Scouting the world for booze with bite – Metro US

Scouting the world for booze with bite

In the interests of journalistic research, Metro has spent many years sampling the world’s alcohols. We present the most dangerous drinks the world over.

Everclear, USA
Weighing in at 191 proof, it is basically impossible to distill alcohol any stronger than this. And for this reason Everclear is illegal in 15 states. The label states “contents may ignite or explode.” Utterly undrinkable but handy for fuelling camping stoves.
• $15, Available at liquor stores and winechateau.com

Cicha, Peru
At it’s best in the Amazon Basin region where the cassava root is chewed and mixed with saliva before being spat through the teeth into bowls. The resulting blue-white goo is then fermented — with the saliva enzymes helping create the alcohol.
• Available locally, free.

Poteen, Ireland
Traditionally made in buckets in the barns of rural Ireland, poteen has now been replaced by a much more sophisticated drink marketed as a “contemporary slightly sweet cocktail base.” Don’t be fooled by the Irish blarney though, it’ll knock you off your feet.
• $45, irish-poteen.com

Mezcal with agave worm, Mexico
Folklore says the worm found in mescal possesses hallucinogenic qualities. Actually it’s a gimmick and totally harmless; unlike Mezcal, which has a kick like a mule. Some of the best in Mexico is sold by the roadside in used mineral water bottles…as is some of the worst.
• $45, globally

Snake wine, Vietnam
Basically a venomous cobra (or sometimes a few scorpions) stuffed in a bottle of sake. Add herbs, mix and stand back in horror. In reality it just tastes of sake, but with the added edge of knowing there’s snake poison in there.
• $88, asiansnakewine.com