World's 10 Weirdest Spirits

From salmon-flavored vodka to yogurt liqueur, a list of some of the most bizarre booze

An alcoholic yogurt liqueur, a bitter apéritif made from artichokes... how about a concoction featuring wood chips steeped in liquor that is touted as "Dominican Viagra"? It would be difficult to hear about such spirits and not wonder whether the world of bizarre booze is spiraling out of control.

Of course, some of the aforementioned spirits, like the vegetal Cynar, for example, are not new to the scene. Still, that its place behind the contemporary bar probably wouldn't surprise many is certainly worth noting. And beyond the comeback of retro-bizarre spirits, with modern mixologists slinging everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cocktails at top bars in the U.S., the hunt for the next hot trend in liquor has created some frankly unique creations. Such is the case with Root, an all-organic, botanical-loaded spirit with a storied past that has recently made a splash in the New York City bar scene.

Not too long ago, it seems, the prevalence of shock value-spirits was significantly less. Imbibers had relatively few choices on cocktail menus — drink lists were streamlined, and standard: think gin and tonics, tropical takes on rum-based drinks like the piña colada, and combinations of vodka and fruit juice. Nowadays, though you likely won't find them on top bars' menus, when it comes to vodka, to say that some commercial brands have gone the way of the extreme — with flavors like scorpion and smoked salmon — would be a bit of an understatement. 

Click here for the World's 10 Weirdest Spirits Slideshow.

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Very informative and well written.


Seen stranger. Most are some kind of infusion based liquors. Nothing new there. Yoghurt based drinks have been around for at least 20 years, although most are fruit flavored (like most yoghurts, so still nothing new).
Scorpion is just a sidestep from worms, caterpillars, grasshoppers and snakes, which have been around for quite a while as well.
Same for artischoke. Somewhere in between grass and fruits. Might be next to the carrot ones overhere.

Dominican Viagra? Well, you might get a boner out of it, but you also would from fake viagra due to the placebo effect. still, it's a nice sales pitch.

Nice article, but you're still quite new to the 'wonderful' world of liqor, i'd say.

jaythebrb's picture



I've had both Root and Mama Juana (the Dominican Viagra). Love them both. You allegedly can't bring the Mama Juana into the U.S. if it still has the wood chips and stuff in it, but somehow I got it through customs and I use it over and over again to make new batches of Mama Juana. By the way, the same people that make Root, also make a ginger based drink called Snap and a rhubarb based drink called Rhuby.


Love it! Root would definitely be a big hit in LA! And, I'm also very intrigued by the "Dominican Viagra"..


You had me at scorpion vodka.


Fantastic article. I'll never order "vodka tonic" again! If the bar doesn't have a bitter apéritif made from artichokes, I'm just not going to drink there. Cannot wait to read more.


I wish we had creative drinks like that in San Diego... I would love to introduce the "Dominican Viagra" to some of the beach boys! GREAT article!

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