Squirrel Beer, Fish Whiskey, Poop Wine: 'Disgusting Food Museum' Opens Disgusting Drinks Exhibition

The curator of the now-infamous museum in Sweden told us what it was like to taste through the new collection of concoctions
Squirrel Beer, Fish Whiskey, Poop Wine: 'Disgusting Food Museum' Opens Disgusting Drinks Exhibition
5 wild drinks that will make you the death of the party! (Courtesy of the Disgusting Food Museum)
Oct 6, 2020

Beer bottled in a dead squirrel. Gin infused with ants. More beer, brewed with whale testicles smoked in sheep dung. And you thought you were an "adventurous" drinker.

The Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden, delighted and repulsed us with frog juice and maggot cheese when it opened two years ago, and now comes word it's devoting an entire new exhibition to, erm, challenging alcoholic beverages.

Bottles at the Disgusting Food Museum
Among the offenders are popcorn-flavored liqueur, coca-infused booze and ethanol "surrogates" like perfume and antifreeze consumed in the Soviet Union when (beverage) alcohol sales were banned. (Courtesy of the Disgusting Food Museum)

"We conducted intense research for several months, online and in books, to find the most interesting and thought-provoking alcohol types," museum director Andreas Ahrens told Unfiltered. "Some of them, we were able to get from their manufacturers," like the whale-genital beer, an ale called Hvalur 2 from the Steðji brewery in Iceland. "Others, we had to make ourselves, such as the South Korean poo wine, ttongsul," he said, helpfully adding that "that one is not commonly drunk anymore and was always a medicine, not something drunk for intoxication."

Ahrens elaborated, maybe a little too much, "Ttongsul is made by putting the feces of a child between 4 and 7 years old in water and fermenting it overnight," followed by an addition of rice and yeast. "During production, the smell is absolutely horrible, but the finished product only has a faint poo odor."

Display at the Disgusting Food Museum
Fusion beverages are an extremely popular drinks category right now. Try flavored vodka, winebeer or … mousewine, from China. (Anja Barte Telin)

The permanent collection, likely the most vomited-in museum in the world, already subjects visitors to bat soup and fermented shark, so what inspired this odd and intoxicating foray into fermented drinks that includes prison toilet wine and Ugandan war gin?

"We wanted to explore the strange and sometimes desperate relationship with alcohol that humans have. We have always been very inventive and creative when it comes to creating alcoholic beverages, especially at times when we can't outright buy it," said Ahrens. "We have been fixated on getting intoxicated for millennia and it seems that desire will never stop." He personally tasted all of the disgusting drinks—even a cinnamon-flavored whiskey called Fireball that is a delicacy in the United States—except the feces wine. Were any … good?

Display at the Disgusting Food Museum
A visitor reacts. (Anja Barte Telin)

"I really like chicha de muko," Ahrens said, of an ancient South American drink made from pre-chewed corn meal. ("The enzymes in the saliva can start a fermentation process," he explained.) The drink has been made that way for some 7,000 years, and sake was historically prepared the same way in Japan.

Some of the drinks are actually prized by modern tipplers. Anty Gin, distilled in the U.K. and infused with botanicals and the "essence" of roughly 62 red ants per bottle, sells for $258. The squirrel beer has changed hands for thousands of dollars. The End of History, as it was dubbed by BrewDog brewery in Scotland, clocks in at 55 percent alcohol, is brewed with juniper and nettles, and packaged in a bottle stuffed into a taxidermied animal, "mostly" squirrels, said Ahrens. "The name comes from the philosopher [Francis] Fukuyama, because this is to beer what democracy is to history. It's as far as it's possible to go."

But only one can be the most gross, and it's not Fernet-Branca (though the amaro does get a nod in the collection). "Fishky is the most off-putting," declared Ahrens. "It is a whiskey aged in a herring barrel, and it has been described as the worst whiskey ever made." The exhibition runs through the end of November, if you're looking for holiday gift ideas.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Unfiltered Oddities Spirits Whisky

You Might Also Like

New Rosés from NBA Star CJ McCollum and Snoop Dogg

New Rosés from NBA Star CJ McCollum and Snoop Dogg

The Portland Trail Blazer and Oregon wine label owner has two new wines on the way, and the …

Apr 5, 2021
Anti-Party: Nicole Scherzinger’s New Wine Is Not the Life of the Party

Anti-Party: Nicole Scherzinger’s New Wine Is Not the Life of the Party

The Pussycat Dolls star and Masked Singer judge hopes her antisocial-gathering Washington …

Apr 1, 2021
Mumm Sets Sail: Champagne House Launches America’s Cup Wine

Mumm Sets Sail: Champagne House Launches America’s Cup Wine

The off-water festivities included a pop-up Mumm Yacht Club and ocean-inspired blue bottles …

Mar 31, 2021
Brew Like an Egyptian: 5,000-Year-Old Brewery Reveals Ancient Secrets

Brew Like an Egyptian: 5,000-Year-Old Brewery Reveals Ancient Secrets

Archaeologists have unearthed the largest ancient Egyptian brewery discovered to date, …

Mar 29, 2021
Eleven Madison Park Auctions Private Preview Dinner for Charity

Eleven Madison Park Auctions Private Preview Dinner for Charity

The Albers Foundation is hosting an online charity auction that includes a private dinner …

Mar 24, 2021
Chasing Crush: Hollywood's Next Great Wine Country Film?

Chasing Crush: Hollywood's Next Great Wine Country Film?

Jersey Boys producer and Sonoma vintner Kevin Kinsella is making a Napa-set drama with …

Mar 23, 2021