Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World


Handing out homemade beer at a liquor store, Tom and Athena Seefurth, chefs based in Illinois, surprised several people with the smell of their beers-from garlic to tomatoes. They are also the inventors of “pizza beer.” They thought of creating beer that will match their favorite dishes perfectly, and so came up with pizza beer.

Like these two, people all over the world have created different kinds of liquors, which have become worldwide traditions. Wines have been used during the ancient times as medicine, and though people now no longer use them as such, the recipes have survived, and people continue to enjoy them. When in a foreign country, knocking down that glass of strange liquor is also a great way for you to get to know the culture of the people.

Today, experimentation with liquor is done by enterprising people in order to compete with and add flavor to the bottles and bottles of liquor we have become used to. This is a list of some of the strangest liquors you can find in the world.

Pizza Beer in Illinois, USA

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

Pizza being their favorite dish, Tom Seefurth and Athena Seefurth created pizza beer in 2006. Chopping pounds and pounds of wheat crust, tomato, oregano, garlic and basil for their beer, they have sold bottles to people who have made this their favorite. Dont think that there are actual chewable ingredients inside your drink, though, as the ingredients are well filtered, leaving just the essence of pizza. You can find this at Sams Wine and Spirits, or at Top Shelf Wine and Spirits. It is available from over 200 retailers and restaurants across Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Wine from Snake Bile in Vietnam

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

Feeling gutsy? Try this fascinating drink served in specialty restaurants around Vietnam. The preparation itself is swoon-worthy, as a person to slice open a living cobra to get its gall bladder, and pours the bile to the rice wine. Locals swear by its health benefits, and that it makes men virile. Huang Rung Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh serves this, and so do others that specialize in exotic meats.

Chicha in Peru

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

Chicha or corn beer was drunk during Incan ritual festivals and sacrifices. Today, though no longer used in rituals, Chicha still follows the traditional ways of preparation: women from villages in the Andean region chew the maize and then spit the pulp in earthenware jars filled with warm water, where it is left and stored to ferment. The result is a milky, yellowish liquid served in gourds that are hollowed out. Variations of this drink include pineapples, yucca, and plantains. You can find this drink in chicherias along Cuzco and Lima, mostly in central markets and rural Andean villages. To spot a freshly-made chicha for sale, a red or white flag hung above the doorway of a house will be your signal.

Lizard Wine in China

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

For another exotic liquor, head over to China for the infamous lizard wine. Usually made from geckos, the wine is known for its medicinal quality, and is one of the strongest liquors in China.

Interesting to note as well is that using more poisonous lizard will result to more potent wine. It will be marinated in whiskey or rice wine from ten days to a whole year, and the result is a potent drink which will ward off the big C, ulcer and arthritis, among others. As with Vietnams Snake Bile wine, this can be found in restaurants that also have exotic meats in their menu, and is served by the shot.

Today, even souvenir shops and grocery stores carry this liquor, perhaps with the thought that if tourists cant drink it, it can serve as a fascinating gift for someone back home.

Kvas in Russia

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

Made from rye bread or stale black cubes that are fermented, this drink is equally famous as vodka-Russias other world-famous liquor. Kvas is a traditional drink in Russia that was shared by the different classes-drunk by both nobles and peasants alike. Breads turned into croutons are poured with hot water and left in wooden tubs to ferment, after which is flavored with berries, mint, or raisins. You can find vendors selling it in the streets during summer.

Yogurito in Japan

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

Made originally in Holland and then bottled up in France, this yogurt-based liquors market is really in Japan. You can either drink it straight, or mix it with pineapple or orange juice. Its a creamy, fruity combo which appeals drinkers in Japan who are health conscious. However, according to a representative of Suntory, though the drink tastes similar to yogurt and is made from it, they cannot assure people of its health benefits. This drink is practically sold everywhere in Japan-from supermarkets to bars.

Coffee Beer in Big Island, Hawaii

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

Its seasonal, and it mixes two favorites: coffee and beer. Kona BrewingsDa Grind Buzz Imperial Stout and the Pipeline Porter were created by Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa, a tandem of son and father. The brews are concocted from 100% Kona coffee grown on Cornwell Estate. Kona Brewing Co. has two pubs in Hawaii which serve this delicious concoction: at the Koko Marina Center and Kailua-Kona Pub and Brewery, but several bars and restaurants across Hawaii serve these as well.

Cynar in Italy

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

All-natural Cynar is artichoke based and infused with thirteen different kinds of plants and herbs. It is a medicinal aperitif-digestif from Italy that is still widely favored for its medicinal quality, as it retains all the nutrients found in its ingredients. The name comes from artichoke cynarin which is an ingredient said to lower the risk of blood clots and heart diseases. It is usually used as a drink mixer, but it can be drunk on the rocks. Some pour it into a glass of beer to make it more bitter. Cynar is distributed by Campari all over the world, and a full bar will always include this.

Mezcal in Oaxaca, Mexico

Salute: The Strangest Liquors in the World

As a marketing scheme during the 1940s, a worm was added to the drink. Many claim that drinking the worm will produce hallucinatory effects, but be careful when you plan to try this, as some worms are plastic. You can find Mezcal usually next to a bottle of Tequila on the shelves of your liquor shop.

By Journey ETC



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