While many people cringe at the mention of snakes, others would gladly have a snake pepper soup for dinner with a glass of whiskey to go with. If you are among the latter, how about having a glass of snake whiskey?
The thought of drinking a bottle of whiskey with snake in it is crazy, but we have seen worms in tequilas and scorpions in mezcals.
So what is a snake whiskey?
Snake (or cobra) whiskey is a common drink in Thailand and Laos, and has been a thing of awe to tourists who visit the countries. It is usually infused with a real cobra snake, ginseng roots and seed pods. To make the frightful drink, the cobra snake is trapped in a bottle and drowned in rice wine or sake. The snake is left to ferment for a couple of months. As the dead snake ferments, it adds a unique flavour to the liquor.
Snake whiskey has more to it than just enfeebling the newbies. It is believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac and analgesic. History dating as far back as 770 B.C. in China claims that the concoction was believed to cure anything from hair loss to low energy.
In Okinawa, Japan, a similar liqueur called Habushu is made by fermenting a pit viper in distilled rice wine awamari. This cousin of the cobra whiskey is also believed to have healing powers.
The drink is beginning to gain popularity as lots of tourists have shared pictures online posing with a bottle of it. While not many have dared to have a taste of it, those who have claim that snake whiskey has a fishy (that must be the snake), smokey base with some hot notes towards the end.