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North Korea claims to have invented hangover-free booze

Has the Hermit Kingdom really devised a drink that you can gulp all night without worrying about the morning?

North Korea is very well known for not much being known about it. It’s hard to ascertain whether the things its government claims – like it’s built a hydrogen bomb capable of destroying the US – are true, and similarly it’s hard to know if bold claims made by the country were ever even made by the North Koreans at all – see here.

If reports are to be believed, the tech whizzes in the secretive totalitarian kingdom have been at work again — creating the world’s first hangover-free booze. According to official state publication the Pyongyang Times, the clever scientists at North Korea’s Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory have produced Koryo Liquor, a ginseng-based drink which is “highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover”. 

As unfortunately the EU has banned all exports from North Korea, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to get our hands on a (suave) bottle to test out their hangover-free claims any time soon. Which is a shame, as it means we can’t incorporate the findings into our 2016 Drug Survey (any North Koreans reading this through a proxy VPN — hit us up with your feedback, unless you’re busy attending a  propaganda march or whatever).

To find out whether North Korean alcohol manufacturers have somehow managed to pull off the biggest piece of freaky voodoo shit since some dude living 2000 years ago turned water into wine, we interviewed Dr Sarah Jarvis from the charity Drinkaware. 

“North Korea claims a lot of things! Alcohol is ethanol, and it doesn’t matter where it comes from — ethanol is a toxin. Our body has to process it. Hangovers are caused by two things. The first is the effect on your body of processing the ethanol, and dehydration. Alcohol will always dehydrate you. These things will account for much of your hangover. 

“The final things that will create a hangover are congeners. They’re what give alcohol its dark colour. Whiskey, port, other dark spirit are all particularly high in them. And they can account for some of the hangovers you get. The fewer the congeners, the less bad your hangover will be. Now, I haven’t seen this North Korean alcohol, nor do I ever intend to, but it’s possible that it may be lower in congeners, and that’s why it gives you less of a hangover allegedly.

“But essentially, it’s not possible to have a hangover free alcohol. If it’s not giving you a hangover, it’s not alcohol.”

To conclude: North Korean alcohol manufacturers are full of shit. Also, avoid the congeners.