The production and consumption of alcohol go back thousands of years. It’s a deep-rooted part of almost any human culture. It just can’t be denied that most people like a good drink. Yet it’s not all delicious wine and refreshing beers. The following drinks might not sound appealing to us, but to the people who drink them they are the necessary antidote to life’s trials and tribulations.
Chinese baby mice wine
We’ve all heard about snake wine and vodka with scorpions in it. Bottles of liquor looking like terrariums. They can look a little off-putting, but I’m sure most people are adventurous enough to try some cobra booze. The Chinese, however, took it a bit too far when they created baby mice wine.
Baby mice not older than 72 hours are drowned and left in rice wine. It’s supposed to be a medicinal tonic good for a range of illnesses and conditions. Still, it’s not a drink we would try.
Fermented horse milk
Kumis is prepared and drunk throughout Central Asia. The peoples of the steppes are big fans of horse milk. This resource has always been in abundance throughout their history and knows many applications. One way of putting fresh horse milk to use was to ferment it in leather bags, which resulted into a sour, kefir-like drink with an alcohol content of two to four percent. Kumis is still made and consumed throughout Central Asia today.
Chicha is a popular fermented alcoholic drink from Central and South America. It’s prepared with different ingredients in different countries. Usually fruits or starchy vegetables are used. Nothing out of the ordinary in using bananas or corn to make alcohol you’d think. What sets this drink apart, however, is its traditional production method.
Corn, bananas, cassava or whatever is fermented is first chewed and then spit out into water. The saliva of the chewers helps to break down the sugars as well as add microbes to aid and quicken the fermentation process. The result is a sweet, sour and lightly alcoholic drink. Although a lot of chicha in South America today is produced on a commercial scale and doesn’t involve spit, there are still plenty of places serving some homemade hooch containing grandma’s spit. Enjoy!
If you’re not disgusted already, you will be now. The weirdest and most disgusting form of alcohol we could find is something created and drunk by native tribes that live around the Arctic Circle. The arctic tribes have so few resources to work with that the only way to produce alcohol is to stuff a dead seagull into a bottle of water and let it ferment in the sun. It does sound a bit like an urban myth and we doubt whether this is true. We hope it isn’t.
Gilpin Family Whisky
After the most disgusting drink, we end the list with the weirdest drink, although it’s also fairly disgusting. American artist James Gilpin created whiskey from the urine of elderly diabetics. He figured that since the urine of diabetics contains so much sugar, it would be possible to ferment it and turn it into whiskey. This is, however, just an art piece and the Gilpin Family Whiskey isn’t really for sale. We doubt whether there would be a target market for that anyway.
If you know any weirder drinks, don’t hesitate to share them with us.
[Article by Alexander Eeckhout]