We’re used to dealing with pests in lots of strange places, but in your cocktail? It’s not as odd as you might think, though. We have found some weird and wonderful drinks from around the globe, all of which contain household pests. So it’s with great pleasure, and mild bemusement, we bring you our compendium of thirst-quenching (and some stomach-turning) refreshments.
The tequila worm was introduced as a marketing gimmick in the 1950’s. The worm is actually moth larvae otherwise known as the increasingly sought after agave worm which lives in the blue agave plant from which tequila is made. If one of them lands in your glass, you’ve supposed to down it!
Backpackers who’ve visited Vietnam or Thailand may have come across snake wine. It’s an important part of traditional Chinese medicine, having been around since at least 770BC, and it is apparently good for curing all kind of disorders, from back pain to hair loss to impotence.
It’s made by placing whole venomous snakes in rice wine, with the idea being that the intact snake will infuse the alcohol with its power. The wine is safe to drink as the alcohol breaks down the proteins in the venom.
Apparently adding to the flavour, the scorpion is infused in vodka for at least three months. Not only that, but these farm-raised scorpions have had their venom removed, to make them safe for human consumption. Which is to say, you can eat the scorpions after you’ve drunk the vodka. Hmmm… I wonder if they are chewy?
Baby Mice Wine
If you’ve got this far through the list, you can probably believe there is a wine that contains mice. This wine, popular in China and Korea, is made by stuffing mice into rice wine. As with many of the drinks in this list, it supposedly has medicinal powers, but the only reason I’d drink it is if it gave me superpowers. But even then, I don’t think I would try it.
Another drink hailing from Asia, this peculiarity apparently helps improve eyesight. Personally, I thought carrots did something similar, and they are far less nauseating. Unsurprisingly, the gekkos are stuffed in – you guessed it – rice wine. China has exported this product for centuries, so maybe there’s something to all this “pests in alcohol” related drinks.
‘The End of History’ beer with squirrels and stoats
Okay, this one’s not quite the same because instead of a squirrel in your beer, you get your beer in a squirrel. Produced in a now sold-out limited run of 12 bottles by Scottish company BrewDog, this blond Belgian ale, called The End of History is unbelievably potent (55% ABV). BrewDog categorically states the stuffed squirrels or stoats were all road-kill victims.
Green Tree Ant Larvae Drink
The Aborigines of North Queensland used to mash up ant larvae with water to form a refreshing drink that was used to treat headaches and colds. The potion could also be used as an antiseptic.
So, there you have it. A run-down of pests pickled in booze or mashed-up for medicinal purposes. But bug hunters beware – lots of red or orange drinks contain carmine – a colouring made from beetles. Bottoms-up!