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TOPIC: drinking


How Gen Z Is Breaking Europe's Eternal Alcohol Habit

Young people across Europe are drinking less, which is driving a boom in non-alcoholic alternatives, and the emergence of new, more complex markets.

Updated Dec. 6, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

PARIS — From Irish whisky to French wine to German beer, Europe has long been known for alcohol consumption. Of the top 10 countries for drinking, nine are in the European Union, according to the World Health Organization.

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But that may be starting to change, especially among Gen Z Europeans, who are increasingly drinking less or opting out entirely, out of concern for their health or problematic alcohol use. A recent French study found the proportion of 17-year-olds who have never consumed alcohol has multiplied, from less than 5% to nearly 20% over the past two decades.

The alcohol-free trend is propping up new markets for low- or zero-alcoholic beverages, including in one of Europe’s beer capitals: Germany.

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Gùsto! How · What · Where Locals Eat (And Drink) In Montreal

The food and drink scene in Montreal is just as vibrant and diverse as the city itself. It's a delightful fusion of French and North American influences, resulting in a unique gastronomic experience that draws food enthusiasts from far and wide. From fresh bagels to more hearty meals — to be expected in a city where the average annual temperature stands at a modest 7.1 °C (44.8 °F) — you will find plenty to discover, be it across a plethora of restaurants or sampling local specialties in Montreal's thriving food markets.

But if you're planning on making your Canadian culinary journey a francophone one, be aware: In a twist that often confuses visitors from France, meals have different names in Québécois French. Lunchtime is "dîner’"(not "déjeuner," as in France), while dinner time is "souper" (not "dîner"). And snack-time is "collation" instead of "goûter." You'll thank us later!

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Long Live The Negroni, The Eternal King Of Cocktails

How is a cocktail invented, and how does it become iconic? An analysis of the art of mixology, through what may be the most famous cocktail in the world.

TURIN — “The great classics of mixology have never been as important as they are now, not even when they were created. But perhaps their creation is dwindling?”

This challenge was launched by Hamish Smith, director of Drinks International, at the opening of his journal’s report on cocktails for the year of 2023. It’s up to us to take up the challenge, but the indisputable truth is that classic cocktails are in better shape than ever. And in this, Italy plays a major role: the undisputed king of drinks is, once again, the magical Negroni.

How is a legend born? It all began in Florence in 1919, when Count Camillo Negroni made a request to his favorite bartender, Folco Scarselli of Caffé Casoni, to modify his favorite cocktail, the Americano. With the substitution of gin in place of soda water, the Negroni was invented. Today, it is considered the most consumed drink in the world, according to Drinks International, which monitors annual cocktail sales worldwide.

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How To Fake Drinking To Hide Your Pregnancy

When a woman doesn’t drink, we all suspect her of being pregnant. But what happens when that’s true?


MUNICH — As a rule, women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy rarely tell everyone that they are expecting a baby. The risk of miscarriage is still too high and the idea of informing complete strangers of the state of your uterus is simply not appealing. There are also very good reasons not to stick to this principle, including the fact that miscarriage is an unnecessary taboo. Still, most women do.

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Teresa Nauber

New Youth Vices: Sugar And Sloth v. Smoke And Drink

New studies show teenagers in Europe and North America are consuming less alcohol and cigarettes than they did even a few years ago. But other problems have worsened.

BERLIN — Each generation is wilder than the last, or at least that's the common view. But it's actually not true for today's teenagers, according to a study by the World Health Organization. In fact, it shows that today's youth smoke and drink less, continuing a downward trend that began in 2010.

In Europe and North America, 25% of kids under age 13 smoked six years ago, but today that number is down to 17%.

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Sabine Buchwald

When Beer Breeds Violence, Oktoberfest's Help Center For Women

MUNICH — Munich's Oktoberfest has an ugly side. Alexandra Stigger is all too familiar with it but says it's nevertheless a great celebration. Stigger, 29, is a Munich native who grew up attending it every year, and now she works there — not in one of the beer tents but in a service center where the Red Cross, a lost-and-found and the women's support center where Stigger works are housed.

