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Why certainly! We have all sorts of exotic drink. Can I excite you for a pint of Tarnesian Starköl - bitter, tart, nutty brew this stuff; or rather have shot of H'elvanian Whisky(?) - 7 years old(!), strong, but with a sweet finish... Actually, looking at you more closely - you're not from the area, are you? What about a glass of Hatjörn's Gift then? On the house.

Hans Jånsson - Bartender & Proprietor of the Prowling Goblet


Welcome to the Most Ingenious Questions You Never Thought of. Today we look at the booze-rat, one-last-time. An animal aptly named for its unique defensive mechanism of storing potent alcohol in its body in order to daze/incapacitate a predator.

Well no, we're actually looking at the question that has been around as long as the booze-rat: How do we drink it?

The booze-rat has evolved additional organs in order to a) produce the alcohol it needs for its defense, and b) keep itself safe from the negative effects of alcohol poisoning.


Q: How do the people of Hjårdan cultivate their unusual source of alcohol?

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    $\begingroup$ I guess the obvious answer might be in pens with a drain-pan beneath. But the question here would be how to separate the alcohol from the urine/faeces/food/bedding that will also fall into the area under the pens? $\endgroup$ – Snow Oct 11 '16 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Pete as far as I understand, you solution would be to let them die? $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Oct 11 '16 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ They do so with the aid of many dozens of brave/foolhardy tourists; Underpaid and lured in by the promise of free food and accommodation, they never stood a chance... May they rest in peace. $\endgroup$ – Harry David Oct 11 '16 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T - No, not at all. I have no idea why you assumed that. $\endgroup$ – Snow Oct 11 '16 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ Not much different from farming chickens but the alcohol part might be tricky. $\endgroup$ – Skye Oct 11 '16 at 12:08
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Use a Strigil

link

enter image description here

The farmers can use this to scrape the alcoholic gunk off the rats and pour it into jugs/bowls. Obviously, the form of the implement can be adjusted somewhat to cater for the rats physical form.

Holding the rat down and not getting yourself bitten might be a bit of a challenge, but that's why booze-rat booze is so expensive, right?

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    $\begingroup$ On the contrary, Booze-Rats are worshipped by the local tribes-people as embodiments of their God :O They are very valuable indeed, spiritually that is. Lol: "Spirit"-ually. I'm going to stop now. $\endgroup$ – Harry David Oct 11 '16 at 13:21
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They applied Pavlov's experiment on Booze rats and got them to trigger the booze delivery mechanism with simpler stimuli than extreme stress -

Initially, booze rats were farmed like chickens in Battery Cages. The battery cages restricted movement and kept the rats permanently positioned to deliver the booze to the appropriately positioned booze receptacles colored red. Electric current was applied every hour that forced them to shoot the booze straight into the receptacles.

Later, electric current was accompanied by a distinct ultrasonic whistle and followed by food until the booze rats started shooting the booze upon hearing just the sound. The booze rats that still required electric current after a few generations were not bred.

Finally, the Battery Cages were replaced with better housing at the request of Booze Rat rights/cruelty groups but Booze Rats never forgot to shoot the booze into the red receptacle when they heard the whistle. Now, free range organic Booze Rat booze is also available.

Note: Some farms have also done away with whistles. They have bred booze rats to shoot the booze into receptacles every 3 hours (in return for food) instead. Same principles, different techniques.

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Bred to be Boozy

When humans first began to domesticate dogs, we bred the ones with the traits we desired - fastest, most obedient - and disposed of the ones we didn't like.
When humans first began to domesticate sheep, we did the same thing - we bred them until the females didn't have horns, and until they were smaller, to require less food and take up less space.
When a culture farms an animal, they will breed it to be easier to farm.

Let's apply this to booze rats.

First and foremost, domestication makes animals (mostly) docile. Farmed booze rats will not attack farmers, similarly to how domestic cats and dogs tend not to attack their owners.

