Ich mag nicht Honigbenzin!*

My baby brother? He has his moments. Like a few nights ago, for instance. He was going to the store to pick up some liquor and asked if I’d like anything. Back in the days when he was just a youngster who depended on his big sis to stock him up, I’d just surprise him and bring home whatever looked good on the shelf (read: whatever I saw first. I have a paranoid thing about loitering in liquor stores. I don’t like to “linger,” as it were. Aaaanyway). That night, he offered to return the favor. “Do you want to be surprised?” he asked. “Sure,” I said, only about 13% interested.

And so he returned, bearing a weird little bottle of stuff I’d never a) seen before or b) even heard of before. It was called “barenjager,” and it was apparently some sort of honey-based German monstrosity.

Pukey puke puker puke. Ew.

Yes, I said monstrosity. I usually give new and exotic hard alcohols the benefit of the doubt; if I do not like it at first, it’s probably because it doesn’t taste like the Kool-Aid my taste buds want it to. So I’ll give it a few tries before I pass judgment. Fair enough, eh?

But this stuff. Oh. God.

Baby Bro took a sip first. His reaction was intense and coupled with a sort of uncontrollable groaning sound. “Oh… man…” were the only words he could utter. This from the kid who drinks Everclear (another thing about which I’m unusually paranoid; a part of my brain is convinced that if I take even one sip of the stuff, my heart will immediately stop beating and my insides will explode. Why? I have no idea). As soon as he was able to regain motor function, he passed me the bottle.

Bottoms up, I guess, and down the hatch it went.

And up the hatch it almost immediately came. No, for serious. I can only remember ONE other time that I’ve gagged on food or drink – and it involved eating fish that was served whole, eyes and scales and all. Yech. But this stuff? This “barenjager”? I’m pretty sure that’s a sound that Germans make right before they lose their sauerkraut.

I’d take a plate of that scaly fish over this stuff any day. Hell, I’d drink straight Jager (blech!) before I’ll touch that shit again.

So why was it so bad? I’m not sure that I could even begin to tell you. There exist in this world folks who are deemed “expert tasters” (excellent Post-Dispatch article here!) and I’d like to think that my palate isn’t completely off, but I am unable to articulate just what, exactly, turned my stomach so upon ingesting (It also doesn’t help that I’m completely unwilling to take even just one more sip for comparison. No. Thank. You). Just… imagine the most foul food or drink you’ve ever tasted (post your answer for funsies, because I’m curious!). Honey-flavored gasoline: That’s basically what I’m dealing with here.

Uh, that said… anyone in the market for a bottle?

* I think this means “I do not like honey gasoline!” in German, but BabelFish sometimes lies.

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