“Wait, I don’t understand. It’s alcohol that I DON’T want inside me?”
~A Confused Johnny Roosevelt, AFFotD Editor-in-Chief
In the past, we’ve written a fair amount on strange and disgusting vodkas as proof that not all American innovations in letting 17-year-olds get drunk on things that don’t taste like burning necessarily are winners. But those are just vodkas with gross flavors. A neutral spirit, flavored to taste like bubble gum or cactus or whatever the fuck isn’t nearly as novel as it was maybe eight years ago. Now, that shit’s everywhere, and you don’t even blink at seeing fruit loops flavored vodka.
The perverse flavoring of other types of liquor, however, is uncharted territory. And, considering how long we’ve had to figure out what kinds of liquor actually taste good (there’s a reason why soju is the largest selling alcohol in the world, but we have enough sense to make it next to impossible to find because soju is garbage) it’s probably not too surprising that in our quest to find new liquor ideas, we’ve stumbled across some terrifying misses.
These are those misses.
The Worst Flavored Liquor Ideas
When we were looking at the grossest and most disturbing types of liquor out there, we realized pretty quickly that we had to disqualify digestifs and weirdo bitter European liquors. Because while those are bad, they’re not trying to be innovative, they’re just relics of an older time where people liked to get drunk on the taste of earwax and ruined friendships. Now, these kinds of liquors are rarely seen, and when they are, they literally market themselves as “drink us, we dare you.
That’s a little thing called branding.
But we don’t have to delve into the multitudes of liquors that taste like bark for whatever fucking reason to find spirits that truly are just bad ideas.
Douglas Fir Eau de Vie
Okay, when we were talking about how spirits don’t have to make themselves taste like fucking bark to make this list, we might have spoken a bit prematurely, because Clear Creek Distillery out of Portland, Oregon (not surprisingly) decided to take ten years to develop a tree spirit, which is a liquor flavored with chunks of trees, and not an awkward line from a deleted scene of Dances With Wolves. The Douglas Fir Eau de Vie (which is a surrender-term meaning “water of life”) picks springtime buds from a Douglas fir, infuses them into a clear brandy, which is in turn re-distilled, re-infused, strained, bottled, and sold for $50 bucks.
Wait, what’s that? It’s $50 for a fucking 12 ounce bottle? What the hell? So hey, if you have an alcoholic uncle who likes to eat needles from your Christmas tree once he blacks out, but also a lot of disposable income invested in encouraging his unhealthy lifestyle, um, well, we guess Portland made some booze you should buy? For the rest of you, we recommend chugging everclear and stabbing into trees to lick whatever sap seeps out like a normal person.
Oh Jesus. What the fuck, Malibu? In case you can’t read the words on the bottle that are literally directly above these words you are currently reading, Malibu red is a 70 proof Malibu product that combines Malibu’s trademark coconut flavored rum with tequila. As in a completely different liquor that sounds like it would be awful when mixed with rum and coconut. We’re going to take a brief detour here, so stick with us. One time in college, our editor-in-chief invented a drink that he called the “Irish Potato Famine.” He joked that it was half a shot of vodka, half a shot of whiskey, and when you drink it your youngest child dies of cholera, because surprise surprise, our editor-in-chief is kind of offensive. Anyway, he tried making it one night, and almost puked immediately. Vodka and whiskey are apparently terrible taken together.
We’d have to imagine that tequila, rum, and coconut liquor are also puke-worthy when drank at the same time. Malibu Red was made in collaboration with Ne-Yo, because when the Grammy winning singer of “Miss Independent” and star of the direct-to-video sequel Save the Last Dance 2 tells you to put rum in your tequila, you listen, for some reason. Malibu’s website says you can enjoy Malibu Red in “one of our specially created MALIBU RED cocktails” while secretly realizing they have no idea how to sell this terrifying product. Seriously, if you look on their website that we linked at the top of this section, you’ll see their entire list of drink recipes. They are—MALIBU RED Cola Danger (Malibu Red and coke), MALIBU RED Chilled Smooth (…a chilled shot), and MALIBU RED Margarita (a shot, followed by biting into a piece of lemon).
When your “drink recipes” basically come from “we gave some booze to a Frat party and wanted to see how they’d drink it” your booze probably isn’t that good. Just saying.
Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur
We’re not gonna waste time that we could spend drinking trying to sell how gross the concept of this alcoholic yogurt drink sold by a Dutch distiller is. So we’ll just copy/paste some of their actual marketing copy to tell you all you need to know about this, um, product.
“Bols Natural Yoghurt Liquer has a unique sweet and sour taste profile.”
When your liquor is sweet and sour, we’re less likely to think, “Oh, what a quaint and unique taste profile” and are more likely to think, “Our booze has spoiled, and we are being poisoned, this is the end isn’t it, tell the doctor that I’m an organ donor but the liver will be useless for anyone else.”
“The bottle has been designed with a special coating to ensure that the product remains in optimum condition.”
This is their way of saying, “We made this booze out of liquor, and when it goes bad it goes REALLY BAD.”
“Aroma: Unmistakably yoghurt.”
Not only does it smell like yogurt (spell it right, you damn Dutch) but it smells unmistakably like yogurt. That is not a good sign. That’s a horrible sign. Nothing with an “unmistakable” odor smells good. “Unmistakably fishy.” “Unmistakably sour.” “Unmistakably like semen.” Okay, that last one was us being childish, let’s just move on.
“Colour: Creamy white.”
DAMMIT WE SAID MOVE ON.
Hot Rose/Tequila Rose
Tequila is not a really mixable liquor. You can pour some in lime juice and triple sec in it to get yourself a nice margarita, and you can mix it with some orange juice and grenadine to make a tequila sunrise, or you can do how 80% of tequila is consumed and just take a shot with some lime wedges and salt. Of all the liquors to try to enhance with flavors, tequila is about the least malleable. So the good folks at McCormick Distilling realized that that should probably stick with something sensible when designing their tequila line.
Haha, just kidding, they chugged a bunch of cough syrup and were like, “FUCK IT, HOW ABOUT MIXING TEQUILLA WITH CREAM! AND LET’S GIVE IT FLAVORS!” So you can get Tequila Rose, which is strawberry cream tequila.
We’ll pause and wait for you to finish gagging.
Okay, and we have Hot Rose, which mixes tequila with two other unmixable ingredients—cream and cinnamon. We don’t use the term “war crime against alcohol drinkers” often…granted, we use it more than anyone else on the planet, but it’s still a rarity for us. Anyway, this here is definitely a war crime. Do not drink this, it is bad.
What happens when some Ohio State bros decide they want to break into the liquor market by offering something that nobody sells, and one of them probably went to Japan this one time for like a few weeks and thought it was “transformative”? You get Karate Cowboy, founded by Mark Tinus (pictured here with a shot ski. Seriously), a honey wasabi flavored sake and spirit mix that, when we say it out loud, could be an elaborate test to see if we’re racist enough to believe that such a thing could exist.
You know, we’re…we’re just gonna just pretend that this doesn’t exist. Never mind that the above photo is literally a picture one of our staffers took in a bar bathroom, we’re choosing to live in a world where no one decided to make a “new exciting spirit” by taking sake, flavoring it with wasabi (eww) and honey (what?) and calling it Karate Cowboy (BECAUSE AMERICA AND JAPAN AND RACISM). No, we’ll just finish this bottle of Jim Beam honey and tell ourselves that it’s just the delirium tremens making us see things that aren’t there again.
Yes. We’ll just say that.