Chatty Ellie

Drinking in Denmark

Well, this blog post might seem a little confusing to some people… Why am I writing a blog post about drinking in Denmark? Because it – whether you like it or not – is a huge part of Danish culture.

Danes drink at any possible occasion. Weekend? Cheers. Summer? Cheers. Had a bad day? Cheers. Had a great day? Cheers. And it goes on… Basically, Danes consume 11.4 litres of pure alcohol per year per capita. I am aware that some countries consume way more but it is still a lot. And when I think about it, it makes sense.

When going to Danish high school (gymnasium) the average student goes to 2-3 parties a month. Then the average student gets very drunk at most of the parties. Being “very drunk” is a personal matter. I get “very drunk” after 2-3 drinks (yes, beers counts as drinks) while my friend gets “very drunk” after 7-8 drinks. So I probably don’t drink 11.4 litres of pure alcohol per year. I definitely don’t! But a lot of my friends do because they need more alcohol in order to get “very drunk”.

The “problem” is that young people drink to get drunk. Whether it’s a problem or not is a different discussion. I don’t really drink anymore because I don’t like being drunk and I get drunk very easily. The solution for me is to drink soda or stick to one drink per night out. But it is not really socially acceptable to do that. People want other people to get drunk. Why they want that is still a mystery to me.

In Denmark, you can buy alcohol legally when you’re 16 years old. You can only buy beer and cider and stuff with an alcohol percentage under 16,5%. Then when you turn 18 you can buy it all. And we have no laws saying that you cannot drink alcohol when you’re under a certain age.

My parents drink a glass of wine Friday night or Saturday night or both. That depends. And if they have friends over they drink more than just one glass. Drinking is a part of the Danish term “hygge”. We “hygger” when we get a drink and we “hygger” when we eat unhealthy food.

I got drunk for the first time when I was 15 years old at a party with my 16-year-old friends. The parents were aware that we drank and kept an eye on us. They also bought our alcohol. Some people even start drinking and partying when they’re 13 years old.

I am not the biggest fan of our alcohol system in Denmark. I just thought it would be fun to share a bit of our culture.

Stay happy, stay beautiful!
Ellie xoxo

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