Interesting alcohol drinks around the world
Some of you might know I personally do not drink alcohol … not even a drop since January 2009. The funniest thing about it? My dad is a pub owner and I am pretty much the only non-drinker in our family.
Yet, when I am traveling I get to know many different alcohol drinks around the world as people traveling with me, or my new friends I meet, mostly do drink. For them, tasting local alcohol drinks somehow goes hand in hand with exploring the local culture, people and habits. It’s their choice and I respect that, of course.
If you are one of those who likes trying new meals and drinks, you might find the following list interesting. At least you will be familiar with what to ask for when visiting different destinations 🙂
The other day I saw a list Around the world in 21 unusual drinks which is where I found the inspiration to mention some drinks you might want to try, or at least know what you are offered so you can say no. In that post mentioned above you can learn also about other traditional drinks which ae non-alcoholic.
I chose the following 6 interesting drinks:
This is the only one on the list I’ve heard of myself. In Bulgaria and the rest of the Balkans they ferment a selection of fruit (grapes, pears, plums and cherries) to make frit brandy rakia or rakija (always pronounced as rakiya.) Usually it has 40% of alcohol but if home-produced it can even reach 80 or 90%!
2. Horse Sperm Shots
In the Green Man Pub in Wellington in New Zealand, you might order local ‘hoihoi tatea’. As the name suggests, these unusual apple-flavoured drinks consist of horse semen and taste like apple custard. It is said that the owner Steven Drummond created this weird beverage when looking for a new drink combination for the 14th Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge. You would be surprised (or not) to hear that it’s mostly women paying $20 per one horse sperm shot and men prefer to stay away from it.
One of your experiences in South Africa might be also sampling a glass of Amarula. The creamy liqueur is produced using the fruit of the Marula tree, combined with sugar and cream. It is said that even local elephants intoxicate themselves by eating the fermented fruit from this locally known Elephant or the Marriage tree. That’s why the distiller made elephants the symbol of Amarula drink and supports elephant rights.
4. Snake Wine
In Laos, Vietnam, Korea and China you can order a bottle of rice wine or grain alcohol containing the body of a cobra. This controversial beverage is fermented over many years and infused with snake venom. Because ethanol denaturates the venom, its proteins are inactive. Would you dare to drink this traditional Chinese medicinal snake wine?
When talking of Dominican Republic, then we are talking of rum mixed together with red wine, honey and herbs. The specific herbs in the drink were original a herbal tea of the Taino Indians; alcohol was only added later. This drink is known for its characteristically woody flavour from being soaked in a bottle of fresh bark and the rumor says it’s an aphrodisiac. Doesn’t sound bad, right?
6. Frog Juice
No, I am not kidding. Around the Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia they drink juice of blended frogs. It was used as Viagra, and now still prescribed to treat a variety of illnesses, such as asthma, low libido, chronic pain, fatigue or even stress. It’s supposed to be good for children and older people but there’s no scientific proof. I would definitely not recommend to drink it not only because I am vegan but also because the Titicaca water frogs are now a critically endangered species in that area.
Would you add any other special local drinks? Where did you drink them? What was your experience? Please share in the comments.