Three-Penis Liquor: the Perfect Gift

11 Jan 2011

On my recent trip home, I brought a few bottles of this stuff to give to some friends:

Special 3-Penis Liquor!

Back Label of 3-Penis Liquor

The name of this unremarkable-looking “rice wine” is 张裕特质三鞭酒. The part to pay atention to here is “三鞭“. That means “three penis.” We’re talking various types of animal penis here, brewed in the liquor to impart vitality to the drinker. If you read the back, you can find out which three it is: 海狗鞭 (seal penis), 鹿鞭 (deer penis), and 广狗鞭 (Cantonese dog penis).

If you live in China, the character is worth learning to recognize. It shows up a bit more often than you’d expect. “Special” liquor, “special” hot pot, Chinese medicine, etc.

The 3-penis liquor in the picture isn’t expensive, and I got it at Carrefour. When you take it home from China as a gift, remember to ask your friends to try it first, then tell them specifically what kind of special liquor it is. It’s a gift they won’t soon forget.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Are you going to have a sip and let us know how it tastes? :p For once it’s not just a poor translation or Chinglish/Engrish that is responsible for an oddly named drink/food.. 🙂

    • Hahaha, wow, I’ve been drinking this stuff for a while, I had no idea that’s what it was made of. It tastes kind of like a sweeter mixture of whiskey and baijiu. The sweetness is similar to molasses.

      Also, there was an episode of the TV show “The League” where a guy buys some “Three Penis Wine”… I thought it was just a made up thing playing off of Chinese stereotypes. Had no idea it was a real thing.

      • where did you buy it from and if a website could post the website link and how much does it cost

  2. I’ve long wanted to do something similar but with entirely innocuous foods. I’d take friends out to Chinatown, order up some 鱼香茄子 or something similarly inoffensive, and then explain that “eggplant” might be more literally translated as “nutsack.” I’ve never yet been able to muster enough meanness, though.

  3. Afrodisiac? I remember watching Andy Lau eat some sort of cow penis noodle soup in a movie once. What is it about the simplicity of thought behind some of the ideas behind foods in China. Eating blood is good for your blood. Eating liver is good for your liver. Eating penis is good for your…

  4. It’s worth quoting the 鞭 entry from ABC Dictionary:
    (1) whip
    (2) iron staff used as weapon
    (3) penis

  5. How much is a bottle?

    I’ve seen that character on the big glass jars of special drinks on restaurant checkout counters, but the first time I (innocently) came across that character was when I was translating the menu of a dog meat restaurant as a language exercise. My was I surprised when the first thing on the menu was dog penis! But that was my first year in China… I hadn’t yet learned not to be surprised by stuff like that. 😉

  6. Kevin Ashby Says: January 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

    “dear penis?” – that’s how address mine too.

  7. They even have an informercial apparently: http://1rick.com/3wee

  8. I’m in total shock and horror that they didn’t harmonize it…

  9. Talking of afrodisiac, nothing beat freshly harvested village durian from Malaysia.

  10. That’s a liquor even I won’t drink. In Shenzhen there were tons of three penis liquors that had translated labels.

  11. I’ve got nothing against Cantonese dogs but could 广狗鞭 only describe the size of the dog penis ?

  12. You need to send me a bottle of that, And do NOT tell Dan ahead of time. If you agree, I will be happy to post the video of him drinking it. 🙂

  13. Greg Pasden Says: January 12, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I’m coming to Shanghai soon. I’ll have to buy some of the”special” wine for a few of my friends.
    Is there a careforre near the Hilton hotel?

  14. seals have penises?

    i love the way there is no english on it at all. a great gift for english speakers!

  15. Someone thinks this story is fantastic…

    This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….

  16. Rafa 穆凡 Says: January 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

    is that the same 鞭 from 木兰辞?
    东市买骏马,西市买鞍鞯,
    南市买辔头,北市买长鞭。

  17. Went to a restaurant the day after I saw this post, and sure enough, here’s what was on offer at the counter (picture).

    I am sure I don’t want to know what all they’ve got marinating in that jar, but it looks… impressive.

  18. Haha, exactly what I did last Xmas trip home. Stepbrother got pissed on this and an Erguotou concoction and then wrecked the cabin we had rented for Xmas. I got blamed.

    Check out the movie 醉拳/Drunken Master sometime. Its one of Jackie Chan’s earliest flicks and in the last fight scene he gets trashed on Three Penis and kicks ass.

  19. […] sur Sinosplice, je profite de cet article pour faire de la pub, car c’est vraiment un super blog qui vaut le […]

  20. This was featured in an episode of the hilarious show “The League”.

  21. What a great gift for my boss. How did I ever miss this opportunity?

  22. […] Traditional Chinese Medicine …and we’re back to qi again. Man, these people really seem to love the qi. Needs more three penis wine. […]

  23. hahah ,I’m a chinese woman and it is really interesting things to see the surprisings.and what amazing me is that you all know so much in china, even 木兰词。yes ,the 鞭 in mulan poem means whip.you should know how old that poem comes from.harmonizing…………….oh ,our speaker will sneer when you mention it. btw, is there anybody interested in Tao of Yijing?I know something about the way it discribed in forecast.want to discuss with me about that?

  24. Dog Lover Says: May 23, 2011 at 12:30 am

    There is a new law in China to protect dogs from torture and slaughter. How can wine makers kill dogs for the penis ? It is against the law !!!

  25. […] duck and chicken eggs are a close second. If I ever have the misfortune of ingesting dog meat or three penis liquor (guess which three?), those would be strong contenders, […]

  26. I’ll be bringing the adult beverages when I visit your house

  27. […] (via John Pasden/Flickr and Sinosplice) […]

  28. […] (via John Pasden/Flickr and Sinosplice) […]

  29. Does anyone know where to buy this on the internet? ive tried searching for it but havent found any site that i can buy it on? im very interesting in buying a few bottles, one to try, and the others to give away.

    I appreciate you help!!!! Thanks

  30. […] sur Sinosplice, je profite de cet article pour faire de la pub, car c’est vraiment un super blog qui vaut le […]

  31. […] Via Sinosplice […]

  32. […] via Sinosplice […]

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