World's 10 Weirdest Spirits Slideshow
Forget steaming — why not try having your artichokes on the rocks? Named after the Latin for artichoke, Cynara scolymus, this bitter Italian apéritif is made from a blend of 13 herbs, and of course, the thorny thistle. For those who like the idea of a "spiked" artichoke, try Cynar the way the Swiss enjoy it, with orange juice; or in the French fashion, mixed with beer. Either way, drinking Cynar has got to count as getting your veggies... right?
Alcoholic yogurt? Yes, it does exist (and no, it is not endorsed by Jamie Lee Curtis). This creamy liqueur is produced in Holland (and bottled in France) but is quickly shipped off to Japan, where it is a popular mixer with citrus fruit juices (think pineapple and orange) for a spiked-smoothie type of libation. And while Yogurito is widely available in saké-style glass bottles in bars, restaurants, and chain supermarkets in Japan, 50ml bottles for auction can occasionally be found online. What do you think — the next breakfast of champions?
Also known as ‘Dominican Viagra,’ this spirit is made from a manly mix of herbs, sticks, and wood (no pun intended), that are steeped in a mixture of wine, honey, and rum for a few weeks. The result is a highly potent Port-colored spirit touted for its aphrodisiacal qualities. The recipe itself is a closely guarded secret and can vary from town to town, but it is said to originate from the Taino Indians.
So you like smoking weed (not that anyone here is endorsing it). Still, why not drink it, then, too? In Holland, you can, and it’s perfectly legal — especially if you stumble upon Kierewiet, served in many establishments in Amsterdam. Touted as a digestif, Kierewiet is really more like a cannabis cocktail, bearing a strong green color, a bold marijuana leaf on the label, and containing 14.5% alcohol.
Riddle me this: What alcohol is not rum or vodka, but is distilled from sugar cane and neutral grains? Purportedly, Root. Certified USDA-Organic, Root’s recipe is a whirlwind of botanicals, including Birch bark, smoked black tea, wintergreen, cinnamon, and cardamom, and has quite a storied past. Allegedly, the recipe was Native American, passed down to colonial settlers and was served to Pennsylvania coal miners. It’s difficult to get to the root of this weird spirit, but Root was made in an attempt to “recreate a pre-temperance alcoholic Root Tea”. Whatever it is, at 80-proof, it's certainly got more of a kick than A&W.
If there was a special "Booze for Badasses" award, Scorpion Vodka would have little competition. This libation is sure to scare the hell out of just about anyone. Ok, so the (Chinese, farm-raised) scorpion imparts a pleasant "soft, woody taste" to the pure grain vodka, and has allegedly undergone a three month "detoxification" process before ending up in your booze. But does that mean you should still drink a spirit with a stinger?
Mmmm... smoked salmon. Such a delicious treat on a bagel with cream cheese. So who's the genius that decided to infuse vodka with the stuff? That credit belongs to spirits company, Alaska Distillery. Wondering what on earth can you possibly use Smoked Salmon Vodka for? Alaska Distillery says Oyster Shooters, but this would be one great gag gift.
We know, we know, just about everyone loves bacon. After seeing candied bacon, bacon ice cream, and even bacon toothpaste on the market, it (oddly) seems not all that surprising that bacon-flavored vodka should find its way onto shelves. The spirit is made from Idaho potatoes and column-distilled using a single heating process (that hopefully doesn't burn the bacon... we like ours crispy). As for the smoky, slightly spicy taste? "We wanted it to have the essence of a delicious crisp slice of peppered bacon," says Bakon Vodka's creators, Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits. And while the company recommends using Bakon Vodka in a Bloody Mary, we like it straight up for breakfast, served with a side of pancakes.
We like to think that if Mrs. Butterworth had a boyfriend, it would be Amaro Diesus del Frate. Yes, this bitter liqueur is bottled in a monk-shaped container (though strangely, the bottle lacks a head). A classic Italian aperitivo or digestivo created by monks, the bitter Diesus is made from a variety of aromatic herbs, including gentian, cinchona, and mountain thyme. Is there room on the market for a ‘Priestly Pucker’?
No, not that tuna. Rather, the pastel green-colored booze is distilled from 100% cactus pears. If you think that sounds dangerous to harvest, consider its not-so-sweet backstory. According to Aztec legend, Cópil, son of Coyolxauhqui, faced the fearsome god Huitzilopochtli in battle to avenge his mother's death. Long story short, Cópil's heart gets ripped out and is hurled toward lake Texcoco. In the process, the land is moistened with blood, and this gives birth to the first nopal, or cactus. If that doesn’t make you curious to try Cópil, we’re not sure what will.
Casa del Tequila