You drink WHAT in your country?
September 12, 2007 6:30 PM   Subscribe

If it's got alcohol in it, someone, somewhere will drink it. But sometimes, it's surprising to note how many bizarre non-alcoholic drinks there are. Some have become beloved by not only their native countries, but by foreigners and even, sometimes, health nuts.

(inspired by wanderingmind in the blooming tea thread.)
posted by InnocentBystander (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Not complete without Beverly.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:39 PM on September 12, 2007

Ah snake wine! Lovely stuff.
posted by gergtreble at 6:42 PM on September 12, 2007

I still remember that Beverly drink from Epcot Center. "Oh, hey, free drinks!" The horror. THE HORROR.
posted by InnocentBystander at 6:42 PM on September 12, 2007

That mice wine article was something else. Ugh.

Also, no pruno?
posted by lekvar at 6:47 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's rare enough that I'll click every link in a post, but this one had me blinking, jaw slightly open, wondering who on this earth first got the idea that caterpillars would make a good drink* ... but the caterpillar wine article pretty much explained it. I love human ingenuity, even when it gets a little weird.

* see also, artichokes. As wonderful as they are, who in history was the first person to attempt to cook and eat an armor-plated plant?
posted by socratic at 7:03 PM on September 12, 2007

I think if I were one of the "blind" taste test experts, I'd be a bit pissed that someone made me drink caterpillars without fair warning.
posted by SassHat at 7:24 PM on September 12, 2007

Ah yes, kopi luwak. Personally I don't care how much one likes coffee, one would have to be pretty loopy to be the first guy to stick his hand in civet cat dung and think "gee, those coffee beans are just a little dirty, they're still good!"

Then again, as the joke goes, who's the first guy to see a cow and think "I want to drink what comes out of that"?
posted by clevershark at 7:27 PM on September 12, 2007

Also, no pruno?"

Also, no hand cleanser at Finnish outdoor raves?
posted by porpoise at 7:59 PM on September 12, 2007

Some friends and I awoke on a sleepy holiday morning in 2005 and sampled that Jones holiday pack...including the linked turkey soda. We kept our camera and a bucket on hand.

The resulting carnage can be witnessed here. [self link]

That concoction was for neither the faint of heart, nor the weak of stomach (nor the faint of butt). Vile stuff it was, indeed.

Your link brought back a tiny bit of that nightmare and will haunt me as I fitfully sleep tonight, covered in a layer of cold sweat and a chaotic tangle of tossed-about sheet.

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits for that reminder. =(

The real kicker, though, was the brussels-sprouts-and-prosciutto sota. Wow, that stuff could peel paint. Soda should be neither thick nor oily....nor particularly salty, for that matter.
posted by kaseijin at 8:05 PM on September 12, 2007

Have a bottle of cobra wine from Vietnam on display in my office. The stuff in bottles is not for drinking, just display. Snake wine for drinking comes from street vendors. Slice a cobra lengthwise. Drain blood into glass. 'Dilute' 50-50 with Everclear. Will put hair on your chest.

Calpis Soda (as opposed to Calpis Water or Calpis concentrate), especially from a soda fountain or fountain machine, is one of my favorite things. Calpis Soda in a can is not nearly as good as the jerked variety, like any soda drink.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:11 PM on September 12, 2007

This one time, at Pennsic, I was wandering around one evening with some friends when we met a very happy gentleman who wanted to share his Blue with us. No, it wasn't a Labatt product, but something he had made out of moldy oranges. And yes, in the firelight, we could see that it was electric blue. Oh well, it was tasty and it didn't kill any of us.
posted by maudlin at 8:42 PM on September 12, 2007

Also, no hand cleanser at Finnish outdoor raves?

Apparently, hand cleaner is a favorite prison beverage. Just put the Purell in a sock, squeeze out the alcohol and enjoy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:58 PM on September 12, 2007

Impressions, from a swift perusal of the first five links: 1. Kyrgyzstan sounds awesome. But they should have asked about getting some kefir to drink instead. Less alcohol, but less vomit flavor and more white-school-glue flavor. Mmm. 2. That adding an oil sauce to lean tuna would make it taste like oily tuna is only surprising if your previous consumption of mayonnaise has led to stroke damage. 3. Note to self: Avoid Korea. Just ... avoid. 4. Heh. Vietnam, on the other hand, is back to the 'rocking' side of the equation. Not that I drink. But snake hooch I can at least understand. Aaand 5. I [heart] America. In what other country can you do this and not be accused of being desperately boozey, a pervert, and/or one of those American morons?

Bonus link: reviews the best and the worst. And if my darling Sangría Señorial got only four 'bottles', I wanna know what a soda's gotta do to get five.
posted by eritain at 9:32 PM on September 12, 2007

This post is worth it just for the champurrado link alone.
posted by zamboni at 9:52 PM on September 12, 2007

I recently read Water for Elephants (don't bother, it's crappy) where the author introduced me to Jake Leg, gotten from drinking Jamaican Ginger Extract during prohibition.

The paralysis was from a plasticizer additive, TOCP.
posted by birdie birdington at 10:32 PM on September 12, 2007

I've had champurrado before, but I never heard it was made with anything relating to pork. To my knowledge, the interesting part about champurrado is that it's made with corn flour (like the one used to make tortillas) and that it's amazing how people drink it to go with tortas and tamales.

I'll have to ask my grandmother what her recipe is, tomorrow.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 10:57 PM on September 12, 2007

My favorite drink that makes most people not acquainted with it vomit: doogh.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:23 PM on September 12, 2007

Sorry, I just can't let it go.

From this link:

"Champurrado is one of the world's oddest beverages—a sort of chocolate-laced oatmeal tea fortified with pork belly."

That guy has it all wrong. Very VERY wrong. To prove my memory, I just went through enough champurrado recipes to be sure of this. Champurrado is certainly not anything close to an oatmeal tea and it certainly does not contain any animal parts. (And I've got nothing against pork belly.)

Basic recipe for champurrado:

Corn flour
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:26 PM on September 12, 2007

fermented mare's milk
posted by catseatcheese at 3:29 AM on September 13, 2007

That guy has it all wrong. Very VERY wrong.

Another dream shattered!
posted by zamboni at 9:52 AM on September 13, 2007

From the Joy of Cooking, 1997:

For the guest who shuns an alcoholic drink, offer a clear broth such as:

Chicken broth or boullion

combined with:

(Tomato and orange juice)

poured over ice cubes. Be sure the broth is not too rich in gelatin, or it may suddenly congeal.
I can't help but think, "That'll teach 'em to shun alcohol."
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:24 AM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dear Reuters Communists from the second link:

It doesn't surprise me that known Communists such as your selves would make such outrageous assertions, but the honorable beverage known as the "Salty Dog" is not made with vodka, but with gin. Communism may have already preverted the Martini cocktail into a vodka drink, but that's where it's gonna stop.

Thanks, and power to the workers,
posted by oats at 11:44 AM on September 13, 2007

oh, god, thank you CrazyLemonade! I can't face winter without champurrado!!
posted by Space Kitty at 6:59 PM on September 13, 2007

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