4 Creepy Drinks That Prove We Can Ruin Anything
There are many questionable drinks in existence: prison pruno, those creepy boozes with snakes, that thing you drank at the keg party you're pretty sure was not "just really thick and chunky chocolate milk" like they said, Bud Light ... the list is endless.
Still, most of that stuff makes perfect sense from someone's cultural or situational point of view (ain't no helping yourself to a nice glass of chardonnay behind bars). There are other drinks -- ones that lure in their helpless prey by basing themselves on other, seemingly innocent things like cheese. In my unerring Book of Shit That's Totally the Worst, these drinks are the potable equivalent of a Michael Bay-directed Nickelback video. Here are some of the worst offenders:
The Tonic That Ruins the Good Name of Meat
OK. I can do this. I can totally do this without bursting out in a torrent of boner jokes. Right, here we go:
The subject of this entry is a tonic known as Valentine's Meat-Juice, a well-known historical ahahahahaha oh shit I can't even write that name with a straight face.
Just ... just give me a second. I can be an adult about this, I swear.
Oh, like hell I can. Valentine's Meat-Juice (Valentine's Meat-Juice!) was a huge, swinging hit all over Richmond, Virginia, in the latter half of the 19th century, with hordes of fans raging hard on its behalf. Its inventor, Mann Valentine (Mann Valentine!), came up with the potent mixture when his wife, Maria, became so ill that keeping her properly nourished was rapidly becoming a huge pain in the ass. Luckily, Valentine was a man(n) with a plan: He would sow the seeds of health in his prone wife with a heaping helping of his soon-to-be-patented Mann juice. Summoning half-remembered chemistry lessons from his school days, he locked himself in the cellar, tirelessly laying pipe until he had built an extraction system that could take slabs of meat and suck the nutritious juices right out of them.
On New Year's Eve 1870, Maria received the first of the many oral doses of meat-juice to come. She soon started getting better, because at that point, the universe just flat out gave up and started watching how far the situation's sheer porn movie logic would take the Valentines.
Spoiler: It would take them a long, throbbing way. Penis.
Mann started bottling his elixir, enlisting his seven sons so they could more efficiently spread the family's juices all over the eagerly waiting Richmond. Soon, they were raising the pillars of their future business empire. Valentine's Meat-Juice became a household name that was known and lovingly ingested all over the world, from Africa to (of course) the North Pole. Hailed as an all-healing tonic that was said to capture the nutritional essence of 4 pounds of meat in a tiny 3-inch bottle, it was liberally administered to patients both orally and -- don't act like you didn't see this coming -- rectally.
She saw it coming.
Too bad the product was a complete fraud. In 1909, the American Medical Association finally got around to taking a look at the by-then world-famous tonic and promptly concluded that it was a virtually protein-free, massively diluted broth that had roughly the same meatiness as having a cow spit on you. Still, history proves that you can't keep a good dick joke down: Valentine's Meat-Juice had already helped the family to erect a vast business empire that would spew its juices unto the world well into the 1950s.
The Drink That "Replaces" Smoking
Have you ever been at a party where a bunch of people smoke, but no one is able to locate an ashtray because some frat boy fuckface absent-mindedly pocketed it to soothe his rampant, alcohol-fueled kleptomania? You know how it goes: While some drunken fool whose name may or may not be the same as mine is chasing that guy down and attempting to attack his nipples with a pepper spray-soaked sander, the rest of the party is stuck stumping their cancer sticks in half-empty beer cans, mugs, and other containers generally meant to hold something other than a tarry, papery muck and dissolved filters. But that's what they're holding tonight, and let's face it, we all know you're going to accidentally sip from one when you get drunk enough.
Now you can conjure the images of that unforgettable experience with a beverage known as Liquid Smoking, a drink that claims to combat the smoking bans present pretty much everywhere these days. According to manufacturers, Liquid Smoking is able to satisfy your cigarette cravings by providing the body with the same effects a cigarette has, but in a drinkable form. You can tell it works because they originally made the can to look like a pack of Marlboro:
"50 percent less lung cancer, 800 percent more design-related lawsuits!"
I quit smoking a few years ago because my lungs were getting so full of tar, Brer Rabbit was starting to give them shit, so I'm not sure what's up in the cool world of cigarettes these days. However, I strongly suspect that chugging them down in drink form is neither advisable nor able to do much about the many, many ways the mere act of smoking can get you psychologically addicted. Not that it presumably does much for the physical symptoms, either; in reality, this whole "cigarette in a can" thing is nothing but a marketing ploy for an herbal drink that the manufacturer claims is "the opposite of the Energy drinks."
The product's packaging has long since been redesigned to look precisely like the energy drink it totally is not. Other than the name, its links to smoking are virtually nonexistent: Liquid Smoking contains no nicotine, amply name-drops Amsterdam, and is sold with the slogan "RelaxX till the MaxX," because somewhere down the line the '90s blew its cash on hookers and parachute pants and is now forced to work in marketing to earn its keep. It's almost sad how stubbornly they cling to the whole "come drink our liquid ashtray" cigarette theme, really -- they'd be zillionaires by now if they'd dropped the cigarette angle and played up the whole "relaxing herbal drink from Amsterdam, dude" aspect in the years before pot started its long march to get legalized. Come on, guys, it was right there.
