10 crazy cocktails from around the world

Snake WineWhatever happened to the days of just drinking vodka mixed with juice? Maybe some fruit added in, a sugar stick, or a mint leaf garnish. Apparently, these simple recipes are being replaced with edible scorpions, dead birds, and fermented rodents.

Snake Wine, Vietnam

In South East Asia, snakes are considered to be good for the health, with the thinking being that a shot or two can cure all ailments. According to happyhourmagonline.com, this wine is created by infusing an entire snake into in rice wine or grain alcohol. Apparently, there is even a snake village in Hanoi, Vietnam, which features numerous bars and restaurants where customers can sample the wine, among other snake delicacies, such as snake steak and fried snake skin.

Scorpion Vodka from EnglandScorpion Vodka, England

This vodka is five times distilled and is produced 100% from single grain wheat. Who really cares about that, though, once you find out it is also enhanced with a real, edible (farm raised!) scorpion. Right on the website, the company promises that the scorpion’s “diet and environment is controlled to assure their good quality” and is “processed for human consumption, according to high quality food preparation standards”. Thank goodness!

Lizard Wine, China

This unique wine, according to Florin Nedelcu, is made by fermenting Ginseng, Gecko lizards, and rice wine in a clay vat for a year. The final product is green liquid (hmmm, wonder what that’s from?) and is said to taste similar to brandy, as well as improve vision and ward off evil spirits.

Seagull Wine, Arctic Circle

While my mother always warned me never to touch a dead bird, the people living up towards the North Pole must have been taught differently. The recipe for this wine is very simple, take a dead seagull, stuff it into a bottle of water, and leave it to ferment under the sun for a few days. I am not sure how they discovered that drinking dead seagull juice could get you drunk, but it apparently does the trick.

Mezcal, Mexico

While many people have heard of the tequila worm, it is actually a bottle of Mezcal that you should purchase if looking to swallow the worm at the bottom. Like tequila, it is made by distilling the fermented juice of agave plants in Mexico. The worm that you will sometimes find in the bottle, according to tastings.com, is actually “the larvae of one of two moths that live on the agave plant”. While the reason for adding the worm to some Mezcals isn’t set in stone, it is believed that it shows drinkers that the proof of the alcohol is high enough to keep the worm in tact.

Deer Penis Wine, China

I’m sure you’re probably thinking that the name must be a joke but, alas, this drink is exactly what you think it is, a deer penis fermenting in wine. According to TreeHugger.com, the cocktail is said to cure sports related injuries, even being banned from athletes during the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to the fact that it is thought to contain herbal ephedrine, which would lead to athletes being disqualified if found in their systems.

Cricket Cocktail, USA, New York

Known as “Summer” at the bar White & Church in TriBeCa, New York, this Piña~Colada-type concoction is a frothy, sweet cocktail and comes with bamboo (inedible) and crickets (edible). In the mood for a different species of garnish on your drink? The restaurant also features a martini topped with scorpions and a frozen margarita-type drink containing spicy worms.

Baby Mouse Wine, China

Is there no end to the animals you can ferment to make wine? Like snake wine, the product of drowning a family of baby mice in a vat of wine and letting it ferment for a year is supposed to be good for your health, curing liver problems, skin ailments, and asthma. I think I’ll stick with taking vitamins.

Fermented Mare’s Milk, Mongolia

Called Airag, this horse milk is said to “refreshen and sparkle the tongue” and tastes “slightly sour”. With only 2% alcohol it probably won’t get you drunk, but you should get used to the taste anyway. According to happyhourmagonline.com, it is a tradition in Mongolia to offer guests this drink when they enter your home, and guests who refuse it are seen as impolite.

Snake’s Blood, South East Asia

Like many of these wild drinks, drinking snake’s blood is believed to have health and wellness properties, such as increasing sex drive, helping repair eyesight, and keeping hair loss at bay. According to treehugger.com, this crazy cocktail is made by slicing the snake’s body and draining the blood directly into a glass. While snake’s blood can be drank by itself, it can also be enjoyed with alcohol.