Drinking Age in Slovakia
The small but proud country of Slovakia has a minimum legal drinking age of only 18 years. This is regularly enforced unless it is during a religious ceremony or special family event such as a wedding or birth.
Alcohol in Slovakia
Most locals drink beer regularly, at home for no special reason other than they are thirsty, and then have brandy or liquor for parties and celebrations. While wine is available and there are many wineries in the country, it is not the drink of choice.
There are a number of small micro-breweries in Slovakia, you might even say that every city has at least one. The beer is rich and strong; you will need to pace yourself until you have become accustomed to it affects.
Hard liquor is saved for drinking with company. Slivovica is a plum brandy that is favored in the country. It is aged in oak barrels for three years. Another popular brandy is made from juniper berries and has the distinct flavor of aged gin.
The wines in Slovakia are similar to German wines and actually quite good. If you have the chance to tour a few of the wineries, you will find many delightful choices you may find yourself taking home with you.
There are no stores just for the sale of alcohol in Slovakia, because it is readily available everywhere. You can purchase it in supermarkets, gas stations, bars and hotels. They offer regional and national products as well as most imports.
In the cold winter months, it is custom to drink grog, a mixture of hot tea and rum. It is served at all the ski resorts and will warm you up after a day on the slopes.
Laws and Alcohol in Slovakia
Drinking in public, on the streets, in Bratislava Old Town is not allowed except for special holidays such as Christmas. This does not include having drinks on an outside veranda of a restaurant or hotel though.
Being drunk and disorderly is not allowed anywhere in Slovakia. Because the beers and brandies are much stronger than what is available in the U.K. or the U.S., it is a good idea to keep track of what you are drinking and how it is making you feel. If you are the least bit tipsy, unable to walk well or slurring your speech, it is best to stay where you are and not venture out into public.
When visiting Slovakia, try to arrange the trip around one of the many festivals or celebrations. You will enjoy the food and drink as well as the hospitality of the locals. There will be drinks that were home-made you will find to be quite comparable to anything made under a label. The people enjoy making beer, wines and alcohols at home and have become quite adept at it. The traditions continue today, and have been the start of many of the regional micro-breweries but it is still a good time to drink something that was made by your host.