What does newly-reformed soul-full-of-light Cecil order? Milk, of course.
- Milk is Ramza's drink of choice, too.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has a milk bar. One character is visibly drunk on the final day if you do his part right. Drunk off of milk.
- The Heavy of Team Fortress 2, among other averted Husky Russkie stereotypes, happens to enjoy a nice peach bellini.
- In Brütal Legend the Heavy Metal loving humans of Ironheade are all beer drinkers. They even have a "Sacred Beer Tree" that naturally produces ice cold lager. Once you get to the Playable Epilogue you can even visit their beach party and enjoy a beer with them.
Eddie: How about when we get to town we have a big pow-wow with your whole army? We'll have a campfire, and I'll tell you all about what I do and where I came from over a big flagon of mead.
Ophelia: What's a flagon of mead?
Eddie: It's a drink. Aren't we in medieval times?
Ophelia: Uhh... we only have beer. But you can have as many kegs as you want.
Eddie: TO BLADEHENGE!
- The Flash's Rogues Gallery appears in one episode of Justice League Unlimited, planning a hit on The Flash in a Bad-Guy Bar. After claiming to be, in their own words, "The hardest men in town", their drink order is immediately revealed to consist of, respectively, an Arnold Palmer (lemonade ice-tea), a cherry coke, a decaf soy latte, and a glass of milk (Captain Cold's ulcer had been acting up).
- What makes this funnier is the fact that only the milk is treated as an odd order which is the only reason we know about the ulcer.
- In the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode Pirates of the Koopa, Mario and Luigi pose as pirates to infiltrate 'Blackbeard' Koopa's hideout. Luigi asks the bartender to "Gimme a milk." At their odd looks, Mario adds, "In a dirty glass!"
Anime and Manga
- A successful filmmaker in Four Rooms (played by Quentin Tarrantino) raves about his Cristal for almost 10 minutes of screentime. He shares it generously, but one of his buddies (played by Bruce Willis) drinks something brown in a chaser.
- Chocolate milk!
- In X-Men: First Class, it's subtle, but every time they're in a bar, Charles orders a cola, rather than alcohol, for Mystique, because he doesn't want her "slipping up" and exposing her true form.
- Dracula does not drink... wine.
- Neither do the Igors of Pratchett's Discworld... which is the cue to extract the ubiquitous canteen from its hiding place on your person and offer them a slug.
- Rogue Squadron pilots in the comics have lum as their general drink of choice during off hours; the squadron during the books prefers lomiin-ale. In Isard's Revenge a pilot from the comics lineup temporarily returned to the squadron and was a little shocked when he was told that they'd never drink lum. Whether these are alcoholic or not depends on who you ask.
- Harry Potter students will drink butterbeer, while their professors enjoy Firewhiskey or a Gilly water.
- The composition of butterbeer is up for debate. J. K. Rowling claimed she made it up but described it as probably tasting "a bit like less sickly butterscotch". It is mildly alcoholic, not enough to get humans tipsy but enough to get a house elf drunk. The Harry Potter wiki describes an actual beverage called butterbeer which was documented in a 1588 cookbook from Tudor England containing beer, butter, sugar, eggs, nutmeg and cloves, probably resembling early eggnog. Home attempts at Defictionalization tend to revolve around either these old beer recipes, actual butterscotch spirits, or for kid-friendly consumption, cream soda. A soda base is plausible when you consider that old-fashioned sodas got their carbonation from yeast—the same way beer gets its alcohol and fizz, the main difference being time—and do actually contain trace amounts of alcohol. "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park serves its own, secret, soda-like butterbeer formula.
- Butterbeer is favoured by students visiting Hogsmeade, but at Hogwarts proper the most popular drink is pumpkin juice. Less unusual drinks seen in Hogsmeade and its surrounds include tea, coffee, and Madame Rosmerta's oak-matured mead.
- In Prisoner of Azkaban, the trio overhear some of the staff discussing Sirius Black with the Minister. McGonagall has a small gillywater, Hagrid has four flagons of mead (hey, he's half-giant), Flitwick a cherry syrup and soda with an umbrella, and the Minister has redcurrant rum.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Stannis Baratheon is a hard and bitter man, and to reflect this, he drinks plain water with a pinch of salt.
- It probably doesn't hurt that his older brother is a massive alcoholic and he's spent his entire life trying to get out of his shadow.
- Aeron Damphair, a priest of the Drowned God, carries a water skin filled with seawater, which he drinks from.
