You might have tried chocolate wine or heard of a blend that includes nettles, but a Korean wine traditionally taken as a medicine is perhaps one of the most extreme.
The gag-inducing recipe for ‘Ttongsul’, a Korean rice wine, has evolved over centuries but a video has only now revealed how the bizarre beverage is made for the first time.
The medicinal alcoholic drink is a little different from the wine many people enjoy with dinner as its special ingredient is fermented faeces from a human child.
The unappetising looking drink is not widely enjoyed in South Korea and is believed to have almost died out in the 1960s, but was long thought to be able to make cuts and bruises disappear, mend broken bones and even cure epilepsy.
Now, an intrepid reporter from VICE has tracked down a traditional Korean medicine doctor who claims to be one of the last people who knows how to make the drink, dubbed ‘faeces wine’.
Dr Lee Chang Soo said the use of the special ingredient for medicinal purposes can be traced back centuries in Korea when Ancient Koreans claimed it could cure a host of problems.
Animal faeces were also used in medicine, from bat droppings to treat alcoholism to chicken faeces to treat stomach problems. However, the ingredient is no longer widely used in Eastern medicine.
Dr Soo told VICE Japan correspondent Yuka Uchida:’I feel sad that human faeces is no longer used as traditional medicine.’
The rice wine is nine per cent alcohol and includes faeces from children aged around six years-old, which Dr Soo claims does not smell and is ‘pure’.
He also said the wine can prevent pain and while people might be hospitalised for around 20 days following a nasty fall, the wine could heal the person in half the time.
The rice wine is made by rapidly fermenting water with children’s faeces in it.
After a day, boiled rice and yeast is mixed together. Non-glutinous rice is used for fermenting as it has a lot of protein, while normal rice is used to improve the taste.
The new ingredients are mixed in a pot and the concentrated faeces water added, which apparently smells more intense.
The concoction is kept at between 30 and 37 degrees Celsius for a week and is strained before it is ready to drink.
Dr Soo warned the journalist the wine ‘might taste a little sour’ but when she struggled to drink it, he said the problem was all in her head.
Ms Uchida said: ‘It tastes like rice wine but when I breathe out of my nose it smells like poo.’
The vast majority of Koreans have not even heard of Ttongsul, which all but died out in the 1960s, but it is rumoured that there are still a handful of traditionalists trying to keep the bizarre drink alive. dailymail