While the word “drink” almost always applies to an alcoholic beverage, on a global scale, this is not always the truth. If we look at the demographics and proportions of the world’s population divided into countries or regions, and their most favorite drinks, the story is a bit different.

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Here are the eight most popular drinks on the planet by sheer population numbers.

  1. Tea 

When we look at Asia, and the populations of those countries, it is obvious that their most popular drink leads the globe. There are just a huge number of varieties too. But do not think that everyone drinks tea that is alcohol-free. Vodka is often mixed with tea and lemonade. And hot toddies can include whiskey, gin, rum and more – perfect for a cold, nasty night or to unwind after work.

  1. Coffee

So, coffee comes in flavors and many other forms – hot, iced, cappuccinos, and such. And coffees in some countries are akin to “mud.” This mud just begs for additions, even more than milk or cream. Throw in a little Irish whiskey, rum, bourbon, brandy, or a variety of liquors, and you have a coffee with a great kick and taste.

  1. Beer

There is not a country in the world without its own varieties of beer. From dark German lagers to the lighter beers of Mexico (Corona, Modelo, etc.), beer is truly an international and favorite beverage. It is also probably the oldest alcoholic beverage.

  1. Vodka

Probably no surprise here, given the population of Russia, where it is a national drink, as well as the most popular drink in Eastern Europe. If you travel to these areas, though, and want to order a vodka cocktail of some sort, you probably need to plan in advance and ask one of the affordable translation services to give you the proper words and pronunciations.

There are actually many health reasons to justify drinking Vodka – it does improve circulation and thus can help prevent clots and strokes and lower cholesterol levels. And it is lower in calories that many others – no sugars, carbs, or fats. More recently, vodka is now manufactured in flavors, making it far more popular with young drinkers. It is often mixed with fruit juices and makes it popular with those who want a sweeter tasting drink. In the U.S., it has become the most popular white liquor.

  1. Wine

It is impossible to cover wines in-depth here. Suffice it to say that France, Italy, the United States, and South Africa produce some of the best wines. There are five types of wine and two colors – red and white. Depending on one’s taste preferences, they can range from sweet to quite dry. All wines have antioxidant properties, although reds have many more. No formal dinner is complete without wine, and no wedding reception occurs without champagne. As you travel to places abroad, you will want to be sure to order the type of wine you want. Find a good travel app that will provide the right translation, and you are “good to go.” 

  1. Coca-Cola

Yes, it has to be included here. It is one of the most popular drinks the world over, except in North Korea and Cuba, where it is banned. About 1.9 billion Cokes are consumed daily in the world. Interestingly, it was invented in 1886 by John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, and his accountant gave it its name. Coke has become a popular mixer in alcoholic drinks – who hasn’t had at least one rum and coke in their lives?

  1. Energy Drinks

These, of course, are a favorite of athletes and those who need to pump themselves during a long day of work. Once these hit the market, it was only natural that people would figure out ways to add alcohol for a rather “bi-polar” effect. After all, energy drinks are “uppers,” while alcohol is a depressant. While not especially well-used in the U.S., the UK has latched onto these combinations with gusto. Vodka goes especially well with Red Bull because the sugary taste is there. More recently, cocktails, including energy drinks, are making their way into bars – drinks such as the “Electric Screwdriver,” made with equal parts of Red Bull lime, vodka, and orange juice. Then there is the Loch Ness Monster, a drink that includes Monster energy drink, with added rum, tequila, amaretto, vodka, gin, Curacao, Chambord, and Malibu coconut rum – one of these will definitely be enough.

  1. Traditional Cocktails

Where to begin here? Many cocktails have stood the test of time and continue to be commonly ordered in restaurants and bars – Manhattan, Martini, Daiquiri (all flavors), gin or vodka and tonic, scotch and soda. It is unlikely that these will ever go out of style, so we can lump them all as the 8th most popular. On the other hand, some cocktails are the most popular in specific countries that you might want to try in your travels.

Is Your Favorite Among These?

Maybe, maybe not. But it really doesn’t matter. You don’t have to go along with the crowd by any means. Find your drink(s) of choice, stick with them, and maybe try something new every once in a while.