Top 10 Weirdest Things Found in Liquor
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Top 10 Weirdest Things Found in Liquor

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
You may want to check the label on these alcoholic products. For this list, we'll be looking at things that you really wouldn't expect to find in alcoholic beverages, but are used to flavor a wide variety of distinctive tipples. Our countdown includes bacon, artichokes, snakes, mare's milk, and more!
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Script Written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Weirdest Ingredients in Liquor


You may want to check the label. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Weirdest Ingredients in Liquor.

For this list, we’ll be looking at things that you really wouldn’t expect to find in alcoholic beverages, but are used to flavor a wide variety of distinctive tipples.


#10: Bacon



You may think it’s not at all a natural fit, but everyone’s favorite pork product has indeed been introduced to numerous alcoholic beverages, including bourbon, martinis, and Bloody Marys. (There are also vegetarian options with bacon-adjacent flavorings.) But you can even make real bacon-infused drinks at home. Cook several bacon strips, put them in a jar with, say, vodka, and let it all sit for a while at room temperature. Extract the bacon and put the alcohol in the freezer. Once the bacon fat solidifies, strain it with a cheesecloth or coffee filter. Shortly after, break out the glasses for a porky and delicious beverage… and hey, why not use a bacon slice as a swizzle stick while you’re at it.





#9: Pizza



Who doesn’t enjoy washing down a slice of pizza with a cold beer? Combining these two tastes should be a no-brainer, but Tom Seefurth stumbled upon the idea almost by accident. Experimenting in his garage, Seefurth tossed some mint, oregano, rosemary, and sage into his homemade brew. When a taste tester pointed out that it possessed a pizza flavor, Seefurth collaborated with brewmaster Mike Rybinski to perfect the recipe. Throwing in basil, garlic, and tomatoes, Seefurth’s pizza beer quickly gained media attention and even made some decent dough… money that is. Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer never became the best-seller that Seefurth envisioned and ultimately went defunct. Nevertheless, the drink had its fifteen minutes of fame online and the late-night circuit, getting teased by Jay Leno.







#8: Artichokes


We can picture cucumbers and jalapeños going well with an alcoholic beverage, but artichokes? Although it may sound outlandish on paper, artichokes are the secret ingredient behind the Italian bitter liqueur, Cynar. Developed by Angelo Dalle Molle and currently owned by Campari Group, Cynar hit the scene in 1952. A string of commercials starring Ernesto Calindri helped put the bottle on the map, complete with the catchy slogan, “Cynar, against the attrition of modern life.” While the recipe remains a secret, we know that this bittersweet beverage’s recipe includes 13 herbs and plants, most notably artichoke leaves. The brand even gets its title from Cynara scolymus, the artichoke’s botanical name.





#7: Yogurt


Many sources claim that Greek yogurt is one of the best things to eat before drinking alcohol if you want to prevent a hangover. We doubt that this is what they had in mind, however. Yogurito is an alcoholic beverage that can be purchased at Japanese bars, restaurants, and stores, although it’s developed and bottled in Europe. The plain flavor is often mixed with pineapple juice or orange juice, but Yogurito also comes with a strawberry flavor. As its name suggests, this creamy drink is indeed “made from yogurt and tastes like yogurt,” according to distributor Suntory. A Suntory rep stressed, though, that it’s “not yogurt,” adding, “We cannot say that it’s healthy.” So, don’t assume that it’s a nutritious substitute for your Greek yogurt.




#6: Mare’s Milk


Yogurt is far from the strangest dairy product on this list. We’ve all heard the phrase, “I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.” Have you ever been so thirsty that you could drink a female horse’s milk, though? Yeah, we don’t see that expression catching on either, but mare’s milk is the fundamental ingredient in Kumis. Popular throughout Central Asia, Kumis stands out as the national drink of Kyrgyzstan. While Kumis is technically an alcoholic beverage, it actually has very little alcohol - somewhere between 0.7 and 2.5%. The mare’s milk, meanwhile, contains more lactose than cow’s milk by 40% and offers a strong dose of Vitamin C. Maybe that’s why Kumis was the preferred beverage for both Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun.




#5: Snakes


Although it might sound like something that would be brewed in Halloween Town, eels, lizards, and spiders have all been used to produce liquor. As far as the animal kingdom goes, there isn’t a stranger ingredient than snakes. Snake whiskey can be traced back to the Western Zhou dynasty in ancient China and has since gained popularity across Asia. It’s hard to miss this drink sitting on a shelf, seeing how it literally has a snake or cobra in the bottle! Rice wine or sake is used to drown the snake in the bottle, which sits for a few months until the liquor develops its signature kick. Even if you’re not adventurous enough to try a glass, it certainly makes for a great photo op.





#4: Stale Bread


Just because bread is past its expiration date doesn’t mean you need to chuck it in the trash. Prominent in Russia, Kvass is a fermented beverage made with stale rye bread cubes. Kvass became widespread during the Middle Ages among Eastern European peasants. People of lower status actually drank Kvass more often than water, as it was thought to be safer due to a lower chance of contamination. Along with bread and yeast, honey, raisins, and fruit can also be added to give the drink some extra zing. Who knew that something so stale could produce something so refreshing? Despite being regarded as a non-alcoholic drink by some countries, Kvass is usually around 0.5–1.0% alcohol.




#3: Chewed Corn


Typically, when someone spits in another person’s drink, it’s meant as a way to get back at them. Chicha is a rare exception. While there’s more than one way to prepare this corn beer, we’re focusing on an old-fashioned method linked to ancient Peru. In a nutshell - or perhaps we should say in a cornhusk - maize is chewed, and then spat out, which is then followed by fermentation. Although this method dates back to ancient times, it’s still practiced at modern distilleries like Dogfish Head. It may sound like an unsanitary tradition to keep alive, but Dogfish founder Sam Calagione explained, “ancient brewers through trial and error learned that the natural enzymes in saliva would convert the starch in corn into sugar, so it would ferment.”






#2: A Human Toe


Under normal circumstances, we’d suggest calling the health inspector or at least asking for a refund if there’s a toe in your drink. When somebody orders a Sourtoe Cocktail in Northern Canada, though, they can’t exactly claim false advertising. Some believe that this cocktail stems back to the prohibition era, when Louie Linken accidentally froze his right foot. Louie’s brother Otto was forced to amputate his toe, which was preserved in a jar of alcohol that Captain Dick Stevenson found in 1973. Stevenson thus invented the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, which has a single rule to gain membership: “You can drink it fast. You can drink it slow. But your lips must touch that gnarly toe.” We guess when life gives you a severed toe, make a cocktail… ?




#1: Kid Poop


No, we’re not crazy, and this isn’t something out of a gross-out comedy. Ttongsul is a very real beverage and it consists of human fecal matter. More specifically, it’s made from a human child’s fecal matter. The drink is about 9% alcohol and we honestly don’t want to think about the other 91%. This Korean rice wine, or “feces wine” as it’s also called, was supposedly used for treating bruises, bone fractures, and epilepsy in ancient Korea. Unsurprisingly, Ttongsul isn’t all that common anymore, with the tradition apparently dying out around the 1960s. That’s not to say it was entirely abandoned, as some diehards still tout its efficacy and lament the tradition’s lapse. Some might find it bizarre, but one child’s poop is another person’s treasure.

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