Scientists invent ‘hangover-free alcohol’

Now, we would never recommend you drink enough to get a hangover, but let’s face it – at some point, despite our best intentions, we've all ended up feeling ever so slightly worse for wear the morning after the night before.

So when we read this week that North Korea has claimed to have invented hangover-free alcohol, we were intrigued to say the least!

An article in the state-controlled Pyongyang Times reported that scientists in the country have concocted a brew from a kind of indigenous ginseng called insam and “scorched, glutinous rice”, which is used in place of sugar. They claim the result is a drink without bitterness or any hangover effects – despite its 30%-40% alcohol content.

The article reads: “Koryo Liquor, which is made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam, known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover.”

The "suave" tipple, apparently produced after many years of research at the state-controlled Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory, is also said to “exude national flavour” and the Pyongyang Times claims, "has already been registered as a national scientific and technological hit.”

A North Korean military parade exuding some more national flavour...

A North Korean military parade exuding some more national flavour...

But before you get too excited, it’s probably worth nothing that the media in North Korea is known for making somewhat bold claims about national achievements – including relating to ginseng. 

For example, as NK News reported, state media channels announced last year that medical products containing extracts from the insam ginseng plant could cure Mers, Sars and even Aids.

Andray Abrahamian, who travels to North Korea on business for Chosong Exchange, told the UK-based NK News website that insam liquors were "OK" but he is "not that keen on it as a tasty treat". 

"There are some high quality liquors made in North Korea, though in my experience there is no such thing as hangover-free booze anywhere in the world," he said.

Oh well – it did sound a bit too good to be true. And at least there’s still a chance we might still get the chance to put these Hair of the Dog Cocktails to use at some point…

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