Move Over, Europe, Asia-Pacific is Outdrinking You

Bet you thought you knew who the world's biggest drinkers are.  I don't mean, among your neighbors, but in the world.  Used to be, any time you saw an outdoor cafe in a movie in Paris, or Rome, or Madrid, or Berlin, the actors would be quaffing down drink after drink, or always holding a wineglass in one hand.

And yes, Europeans used to be the biggest drinkers.  But consumption there has slowed, according to a story at  However, liquor companies, don't despair.  The Asia-Pacific region is taking up where they left off.

Who's doing a lot of the imbibing?  Would you believe China?  "China alone now accounts for 38 percent of global spirits consumption, according to data released this month by International Wine & Spirits Research (IWSR), courtesy of The Economist." Kirstin Korosec reports.  She adds that the IWSR data shows seven of the top 10 growth markets are in the Asia-Pacific region.

People in China love "a heady liquor known as baiju," she says.  This makes up 99.5% of all spirits consumed there.

But China still can't outdrink Russia, where drinkers consumed nearly half the global total, 44.4 billion gallons, in 2012, Korosec quotes The Economist.  That's 13.9 liters (30.6 pounds) for every man, woman and child.

Here in the US, we consumed over 0.6 billion liters of vodka last year, Korosec writes.  We also put down 0.2 billion liters of Scotch whisky, 0.6 billion liters of rum, 0.3 billion liters of gin and 0.36 billion liters of tequila.  Guess we're not doing quite so bad.


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