7 of the Strangest Alcoholic Drinks in Asia

written by local expert Becky Rogers

Becky is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast and is now living in France as an expat. When she is not writing about travel gear and various destinations she has visited during her travels, you can find her playing with her two dogs.

We have all heard the horrors and funny anecdotal stories of Asian street food, but no one ever talks about the drinks! Yes, they are just as crazy as the food and in some cases a lot worse. You will soon find yourself wishing for that pint of beer or 12 shots of jägerbomb you had to down in university, because compared to these, they don’t seem as bad! So here we go, 7 crazy but completely true alcoholic drinks that you can find around Asia. Try them at your own risk!

Three-penis Liquor

Kicking off our weird list is the hardcore Chinese spirit, the “Three-penis liquor.” Like many people, you may find yourself with a confused expression with your mouth hanging open. Don’t worry, that’s a normal reaction! This traditional Chinese medicine contains a mixture of seal, deer and Cantonese dog penis, and is believed to boost the virility and potency of males. You will find it in the majority of supermarkets, especially around Shanghai, so if you feel the need to indulge in this delicious “cock”-tail, it won’t be far away! Just remember to buy some breath mints too.

Snake Wine

There are many things you could do with a whole venomous snake, but you wouldn’t think infusing it in alcohol for a tasty snake poison alcohol mix would be at the top of the list. For Vietnam it is. As snakes are widely believed to possess medicinal qualities, you will find this drink advertised for health and virility all over Southeast Asia. The chilling sight of a whole snake in a bottle is more for the tourists! In Snake Village, an area of bars in Hanoi, customers can have anything from a ‘beating heart’ shot to snake steak and crispy snake skin!

Snakes are often seen mixed with scorpions, turtles, lizards and other animals to supposedly offer even more health benefits! All you need to do is decide if the ‘benefits’ are worth it.

Related: Guide to Planning Your Dream Trip to Vietnamsnake wine asia


Although not made in Asia, this Dutch-brewed beverage is directly targeted at the Japanese market. Have you ever noticed that you can find a lot of sweet food and drinks in Asia that really shouldn’t be? Like sweet crisps, it seriously messes with your head! It’s no different for Yogurito! This tangy, yogurt-based liquor can be drank straight or mixed with orange or pineapple juice (for you serious sweet-toothed guys!). Many have said that the creamy, fruit-sweet combo is surprisingly good. However if you’re like me, you might want to give this drink a miss and keep the teeth happy.

Giant Centipede Whiskey

Is 40% whiskey your poison? Or do you prefer herbal drinks? If the answer is both, this triple distilled white whiskey infused with a venomous giant centipede, is a North-east Thailand speciality. Once the venom infuses with the alcohol, the drink is considered ‘detoxified’ and safe for human consumption, although can you really consider a drink safe with a dead animal floating in it? That’s up to you to decide! You can find it in some parts of Southeast Asia sold as an aphrodisiac, and for back and muscle pain, if you want to give it a try.centipede whiskey

Mekong River Eel Wine

Are you sensing a theme yet? I thought so. A lot of Asian drinks tend to contain whole animals or animal parts which are advertised to have many health benefits. So expect more to come! A delicacy in Laos, this wine involves collecting eels from the Mekong River and fermenting them with wine for a year. Mix in some ginseng roots and herbs and it’s ready to serve! Want to pick up a bottle for your next party? You’ll only find this eel-ectrifying beverage in Laos!

Read: 10 Awesome Things to do in Laos

Three Lizard Liquor

When you get over the bizarre thought of a drink with a dead animal in it, you’ll soon be able to come to terms with a drink with several dead animals in it! Enter the Asian three-lizard liquor! Consumed in Chinese and Vietnamese villages to restore health and chi, the more lizards or geckos in one drink, the more energy you can absorb. It has also been widely believed that this drink prevents evil spirits from doing you harm. What more could you want from a drink?

Warning: The powerful energy of these lizards has been strongly confirmed by tourists who say they have more energy while they are drunk. Although that might just be the effects of the alcohol! In any case, I would personally just stick to red bull.

Baby Mice Wine

Think of your favourite type of wine. The smell of its fragrance filling your nose and the rich flavour swirling around your mouth. I bet none of you thought mice flavoured right! For the Chinese and Koreans, this isn’t so weird. Baby mice wine is a traditional health drink thought to cure any illness imaginable, including asthma and liver problems! (Who thought alcohol could cure liver problems?) A drink that you’d only consume if you had health issues, just try not to think about the baby mice that were drowned and fermented in the rice wine for a year. Just close your eyes.

Mouse wine
Photo By: Yun Huang Wong |via Flickr Creative Commons

By this time your taste buds are probably salivating at the thought of trying some of these delicious refreshments. Or not. A lot of these bad boys will taste vile, go down hard and settle even worse. One things for sure though, they will get you drunk quickly. You just need to decide whether the week long hang over will be worth it!

What are the strangest alcoholic drinks you’ve seen around Asia?For more WTF articles, check out these:

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