Think of the grossest booze you have ever consumed. Now, multiply the horror of 99 Bananas by 10, and book flights to these seven exotic destinations so you can try a detestable local favorite!
7. Fermented horse milk: Mongolia
No trip to Mongolia's complete without a nice warm cup of the mildly-alcoholic fermented mare's milk they lovingly refer to as "Kumis". Mmmmm, Kumis...
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture: Mongolian shamans believe that drinking vodka connects people to the "sky gods". When you're offered a shot, dip your pinky finger into it and flick it towards the sky as an offering.
6. The Sourtoe Cocktail: Canada
The Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon has been serving up a bonafide human toe (dehydrated and preserved in salt) in a lowball of Yukon Gold whiskey since '73. Down a Sourtoe and let the toe touch your lips to become a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, an elite group of weirdos. On the off-chance you swallow the toe (which someone totally just did
) you're forced to
leave civilization and never come back because you're a filthy monster
pay a $2500 penalty.
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture:
More wine, beer, and spirits are consumed per person in the Yukon than any other Canadian province or territory, hands down.
5. Seagull wine: Arctic Circle
This just in: the Arctic Circle doesn't have a wine country, but it does have a crapload of seagulls and water! Combine the two and you've got Seagull Wine; an invention of those practical Inuits, SW's catastrophically grosser then you can even imagine -- it's dead seagulls, left to ferment in barrels of water. Who's ready for a vino?
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture: Our Inuit friends believe that drinking seal blood fortifies the body. So, after one round of seagull wine, you might want to make an excuse as to why you can't stay 'til things get rowdy.
4. Lizard wine: China
Formerly known as "Hejie Jiu", this stuff's usually made by fermenting an entire freaking GECKO in a bottle of whiskey or rice wine for anywhere from 10 days to one year. It's served by the shot, and said to cure everything from cancer to ulcers!
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture: Booze is traditionally served warm in China, and on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar, some devotees consume booze containing arsenic sulfide... for the health benefits.
3. Milk beer: Japan
Milk is almost certainly the worst thing you could possibly mix with beer, which's why it's totally logical that the Abashiri Brewery in Hokkaido, Japan went ahead and created Bilk, an assuredly delicious mix of 70% beer and 30% milk.
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture: In Japanese, the word "sake" translates into "liquor"; if you're after the rice wine the country's famous for, it's actually called nihonshu.
2. Baby mouse wine: China and Korea
First, allow us to remind you that we didn't invent this stuff... we're just giving intrepid alcoholics a glimpse into the broader world beyond their borders. That said, take a jar of rice wine, put a handful of day-old baby mice in it, let it ferment for a year and you've got a super alcoholic, super reprehensible beverage believed to be a health tonic to many, and believed to be flat-out horrifying to us.
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture: If you'd like to cheers your bros in Mandarin, try saying "Gan bay".
1. Snake wine: Vietnam
Stuff a cobra into a bottle full of rice wine or grain alcohol and you've got yourself a cure-all better than anything requiring a 'scrip. That's just how it's done in Snake Village, a suburb of Hanoi known for serving the freshest snake wines in the world. Game drinkers are also invited to kill their own snakes and imbibe their organs as a shooter flight. The only flight we'll be ordering is a flight back home...
Thing you didn't know about local drinking culture: Far preferable to snake wine in Vietnam is "bia hoi", a draft beer brewed fresh daily that's super refreshing and generally costs between a quarter and 50 cents for a mug.