10 of The World's Weirdest and Wackiest Cocktails
"Hello Sir, a cocktail you say? Would you like whale sperm,
pig's blood or an amputated toe with that?"
A cocktail, for us, is the delicate balance of three or more ingredients, including but not limited to spirits, tinctures, mixers and bitters. But for renegade bars and bartenders across the globe, ingredient boundary-pushing has resulted in some of the weirdest and wackiest cocktails - the kind of concoctions we could never have even imagined... And yes, one such drink even includes an amputated toe.
So here's our top ten of the world's strangest creations:
WHAT? Meaty madness. The bonkers Meatequita combines tequila-infused with chorizo, vegetable juice, balsamic vinegar, smoked sea salt, pepper and port. Garnished with biltong strips and grilled chorizo, this is more of a meal than a drink.
WHY? Why not...? As foodies get creative with flavours there's no reason to stop mixologists also experimenting with pairings traditionally reserved for in the kitchen...
WHERE? Created by the inventive Bar Team at Shaka Zulu, London. Whilst not currently on the menu, you can still drink sharer cocktails out of leopard heads and elephant shaped jugs.
2. DEEP SEA
WHAT? A deep sea treat of Bols Genever, vermouth, ocean bitters, squid ink, and seaweed wrap.
WHY? Have you not ever looked at the ocean and wanted to make it into a cocktail? Well, it seems the Nightjar Team have, mixing up all kinds of oceanic vibes with this drink, including squid ink. A cocktail probably best enjoyed if sipped on slowly.
WHERE? Consistently voted amongst the top bars in the world, the Nightjar Bar Team are pro's. So whilst Deep Sea certainly sounds a bizarre creation, it's likely to be a taste sensation.
3. BUBBLE BATH MARTINI
WHAT? Lychee, poppy seed and lavender-flavoured liquid with rose air to create those luscious bubbles.
WHY? A long old soak is one of life's little luxuries. Sweet, fun and floral - it even comes with a rubber duck.
WHERE? Lounge Bohemia is a retro speakeasy that doesn't give much away. The website is one image; you need a booking; and don't even think of turning up in a suit and tie (that is, if you can actually find the place). Once inside, pick up one of the books lying around - the drinks menu. Is the Bubble Bath Martini still on it? Who knows, but all the cocktails here are the good kind of weird; think candy floss, perfume bottles and toothpaste tubes.
Don’t ask questions, just enjoy it.
4. CAMEL MILK MOCKTAILS
WHAT? Abu Dhabi’s Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal has its very own camel milk mixologist. Imagine that as your job title.. Mohammad Daoud holds the position and originally created his camel milk mocktails for Muslims celebrating Ramadan.
WHY? Compared to cows’ milk, camel milk is three times as rich in Vitamin C and is full of iron, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins, making it the ideal drink to consume during Suhoor, the meal taken prior to sunrise during Ramadan, Plus, it comes in several flavours including strawberry, cherry and nut. Mmm... cherry milk...
WHERE? The Mijana Restaurant, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi
5. THE GUNPOWDER PLOT
WHAT? This Guy Fawkes-inspired cocktail is the creation of Sydney bartender Grant Collins. An elaborate take on a gin sour, gin is infused with “gunpowder flavours” and shaken with fernet branca (a traditional herb digestive) and egg white.
WHY? We're not really sure what gunpowder flavours means exactly, but the technique used in the infusion of the creamy froth of this drink is quite a spectacle. It comes served in a smoking cloche amid a pile of twigs and oak-scented fog. Sadly no explosions though.
WHERE? An out-there drink from Oz, find it at Zeta Bar, Hilton, George Street, Sydney. Smokin’...
6. ROCKET SYMPHONY
WHAT? Vodka, rocket leaves, coconut, lime, almond and passion fruit make up The Burlington Social Club's botanical offering. Looking more like a science experiment than a cocktail, this is our kind of salad.
WHY? The ideal way to make sure you eat your greens...
WHERE? Sadly, this cocktail isn't currently available. Served up at The Burlington Social Club in 2013, a pop-up Members-Only experience from the Pret A Diner folk, the world's best mixologists (flown in for the residency) have since returned to their day jobs, taking all of the Burlington's wacky creations with them.
7. THE SLAUGHTERED
WHAT? Whiskey, coffee, Kahlua, dark chocolate liqueur, Campari, orange juice, raspberry liqueur and err… pig’s blood.
WHY? To prove you're a tough cookie? To see whether blood is an undiscovered *genius* cocktail ingredient? For man points?
WHERE? It turns out pig's blood wasn't the new bitters as No.9 Park Walk shut down just a few months after opening, turning into another Chelsea run-of-the-mill location-for-hire, sadly. So it would be a case of DIY should you want to sip on The Slaughtered. Not that we'd suggest trying this one at home...
8. THE FULL ENGLISH
WHAT? A cocktail made with the key ingredients of a breakfast fry-up; Black Cow vodka (a Dorset-made spirit made entirely from milk), black pudding fat, tomato juice, horseradish, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, Colman’s mustard, some HP sauce and even a touch of Marmite. Served in a Heinz baked beans can and garnished with streaky bacon, toast, tomato and a pickled quail’s egg.
WHY? Patriotism at its finest.
WHERE? The Victory Mansions in London’s Stoke Newington created The Full English for April 2016 to celebrate St George's Day and the Queen turning 90. Expect imitations to soon follow!
9. THE MOBY DICK SAZERAC
WHAT? Rye, Peychaud's bitters, absinthe rice and ambergris. Amber-what, you ask? Ambergris: A natural, musky secretion from the bile ducts of sperm whales... Delicious.
WHY? Because it’s not THAT weird... Ambergris is often used in perfumes to accentuate other aromas and here it gives off fennel notes, a mouthfeel not dissimilar to gomme and ensures a lasting finish long after consumption.
WHERE? White Lyan – where none of the cocktails come with ice or fruit; the glasses are near-frozen to start, and as the concoctions warm up the flavours change and develop. Yes, even the 'flavours' of sperm whale secretion.
10. THE SOURTOE
WHAT? Arguably the world's weirdest (and grossest) cocktail - if it can even be called that - The SourToe Cocktail is any drink at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson, Yukon, but with the addition of a real, preserved, amputated toe...
WHY? We have no idea.... A 'tradition' started in 1973 by Yukon local Captain Dick Stevenson, there have been 9 toes swallowed in the last 40 years - the most recent consumed 'on purpose' in August 2013. If you do opt for a SourToe cocktail you're at least rewarded with your name in a Toe Log and a certificate - just be sure to abide by the SourToe mantra: "You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—but the lips have gotta touch the toe."
WHERE? Downtown Hotel, Dawson City, Yukon, Canada