Next, this allows us to get boozier rats! Just as you can breed the sheep with better and more wool, you can breed the rats with larger alcohol-storing organs or better tasting alcohol with each other, and, over time, you will end up with a better stock.

Finally, consider growth hormones. Not necessarily necessary, but we already use them in much of our livestock today - is it a stretch to make bigger booze rats in this way?

Collecting the Booze

Now that we have docile, fat rats with large sacs full of booze, let's collect it.

Skin Vesicles
If you're going by this question's answer, the skin of the rat has multiple pouches filled with booze. After selective breeding, the pouches can be larger, but regardless, you must puncture the animal to collect its alcohol. I see two methods of doing this:

  • Freerange passive collection: There are needles poking into these pouches, attached to tubes, which connect to a flat storage container on the rat's stomach or back. The tank can be unscrewed and replaced daily, then the alcohol can be processed.
  • Caged passive collection: There are needles poking into the pouches, but the rat is caged and unable to move; slightly less humane but more space-conservative alternative.
  • Active collection: The rats are allowed to roam, but alcohol is taken from their sacs in large syringes - each of which can hold the contents of multiple rats' bodies - every few hours. Alternatively, if that's too industrial for you, consider puncturing the glands with metal needles and draining them into buckets - more "farmlike" if that appeals to you.

Spray Glands
If you're going by this question's answer, there is a single sac located somewhere on the body, from which the creature sprays. There are several ways to harvest the booze if this is the case:

  • Caged collection: The rats cannot move, and tubes extend both into the glands and wrap around the exterior orifice; all liquid created or released through optional stimuli will be harvested.
  • Freerange collection: Farm the rats on a smooth, slanted surface with grating or netting at one end. Feed them from tubes, like guinea pigs, and introduce a worker every few hours to simulate a predator - causing them to spray, and draining the booze into a trough. May need to be filtered from excrement.

Why these methods are better than other suggestions (the competitive side of me shining through)

  • You don't need to teach any rats what stimuli should make them produce booze - which, on an industrial or larger scale, is costly
  • It's more scalable than drinking from the actual rat
  • Does not necessarily require agitating the rats, depending on the method, and they may also be allowed to roam freerange
  • Few methods I listed introduce extra gunk (from scraping)
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    $\begingroup$ Authors of all other answers shutdown SE accounts. $\endgroup$ – Harry David Nov 22 '16 at 3:46
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The live Booze-Rat is brought to a table, sedated and then bound. When it awakes, the customer frightens the rat by raising it to his open mouth, thus ingesting the strong alcoholic slurry when it is released.

A domesticated breed of Booze-Rat may no longer be scared by this process, but would instead have to be specially trained and rewarded for their actions: once getting “milked" they return to their enclosure to be fed something tasty.

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    $\begingroup$ P.S. this makes me think of the apid bar scene in Antz. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Oct 11 '16 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww. I'd do it. $\endgroup$ – Harry David Oct 12 '16 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ While amusing, this would not work on a commercial scale. If asked "how could you farm corn?" Yes, a flower pot in your living room could produce corn, but for the sake of widespread use and the maintenance of an industry, large scale systems are more effective. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Oct 18 '16 at 23:55
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If the booze-rat uses the alcohol as a defense mechanism, it must have a delivery system. Does it spray, like a skunk? Or bite and inject, like a snake? Either way, milking would involve holding the rat in some way, agitating it to trigger its defenses, and collect the juice.

I can't help thinking about plopping them into something like this:

enter image description here

Just attach the hose to the end where the booze comes out.

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    $\begingroup$ The delivery system is discussed in more depth in other booze-rat questions, take a squizz if your interested. And... What am I looking at here? $\endgroup$ – Harry David Oct 12 '16 at 5:59
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    $\begingroup$ It's a device to hold babies stationary while taking X-rays of them. So I'm told. $\endgroup$ – Innovine Oct 12 '16 at 6:35
  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 16 '16 at 12:57

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