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.
Mexico is the hallowed birthplace of tequila, but its lesser known brother is equally intriguing if far less intoxicating (at around five-percent ABV). Produced in some form or another for thousands of years – the ancient Aztecs brewed a version to honor the fertility goddess Mayahuel – pulque is a traditional beverage to central Mexico. Made from the fermented sap of the maguey (a relative of agave, the same plant used to make mezcal and tequila), it has an oddly foamy, milky, thick texture and a sour yeasty flavor. [$2 for 12oz; pocotequila.com]