Drinking in Bulgaria is done socially and is usually accompanied by plenty of food. Bulgarians, like most of southern Europeans, are not binge drinkers. It is rare to see inebriated people on the streets, and public drunkenness is frowned upon.
Behind closed doors, however, Bulgarians do drink plenty and take much pride in holding their liquor. Alcohol is consumed daily in most Bulgarian homes and is a must in all social occasions.
Rakia (a grape, plum, or apricot brandy) is served at the beginning of a meal, accompanied by a salad.
Wine comes with the main course.
The production of homemade alcohol is a popular past time and has deep roots in the Bulgarian culture. The resulting rakia or wine is the pride and joy of its maker and is frequently offered to foreign house guests.
In bars, the standard drink size for serving alcohol has traditionally been 50 ml (small) and 100 ml (big), but many high-end establishments will serve 40 ml and 80 ml accordingly.
Hard liquor is served neat or on the rocks but if you would like a mixed drink, order both ingredients and be ready to mix it yourself.