From luau tailgates to drinking neon cocktails out of massive chalices, the United States has some, ahem, interesting drinking traditions. But when it comes to weird booze, we can’t come close to competing with any of these countries. From wine infused with the penises of three different animals to fish sake, these are the most bizarre types of booze from around the world.
Baby Mice Wine
Still a tradition in some parts of China, wine infused with fermented baby mice is considered a health tonic that can cure everything from asthma to liver disease. To make it, three-day-old mice are plucked from their mothers, drowned alive in the wine and left to ferment for 12-14 months until the concoction is deemed safe to drink. Some say it tastes like gasoline, which should be the least of your worries when sipping something garnished with a bobbing dead mouse.
Three Penis Liquor
Fans of The League may recognize this beverage as one of Taco’s principal obsessions. We’re excited to tell you that the magical elixir is real. Labeled "Tezhi Sanbian Jiu," which actually translates to “Three Penis Liquor,” this rice wine is infused with seal, deer and Cantonese dog penis and is said to increase ruggedness and potency in males. It sounds like something you’d have to buy on the black market in a scary dungeon, but quite the opposite is true. This stuff is all over grocery store shelves in Shanghai, which means most people are crazy enough to drink it.
Kumis, the national beverage of Kazakhstan, is made from fermented mare’s milk. It’s similar to kefir, but horse milk contains more sugar than that from sheep or goats, which results in a beverage with a higher alcohol content. Both Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan drank it to improve digestion and boost their immune systems as they murdered and pillaged their way to power. Getting crunk on horse milk is pretty badass.
Most popular in the Pacific Islands Fiji and Vanuatu, kava is made simply by pulverizing dried kava root and mixing it with water. It’s not booze per se, but any weird way of getting lit is welcome in the Supercall world. Kava is known to have a sedative, euphoric effect on the imbiber—almost like liquid Xanax. It’s drunk during everything from social gatherings to religious ceremonies and when folks just wanna see paint dripping down the wall, man.
We know the Japanese love their fish, but fish sake takes things to a whole new level of weird. The end of WWII brought a rice shortage to Japan, which left imbibers with some pretty low quality sake. So, to cover up the subpar flavor, people steeped the sake with fish fins to add a rich umami flavor. While mediocre sake is no longer a problem, the tradition of adding fish fins, or hire-zake, remains. Some establishments that specialize in preparing the ultra-poisonous zuku—known in English as puffer fish—will use the fins for this traditional beverage, but sea bream is just as common if you don’t feel like dying today.
This drink was a cornerstone of Incan rituals and festivals, and it’s still a big part of Peruvian culture today. Traditionally, it’s made by chewing purple maize in order to convert the starch to sugar so fermentation can take place, and spitting the corn into a vessel. The spit-soaked corn is then combined with other ingredients to create a slightly sour carbonated beverage that many compare to beer. Suddenly, the thought of an angry bartender spitting in our drinks actually sounds appetizing. While you won’t likely find the chewed version of chicha in cities like Lima, a trip to more remote areas could offer you the chance to sample the traditional stuff.