Travelling is a frivolous pursuit, and passing out after you’ve had one too many is a regular and healthy part of a travelling itinerary. But even then, no matter how bad it got for you on ‘that one trip’, it still doesn’t match up to those who found themselves trying these weirdest beverages from around the world out.
Snake wine doesn’t just exist around the world, it’s also widespread, with variations of it found in Vietnam, China, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as our own Goan version of it. It’s not new, either; snake venom has been used to flavour alcoholic beverages for centuries. It doesn’t remain poisonous, as the ethanol denatures it into an after flavour instead of deadly poison.
Our favourites are the wines with visible snakes to keep things authentic, and if we’re being honest, would love to try one (or 13, as it’s still alcohol) of these out just for the novelty of it.
Horse Semen Shots
Sentiments towards using parts of the horse for consumption are mixed depending on where you go in the world. From being generally a no-no in many Western countries (even outright banned in some), to using the hide and hooves for crafting use and avoiding eating it in many Central Asian countries, to outright drinking shots made out of its semen in New Zealand.
Apparently, it’s the latest craze there; bars are stocking it up at high costs, and there are quite a few takers, too. For some reason, women are more inclined towards it than men. It’s also, …thankfully? available in flavours, and apparently tastes like custard. Cool.
The list of things we’d enthusiastically eat varies on where you go in the world, but even then, one’s own placenta should never be on the list, if you ask us. It’s widely popular in the Far East, and is an important part of post-birth medication for mothers in ancient Chinese medicine.
In Japan, they’ve decided to honour the edibility of placenta with a drink that’s packaged like a soft drink, but actually 100% contains placenta as it’s called Placenta 10000. While placenta, or any type of lining from the human reproductive system in general, isn’t really legal to purchase around the world, it’s not a problem in some countries, as the Internet page of the drink claims authentic human placenta.
Human Toe Shot
We really wish this was satire, but it’s not; a bar in Canada has had over 100,000 people come and taste their signature cocktail containing a real human toe. Yup, its special ingredient is really a mummified frozen human toe, which, according to the patrons, gives it its unique flavour (obviously). Apparently, frostbites and general toe-threatening events are abundant in that region in Canada, so ingredients are aplenty!
Recently, someone even stole the famed dead toe, which we’re surprised even made the news.
Whoever came up with scorpion vodka clearly doesn’t share our fear of the danger these creatures stand for, and rather makes a bold statement against scorpions by killing them, putting them inside vodka, aging it a bit, and chugging it on a Friday evening.
It’s actually a British invention, and you can find it on their Amazon. And in case you were wondering; yes, there’s definitely a dead, visible scorpion inside the bottle, too.
Bird’s Nest Drink
When you see a bird’s nest, there may be quite a few things that come to your mind. Mostly, you’d just ignore it and look away, but if you’re curious, you may wonder which kind of bird made it. What you wouldn’t do, in any circumstance, is think ‘how would this taste in a drink’? Apparently, nests of certain types of birds are cherished in Chinese medicine – as they believe that the bird’s saliva lining the nest provides high nutrition - and are supposed to be a cure for strengthening the immune system, making the liver healthier and a surprising number of other health benefits we thought bird’s nests could be used for. It’s usually had in the form of a beverage, but could also be eaten if you’re in the mood.
Like the placenta drink above, this one is also available in cans from suppliers across China, though there are bespoke variations of it too, depending on how good the bird vomiting in its nest was.
If you’ve ever taken a trip across the heart of India, especially in the northern regions, there’s a good chance you’d have come across cow urine as a legit thing people drink in the morning to keep themselves healthy and live long. Known as gau mutra among the religiously-cultured folks, it’s a staple in puja ceremonies around the country, as cow is still considered one of the holiest animal ever to grace us with its presence in the Hindu religion.
While all of that is cool, the fact that people still regularly drink it, despite being aware of all the tapeworms and other harmful effects of drinking literal piss, is what surprises us. And with the current government, it has also seen a boost in popularity in places like UP, as there are many more brands selling it as if it was nothing than ever before (it’s even available on Amazon!)
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