North Korea, a nation that claims to have cured such devastating ailments as AIDS, SARS, drug addiction and Ebola, has just gifted the world with another breakthrough: hangover-free alcohol.
According to the state-controlled Pyongyang Times, North Korea's Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory has perfected an alcoholic drink known as The main ingredients are indigenous Kaesong Koryo insam (ginseng) and glutinous rice "cultivated by an organic farming method in the country."
Whereas previous insam liquors used sugar to offset the bitter taste of the ginseng, Koryo replaces this with "boiled and scorched" glutinous rice. The resulting alcohol is not only between 30 percent and 40 percent alcohol, but also hangover-free. Oh, and it will also help you lose weight! The state newspaper says the burned rice contains "essential amino acids, inorganic substances and vitamins" and helps quicken lipolysis, or fat burning.
Sound to good to be true? Like everything else out of North Korea, it probably is. While a 2014 study on the effect of red ginseng on hangovers found some benefit, it was only enough to relieve the symptoms, not cure the whole shebang. So far, no one in the alcohol industry is taking Pyongyang's claims seriously.
Businessman Andray Abrahamian, who travels to North Korea often for Chosong Exchange, told NK News that while he hasn't had a chance to try Koryo Liquor, he's not convinced it won't leave him bleary-eyed in the morning.
“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.
As science has proven time and again, the only true way to prevent a hangover is to simply drink less alcohol.