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The Worst Booze on the Planet

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We love booze, but lines must be drawn. Today, we're looking at booze that is just plain wrong. It's a freakin' horror show.

It's Friday afternoon, you've made it through the long week, and it's time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo's weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Woo-hoo, let's get drunk.




I went to Bali when I was 20 and was excited to try the local booze. Brem is Balinese rice wine. It looks like soy sauce. It smells like soy sauce. But it tastes... like (alcoholic) soy sauce. Even as an under-aged kid in a foreign country eager to gulp down whatever booze I could while legally permitted, I couldn't handle it. That salty nastiness wasn't worth the buzz. Also in Bali I sampled some Arak, which is Balinese moonshine. It was poured out of a gas can. I'm not kidding. [Art: Arak Bali]


Changaa literally means "kill me quick." This is both because tasting it will make you want to die, and because it will actually kill you. Changaa is basically Kenyan moonshine that's distilled from grains like millet, maize and sorghum. Sounds okay, right? Oh, except here's the thing: it's made by horrible, violent, scary gangs. And because there are rival gangs, each gang wants its changaa to pack the most punch. So they flavor it with nice normal things like jet fuel, embalming fluid or battery acid. Even without that shit it may cause blindness. With it, it can kill you mighty quick indeed. [Art: Cracked]

Bud Light and Clamato


Start with an American macro-brew lager, which is an abomination in itself (all corn, no hops). Then make it even lighter than that piss-water already is. Then, in another beaker, take tomato juice and mix it with clam juice. Yes, the "juice" of a clam. Then mix those beakers together and you have this swill in a can. Basically it's like three abominations in one.



No. Just no. I mean, funny, but not cool. And yes, of course, it's 69 proof... okay, fine I might actually try this. [NutLiquor]

Four Loko


I curse the soul of the demon that created this stuff. This shit is responsible for 97% of all the black out/puke stories I heard in 2010. This shit is pure evil. A) It tastes like death, B) it's artificially colored so brightly that it will make your guts glow like vegas, C) the combination of a lot of booze, a ton of caffeine, and all kinds of other poisons make this stuff an unwitting-suicide attempt in a can. They were forced to pull the caffeine out, which made people stop dying, and consequently stop caring. Ev-il.

Dead Things in Booze


Hold on... suppressing gag reflex... aannnd okay here we go. Why do we put dead things in booze? Whose idea was this? Here in the U.S. the weirdest you'll probably see is a worm in that bottle of mescal that your friend brought from Mexico. Tame. Head over to Asia and you'll find geckos, lizards, poisonous snakes, scorpions, and eels. Okay, that stuff is pretty horrible, but oh holy balls take a good look at this horror show: Yes, those are newborn baby mice. A lot of them. It's used as a sort of cure-all in rural parts of Korea. It will certainly cure me of all desire to ever eat again. [CoolHQPix]

And now, the biggest abomination of them all...

Non-Alcoholic Scotch Whiskey


Look, I get that some people out there have medical conditions or religious beliefs that keep them from drinking. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your dignity. What is the flavor of wrong? You're looking at it. And it's not just one company that's come up with this genius idea, there are several of them. All of these companies claim that they look and taste exactly like real Scotch. No. They. Fucking. Don't. One of these companies also has a non-alcoholic vodka. Hey, I have some really good non-alcoholic vodka: it's called water. Really, though, screw with vodka all you want, but you do not mess with scotch. Some things in life are sacred, and some temples must not be defiled.

There were plenty of others that I considered. Smoked salmon flavored vodka? Sure, could be good in a bloody mary. Fermented horse-milk? Who couldn't use more calcium? But hey, if you've got some weird ones, by all means, let 'em rip in the comments, and check back next Friday afternoon for more Happy Hour.


Image credit: Shutterstock/Laurin Rinder