White Russian or a Blue Hawaii? How temperature effects the consumption of alcohol


Temperature and alcohol… Is there a real correlation? 

By Olivia Kemp

Alcohol consumption is a highly raised topic throughout this generation, whether it’s from death rates, underage drinking to binge drinking but what we want to know is if there’s really a link between the average temperature of a country and the alcohol they drink? A study directed by a student at LSBU is trying to find out if their is a real correlation between the two. Due to the national average temperatures Sudan is the hottest country in the world being 27°C and Russia being the coldest country in the world at -0.6°C, so where on this temperature spectrum is alcohol consumption introduced?

With a question raised like this one, a lot of people make their own assumptions, like Russians drinking a lot of spirits, Italians drinking a lot of wine and the Irish drinking a lot of beer, could this really be the case? A report made by the World Health Organisation, said that (per adult) 15.76 litres were consumed annually, making them the 4th highest alcohol consumers in Europe in 2011. The Health Research Board found that in 2015 the Irish drunk 445 pints of beer per person aged 15+ that year… Wow! But does this information from national statistics involve temperature? Perhaps. 

Comparing 31 of the hottest and coldest countries in the world, using data from 2016, Belarus was found to have the highest consuming alcohol rate with 17.31 litres of all types of alcohol yearly with a temperature of 5.9ºC. They were also found to have the highest consumption of spirits drinking 8.16 litres. The 2011 survey shows that Russia’s alcohol consumption has dropped by a blinding amount, showing their alcohol consumption was 15.76 litres per person annually, in the 2016 survey they only now drink 4.57 litres.

The second highest alcohol consuming country is Estonia with 14.97 litres of all types of alcohol being at the temperature of 5.5ºC, are you seeing a correlation? Only through two countries can you see that the coldest countries tend to drink more alcohol in general. Narrowing it down to specifics, France drink the most wine with 6.4 litres being at an average temperature of 11.2ºC, goes without saying doesn’t it? It’s shown that Australia has the highest beer consumption at 10.3 litres at the temperature of 17.3ºC. You can see a clear pattern of the coldest countries drinking more spirits and the hottest countries drinking beer. This is also shown through the hot countries drinking no spirits, for example Monaco, Cuba and Sudan drinking in between 0.6 and 0.36 litres of spirits per year. Some of this data, you could say, conforms to stereotypes but it just proves that these stereotypes are more than just stereotypes. Through a lot of research it has been found that the colder the country, the more alcohol is consumed, especially spirits and the hotter the country is the more beer they consume. When it comes down to wine, there is no link between temperature as no real correlation was shown, both hot and cold countries have been known to consume it.