The Vodka That Turns Chili into a Frat Boy Joke
The things in the world that I don't understand are many-storied and legion, but among the most baffling are people who brag about their ability to eat spicy food and people who like vodka. I mean, I do like food with ridiculous Scoville ratings as much as the next person. I have plenty of friends who love the kinds of meals that you order to the tune of frantic cursing and calls for gas masks from the kitchen. But they don't pretend they're good at eating them. The whole point of absurdly hot food is not to brag about being able to withstand it -- it's to give in to the pain, respect it, and learn to know the value of a good book located within hand's reach of the toilet. I've personally pooped a ghost pepper for two hours with a Dan Brown novel as my only entertainment, and I'll freely admit that I had tears in my eyes every last second of the ordeal. (The pooping hurt pretty bad, too.) The thing is, only a total fuckwad would pretend that the naga jolokia-drenched burger he's "nonchalantly" consuming is no big deal.
As for vodka, it's basically my airline peanuts: I can consume it just fine if I have to, but ultimately I just don't understand the concept. There are exactly three types of vodka: the horrible battery acid variety that's just one step up from pruno and may or may not make you blind, the sort-of-kind-of-potable affordable one that tastes like grain and ass, and the high-end vodka that tastes of absolutely nothing at all. Sure, a decent vodka is handy in drinks, but so are many other things that actually taste like something.
Now, combine the two at their absolute worst and you get this fucking thing:
Cons: Someone has probably received a blow job for daring to drink this.
Pros: The person giving said blow job might have had a taste as well.
The 250,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodka is custom made to appeal to the caveman instincts of every wannabe alpha male in a 50-mile radius, from its skull-adorned bottle and a lead cork strapped shut with "industrial-grade sealing wire" to the ridiculously overdone hotness (which, of course, the alcohol won't help one bit) and the "Seriously, bro, don't even buy this, you can't handle it" attitude of the maker's website. This is the last thing in the world that's meant for shots, yet you just know pretty much all of it is taken as them by douchebags who then proceed to nonchalantly pretend they're not choking and shaking and sweating capsaicin for half an hour. They could rename this shit "Chad Magnet" and be done with it.
Luckily, the product's douchiness does come with an option for healthy abuse. As one reviewer puts it:
As a great philosopher once said: "If you can't beat 'em, make 'em poop fire."
Fucking Food-Flavored Beers
If you're a drinker, beer is good. If you're an eater, food is good. Such are the basic tenets of life, and if you disagree with them, feel free to sample the chili vodka in the previous entry and try to argue the point afterward.
Still, there are many things in the world that really shouldn't be mixed with each other, and I can't help feeling that beer and food are among those things. I'm not saying that you shouldn't enjoy a beer with your pizza. In fact, you go do that right now, and don't let anyone say otherwise. However, there's a line you may not want to cross -- say, putting beer and pizza in a blender and attempting to chug the end result as a creepy beer-pizza (beerza?) smoothie.
After all, why would you commit such a sin? The beer manufacturers are waaaay ahead of you. Meet Mamma Mia Pizza Beer:
Mamma Mia Pizza Beer!
This inexplicable concoction aims to bring the taste of pizza to beer, and, if Ratebeer.com is any judge, it's actually doing a pretty good job of bringing the general oregano breadiness of the real thing to the table. Of course, some reviews also state that it pretty much sucks at its first and arguably only function, which is being a beer that people can drink.
And of course, the beer-pizza thing is far from the only one to breach the line between food and beverage. There's Porterhouse Oyster Stout, which achieves its characteristic seafood-y sweetness by, uh, chucking a bunch of oysters in the conditioning tank? That's ... that's fine, I guess, unless you ask the ton of brewers who will shit a brick if a beer is brewed with anything that isn't water, hops, or malt, or are real allergic and drunkenly assume the whole "oyster" thing is just a cute name.
If seafood beer is not your thing, there's always the aptly named Lips of Faith Coconut Curry beer:
Feel free to imagine the taste.
Hell, even the sacred bacon isn't safe from beer Frankensteining. In fact, it falls victim to what may be the most terrifying food-beer splice of them all, Rogue's Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale:
Pictured: Proof that too many good things can indeed make a terrible one.
Look, I'm a man of simple tastes. I like my doughnuts round and doughy, my bacon salty and crispy, and my coconut curry in the orbit of Saturn. None of these things should be mixed with beer, for that way lies only madness.
Besides, these things cost like $15 a pop where I live, and I disagree on principle with alcoholic beverages that will ruin my finances before they even get to my liver. Now piss off and leave me alone with my bacon coffee oatmeal stout.
It has a palate of coffee, scorched pig, and fiscal ruination.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked columnist and freelance editor who sometimes starts screaming at his juice for no reason. Follow him on Twitter.
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