- Roose Bolton, a health nut, drinks the medicinal wine hippocras.
- Steve Martin, in his book on writing, uses the following (roughly paraphrased) example to illustrate his point on demonstrating characterization through actions. (Frappe is, like many unfathomable terms, a regional term for what would otherwise be called a milkshake, or it can be a fancy coffee drink. Presumably it means he's considerably less of a threat than you might think.)
[A red guy walks into a bar.]
Bartender: What'll you have, red guy?
Red guy: I'll have a frappe.
- P. G. Wodehouse's Gussie Fink-Nottle has an addiction to orange juice which he drinks the same way as his friend Bertie Wooster drinks alcohol (whenever he has received bad news to strengthen himself for example).
- In Fawlty Towers, Basil Fawlty insults another person's lack of sophistication by saying "they wouldn't know a Bordeaux from a Claret." The joke is, of course, that a claret is a type of dry, dark Bordeaux tailored to British tastes, and so in British wine parlance those two names are synonyms.
- Kenan & Kel: "Who loves orange soda? Kel loves orange soda! Is it true? Mmm-hmmmm! I do, I do, I doo-oo!"
- One episode of The Big Bang Theory had Penny practicing making alcoholic drinks, and got frustrated when Sheldon wouldn't order. When he does...
Sheldon: I'll have a virgin Cuba Libre.
Penny: That's rum and Coke, without the rum.
Penny: So, Coke?
Sheldon: Could you make it diet?
Penny: (Growls) There's a can in the fridge.
- In Kung Fu, Caine, being a Shaolin monk with appropriately simple tastes, usually just asks for plain water when at a bar.
- In Once Upon a Time, The Charming Family's signature drink order is hot chocolate with cinnamon. Snow White, her daughter Emma, and Emma's son Henry all either drink it on-screen or mention that they like it at one point or another.
- Some Star Trek captains have drinks they're always ordering, to the point of the order becoming a Catch Phrase on the level of "Energize" or "Engage." Picard's got his "tea, earl gray, hot," Sisko's got his Raktajino (Klingon coffee), and Janeway has her "Coffee. Black." (In fact, her coffee addition becomes a Running Gag sometimes.)
- John Lee Hooker's Blues song: "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" has said drink order as the chorus.
- "What your drink says about you" lists are practically their own genre of Internet humor. Examples here and here.
- Mass Effect:
- Being a classy and intelligent woman, Doctor Chakwas enjoys high-end spirits, particularly Serrice Ice Brandy. You can even obtain some and have a drink with her, reminiscing about the old crew and your adventures in the first installment.
- Shepard seems to favor 'whatever the bartender can throw at me, and keep them coming.' It almost gets them killed when one Jerk Ass batarian bartender poisons Shepard with turian booze. Depending on how you play Shepard, you can pay the bastard back by making him drink it.
- If the player is persistent enough at the bar in the Citadel, the bartender will ramp it up all the way to ryncol, a krogan drink that is insanely toxic. The barkeep warns Shepard that drinking it will make them set off radioactivity alarms for a while. If the player chooses to partake, Shepard (who is already well snockered at this point) passes out and wakes up on the floor of the bar's bathroom.
- In Mass Effect 3, vaguely Scottish engineer Donnelly declares that The Illusive Man's preference for bourbon over scotch is proof that he's evil.
- In Catherine, the protagonist Vincent often spends times drinking in the local watering hole, the Stray Sheep, with his friends. All of them have their own drinks of choice (Orlando and Tobias like beer, while Jonny favours Japanese sake), and you can order your own drinks: beer, sake, whiskey, or rum & cola. All of them offer a Booze-Based Buff, and as a nice touch, you also get some cool trivia on the drinks as well.
- Barney's girlfriend (a Yoko Ono pastiche) in the Be Sharps episode of The Simpsons orders "A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man's hat." Moe conveniently has exactly that behind the bar.
- An amusing scene in one episode of Disney's Aladdin: The Series had Mechanicles enter the Bad-Guy Bar and order mint tea. Abis Mal mocks him for it.
- Played with surrealistically in South Park., Officer Barbrady's "usual" at Tweak's dad's coffee joint is a slap across the face with a cat.
- Late-19th century rairlroad magnate and famed gourmand "Diamond" Jim Brady loved orange juice (or as he called it, his "Golden Nectar") and would often wash down his huge meals with a gallon of the stuff.