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Your most exotic drink experience

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The weirdest drink I ever sipped was viper rum. It confronted me in the bowels of some art deco-themed Japanese cigar bar somewhere in San Francisco, and probably well past midnight. It may have been a dream because I’ve never located this place since, but I distinctly remember staring at the coiled snake in the bottom of the jar as I tipped back a shot of fiery liquor, scales and all. Moonshine from the hills of West Virginia probably ranks as number two, but that just doesn’t seem as exotic as it did when I was a college kid and the looming West Virginia border was a stone’s throw away. I’m certainly no Andrew Zimmern of the drink world, but an odd drink every now and again keeps happy hour conversation interesting.

One particular odd drink is making the rounds these days—there was even a quick mention on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” The entrepreneurial team at Fox Barn Market & Winery in Michigan is making asparagus wine.

Fun Fact: Michigan has an asparagus belt.

Throughout the year, Fox Barn Market harvests seasonal goods like cherries, peaches and pears, but this asparagus season (May through June) they plan to release a new batch of asparagus wine, which started as an experiment during last year’s harvest.

“It has a mild asparagus aroma and flavor with a little hint of sweetness,” Fox Barn’s Kellie Fox told the Detroit Free Press. “And it is really clear.”

The company also produces wine made with cherries, peaches and pears.

I’ll certainly order a bottle and report back. In the meantime, what’s the strangest alcoholic beverage you’ve tipped back, and what did it taste like?


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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  • Karl says:

    Right Brain in Traverse City used to do an asparagus beer as well. Roasted asparagus with lemon zest and peel, as I remember – and it worked surprisingly well.

  • Brandon says:

    Prickly Pear Vodka smells great, but a little rough going down.

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