We all have that dust-covered bottle of mystery booze lingering at the back of a cabinet – the one with the kooky animal shape perhaps, or syrupy day-glo fluid. Most of us tend to dismiss such curiosities out of hand as mere gimmicks (may we suggest a sip of Cinnabon vodka?). Yet there's a big wonderful, or at the very least interesting, world beyond the usual and safe vodka-gin-whiskey-tequila club most of us cling to. Here are a dozen of the most intriguing or exotic concoctions we've seen from across the globe that you can actually buy and try yourself.
Homebrewed for centuries in Holland, this thick eggnog-like spirit is made by combining brandy, sugar, egg yolks, honey, vanilla, and cream. The result is a custardy, yellow concoction that's often eaten by spoon (though the bottled export version is thinner) and despite a 20-percent ABV. This common ingredient in Dutch desserts has a bright, yellow hue due to the yolks being the most abundant ingredient. In Holland, Advocaat is a common topping for waffles as well as being imbibed on its own as a dessert liqueur. Advocaat works well in cocktails containing Pernod, various flavored liqueurs, or as a replacement for Irish cream, Kahlua, or Baileys. [$22 for 750 ml; dwersteg.de]