1 Sep ’10

24 Weird & Shocking Drinks in Asia

1. Lizard Wine

A rare beverage in China and other countries in the far east. A bottle of lizard wine can be brewed for more than 10 years. Other than lizards, some people add geckos and ginseng (ginnsuu) in a bottle of rice wine as well.

2. Scorpion Wine

In some Asian countries, people eat scorpions and use them to make wine: scorpion vodka, scorpion whisky and scorpion mezcal. Although it is said that scorpion wine tastes a bit like wood, it is said to improve a lot of illnesses such as rheumatism and facial nerve paralysis.

3. Baby Mouse Wine

Baby mouse wine is a popular beverage in some areas in China and Korea. As a matter of fact, it is a traditional Korean drink, which is brewed by drowning baby mice alive (!!!!!), letting them to ferment within the bottle for about a year!

It reportedly tastes like gas!! However, according to local Korean belief, baby mouse wine is really a cure to just about any illness imaginable, such as asthma and liver problems. Does it sound remotely tempting to you ?

4. Snake Wine

Do you have dry skin and other health problems? Try snake wine: cobra whisky, vine snake whisky, Vietnamese snake wine, etc. The snake is often placed with many smaller snakes, turtles, insects, or birds, and left to ferment for many months.

Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage that includes a whole venomous snake in the bottle. It originated in Vietnam and can be found around Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, snake wine is widely believed by some individuals to improve health and virility.

Braver drinkers may eat certain parts of the snake or snakes such as the gall bladder, the eyeballs and stomach… :S

5. Kumis

Kumis is a fermented dairy product traditionally made from mare’s milk. The drink remains important to the people of the Central Asian steppes, including the Turks, Bashkirs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Mongols, Yakuts and Uzbeks. It was also consumed by Hungarian tribes.

Some people in Southeast Asia drink kumis too. The former U.S. president George Bush had a taste of kumis in Mongolia, and apparently he liked it.

6. Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee

Kopi luwak, or civet coffee, is coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract.

The Asian Palm Civet, is a cat-sized mammal in the family Viverridae native to Southeast Asia, South India and southern China. It is colloquially known as the Common Palm Civet, Toddy Cat, Motit, Marapatti, Uguduwa, or Maranai.

7. Human Breast Milk

In western countries, it is almost impossible for adults to drink human breast milk in daily life. However in countries like Japan, some adults are tired of cow milk or goat milk. Therefore, Japanese companies gave their consumers another option. While we are aware that human breast milk is good and healthy for babies, scientists are just now beginning to test consumption of the milk by adults.

Recently, some men with cancer have begun drinking human milk because it may reduce the size of cancerous tumors. One study, conducted in 1995, shows that a compound in human milk, alpha lactalbumin, killed cells from a brain tumor in a test tube. In 2004, the same scientific team found that the same compound destroys warts caused by the HPV virus.

Doctors say that more studies must be made before the real benefits will be known. The only problem with drinking human breast milk is if the woman who produces it has a disease; it may be possible to spread the disease through her milk.

8. Eel Soda

You may have heard of eel soup or eel wine, what about eel soda? Unagi-Nobori soda is an energy drink made from the extract of eel’s skull along with 5 essential vitamins.

According to Japanese folk tradition, eating eel is reputed to give one extra energy on summer’s hottest, most humid days. These days though, one doesn’t always have time for a leisurely lunch of delicious barbecued eel.

Thus since July, 2010, Unagi-Nobori soda has been out in the market for anyone who’s interested to purchase.

9. Okkikunare Drinks or Breast Enlarging Drinks

“Okkikunare” literally means “make them bigger”. There are different flavors of Okkikunare drinks, such as the apple, mango and peach flavors above.

Made by a company called Welcia, the special bust-boosting ingredient in Okkikunare drinks is powdered arrowroot containing the same sort of isoflavones found in soybeans, which are said to “stimulate the female hormone system”.

Nevertheless, the drinks are also sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to obesity! Indeed, “Okkikunare”!

Well, even though it is not a natural way to increase breast size, I’m sure a lot of the girls in the country will give it a try. In fact, Okkikunare drinks have already been popular among Japanese models and teenage girls. It has also been a hot topic in various Japanese magazines.

10. Curry Ramune and Wasabi Ramune

Ramune is a popular Japanese soda that is usually fruit flavoured. However, Ramune also makes two strongly flavoured sodas: curry soda  and wasabi soda.

Note that the label on the curry flavoured Ramune actually explains that it is a combination of curry and lemonade flavors.

11. Fanta Furufuru Shaker

Consumers are looking for more indulgent and exciting new products even during the economic downturn. In that case, a mysterious and exciting Fanta product was produced by The Coca-Cola Company in Japan. But remember: if you don’t shake it, you can’t drink it.

This beverage starts off in a semi-gelled state, once you shake it, the Fanta becomes carbonated. So, drink it now while it’s fizzy.

