While you're cracking open the bubbly or celebrating Christmas down the pub, we take a look at the more unusual drinking experiences around the world, from pizza beer to, er, apple-flavoured horse 'product'
Winning tip: Maasai spirit, Tanzania
After coming back from an expedition in Arusha we all went into a local bar in Moshi. We were expecting to sit in the corner and keep to ourselves but we soon had the local konyagi spirit thrust onto our table and the night ending with us singing with the whole bar.
Lion's milk, Turkey
Turkish people love a strong drink with an aniseed flavour known as raki, or "lion's milk". Water should be added, turning the beverage cloudy and it's ideally drunk with fish. I had a great time at an Istanbul mehane - a traditional pub with wooden benches which you share with whoever is there. It led to some interesting conversations at the end of the evening!
Farmers' market cocktails, California
In August the Crown the Town event involves a cocktail bar crawl through Santa Barbara sampling inventive cocktails linked to the local farmers' market. The "barbaric" cocktail made with fresh peppers and beef jerky in a lime and tequila-based cocktail at Jill's Place was strangely tasty.
Hot Tibetan 'beer', Kathmandu
Tungba is a mildly alcoholic drink of fermented millet and hot water, served in huge wooden drinking vessels with a straw. Slightly bready in flavour with a touch of sweetness, go find the Tibetan in you by enjoying one or two at Yak restaurant in Kathmandu.
Moldovan champagne, Romania
On a train in Romania, a passenger opened his bag and brought out a plastic two-litre bottle. He poured himself a glass and offered me one saying "champanya" which he explained was made locally in his village. Then he brought out some Moldovan chocolates and we shared this luxurious breakfast while talking about politics human rights, and environmental issues in our shabby little train compartment. There is nothing like champagne and chocolate to quicken a friendship.
Apple-flavoured horse semen, New Zealand
The Green Man pub in Wellington added the most bizarre shot supplement to its drinks menu a couple of years ago - apple-flavoured horse semen. The pricey supplements to the craft beers are sold at $20 each and reputedly have healthy benefits. Owner Steve Drummond says they give a sweet custard-like taste to the drinks.
Blue Lagoon boozing, Iceland
You can purchase a glass of beer while floating in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland. The trick is to hold it at just the right height. Too low and it's in the steaming water getting hot, too high and your hand gets too cold to hold onto it.
Natural beer au naturel, Kent
Drinking real ale at the Naturist Foundation Jazz and Real Ale Festival. World class music with world class drink while free as a bird.
Home brewing, Finland
I have had some interesting home brew concoctions in Finland. Some are based on natural fermentation too. All to be expected in country whose national poem expends more words on the origin of beer than the origin of people. Also, Finland now has an exploding micro brewery scene.
One of the weirdest beers you can get in the States is Mamma Mia pizza beer, it is made by putting a margherita pizza in the mash, like a giant pizza tea bag. If you like pizza you might like this, if you like beer you might not!
Lion's milk: a traditional Turkish drink flavoured with aniseed. Photograph: Alamy