Known as the "security point," the name is meant to speak to foreign visitors who don't know about existing help centers in Munich. First created for the 2003 Oktoberfest, the security point's financing comes from the Munich government and a growing number of sponsors. As a social worker who specializes in trauma therapy, Stigger joined the team in 2012 and now coordinates security point staff and acts as spokeswoman.

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Paul Seru

In Congo, The Army Declares War On Liquor Trafficking

BENI - For many years in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the military was the main seller of liquor imported from Uganda. But now soldiers have changed sides, and are now fighting those who try to import liquor into Congo.

In order to reduce the trafficking and consumption of banned liquors in the Beni region, soldiers and police forces decided to join forces last February. These banned drinks are being imported from Uganda through the city of Kasindi, in the eastern part of North Kivu. Last March, a major from the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) brought two sacks of liquor to the offices in charge of animal quarantine and veterinary services (SQAV). He asked for the bags to be destroyed publicly, an army official recalled.

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eyes on the U.S.
Maurizio Molinari

Don't Smoke (Or Urinate) In Public: An Italian Lawyer's Tips For Visitors To The U.S.

Too many travelers ignore some pretty basic American laws that can seem foreign to them. Here's how it looks to the Italian go-to lawyer in New York for just such cases.

She was born in Bari and now lives in Harlem, argues before legal tribunals in New York and is a yoga fanatic. Her husband is an African American and she met her favourite actor, Denzel Washington, in a club. She's not even 40 years old, but studied in the University of Bari and identifies with both American and Italian cultures. Meet Germana Giordano, the woman who has dedicated her daily mission to aid her Italian compatriots in the legal system of New York.

Her Park Avenue office is where the majority of Italian tourists who infringe on the laws of the Big Apple come to seek help. Giordano, who usually works on homicide and other serious crime cases, spends her spare time aiding Italians who get caught in the web of the American justice system, which has become something of a mission for her.

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food / travel
Mariana García

The Feminine Nose: How Women Have Come To Dominate Argentina's Wine World

BUENOS AIRES - When television was in black and white, women took care of the home, which included buying wine for the family dinner. By the time TV was in color, the reds and whites were typically selected by the men of the house -- and the restaurants.

But lately, more and more women have joined the ranks of the male-dominated wine world, with some taking over as sommelier in exclusive wineries. Indeed, in the past five editions of the Best Sommelier in Argentina competition, the winners have all been women, including Agustina de Alba, who has claimed the honor twice.

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Ivan Buranov

Vehicles And Vodka: Russia Finally Mulls Tougher Drunk Driving Laws

MOSCOW - Rattled by a horrific traffic accident in Moscow, Russian authorities have finally turned their attention to strengthening the country’s laws against drunk driving.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia needed to implement a stricter penalty for drunk driving and called it the biggest issue in Russia.

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Sergei Melnikov

Russia Tanks In Global Health Ratings: Blame Vodka, Cigarettes And Budget Cuts

MOSCOW - Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has been monitoring the state of health in various countries for the past 60 years, it has never explicitly compared countries with one another. So Bloomberg news, using WHO data as well as other data from the World Bank and the United Nations, put together a rating of the healthiest countries.

The comparisons were based on complex criteria - the first one was called “general health level,” which included life expectancy, mortality rates in different age brackets and many other demographic questions. The second criteria had to do primarily with risk factors - the percentage of people who drink and smoke as well as the number of people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

The unexpected number one was Singapore, followed by Italy, Australia and Switzerland. The first 20 countries at the top of the list were also all countries with a generally high standard of living.

“It’s logical, that at the top of the list you would have countries with a developed economy,” said Vladimir Shkolnikov, one of the editorial directors of the WTO Russia bulletin. “But it is interesting to notice that, for example, Norway is in 18th place and Israel is in 6th, although Norway is richer. For the population’s health, the government’s social orientation is the most important thing. For example, in Germany it is impossible to imagine having to raise money for a child with leukemia or another serious illness - if someone’s life is in danger, the government will take care of its citizens.”

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