12. Coolpis Kimchi

If you’re familiar with Korean food, you have definitely tried kimchi before. Kimchi is also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee. It is a traditional fermented Korean dish that is made of vegetables with varied seasonings.

If you like kimchi, would you like to try out the Coolpis Kimchi drink that is made from Kimchi?

13. Placenta 400,000!!!

With zero calories, this Japanese FOSHU (Food for Specific Health Use) is making you look and feel beautiful again. Placenta 400,000 is believed to have regenerative properties, especially concerning beauty, and can help with dieting as well.

The good thing is, Placenta 100,000 tastes and smells like a peach!! But if you can’t stand the taste of peaches, try out Placenta 400,000 that has a natural placenta taste! Mmmm, placenta…

14. Bilk

Bilk is the combination of “beer” and “milk”. The ingredients are implied in the name; 70% beer, 30% milk. Bilk is actually very popular in Japan now.

15. Kid’s Wine

As a matter of fact, this kid’s wine does not contain any alcohol; it’s just the bottle with non-alcoholic liquid! Kid’s wine  is a limited product for any child who dreams of toasting with their parents at dinner or festive meals.

A real step forward in giving the young generation a good example to follow…

16. Pepsi White or Yogurt Pepsi

Another strange drink in Japan: a limited edition version of Pepsi that blended the sweet taste of cola with the creaminess of yogurt.

17. NEEDS Cheese Drink

Japan doesn’t have a developed dairy industry because of the limited amount of available land. Even so, an innovative company introduced NEEDS cheese drink, which reportedly tastes a bit like yogurt. You know you NEEDS it…

18. Bottled Water

Do you want a different kind of experience? This bottled water produced in Japan is literally water in a can…!!

19. Hawaiian Deep-Sea Water

Koyo USA Corp, the maker of MaHaLo brand “Hawaiian Deep-Sea Water”, is making a killing on desalinated deep ocean water. Thirst-crazed Japanese are falling all over themselves to buy it at between $4 and $6 per 1.5 liter bottle.

Koyo USA Corp produces 200,000 bottles of processed seawater a day and can barely keep up with demand in Japan. According to company spokesman John Frosted, “At this point, we just can’t make enough. We have no surplus”.

20. Yak Butter Tea

The Tibetans like their tea in a manly combination: from manly tea leaves, yak butter and salt. Nomads in Tibet commonly down 40 cups of yak butter tea a day.

They pour tea into a wooden bowl, throw in a piece of yak butter, stir with fingers, and down the tea.

21. Drink with Onion and Garlic Ingredient


If you are fans of spices such as onion and garlic, check this out: a weird drink with onion and garlic as its ingredients.


According to the Korean manufacturer, garlic once served as a source of strength for workers to build the Pyramids. Thus I assume this will somehow boost your energy?

22. Melon Milk

Melon Milk produced in Japan actually doesn’t taste bad, it does taste a little strange though. Melon is in fact a major fruit flavor in Japan.

23. Cake soda

Another drink product in Japan. I’m not sure whether it is bad for your teeth, but giving it a try once won’t hurt…!? If you’re short on money for a birthday cake, I guess it can substitute for one.

24. Pocari Sweat

Pocari Sweat is a popular Japanese soft drink and sports drink, manufactured by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.. It has a mild grapefruit flavor with little aftertaste. It was first sold in Japan in 1980. Nowadays you can purchase it in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

According to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., “sweat” has meanings of diligence, efforts, refreshingness in Japanese. But the myth lies in that “pocari” is an onomatope. Onomatope is a Japanese word; it has similar meaning with onomatopoeia (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle, bang, bowwow, buzz, etc.). However, there is a remarkable difference between onomatope and onomatopoeia.

In English, onomatopoeia is mainly used for describing a sound or a noise. Whereas, onomatope in Japanese expresses not only a sound or a noise, but a situation or a mood. “Pocari” is used in the latter way. Japanese consumers tend to admire English-like names. Thus, a lot of the Japanese products tend to have Japlish names like Pocari Sweat.

(If you can’t get enough of Asian weird drinks, how about 27 Unique & Unusual Restaurants in Asia?)

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Written by: Nia
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About the Author

Nia, Redflava Writer.


  1. Tombo-san

    How can people drink some of that stuff


  2. Nia

    Human willpower :P

  3. I want to try that snake drink, but no thanks for that rat drink.

  4. Another good one from Japan is Calpis which is pronounced like “Cow Piss”. Tried it once. Never again. (Very popular here though).

    Saw the Snake drinks in Okinawa once (think it was snake shochu or something). Think I chickened out of trying it though.

  5. Kintaro-san

    Pocari is damn good. I used to take one after every tennis lesson..

  6. kay

    Hi, can you tell me if it is the same Snake Wine ?

    And do you know where to buy bottles with spyders or other animals/insects ?

    Thanks for help.

  7. wow, some look CRAZY! :D

  8. kaiide

    crazy! I dont mind trying some of them.

  9. lol, some sound like good stuff, meant to be good for your health!?

  10. :D

    This is very interesting to me.

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