Snake Wine: What's Yer Poison (Literally)?

In a rather repulsive example of how "That which does not kill you makes you stronger," snake wine (made predominantly in Vietnam, Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia) is said to contain medicinal properties that can cure a variety of ailments as well as improve sexual performance (kind of sheds a whole new light on the term "trouser snake").

Revolting as this stuff looks, it's been around since about 700 B.C. and continues to be an internationally hot commodity today.

Snake wine comes in two varieties: steeped and mixed. Steeped snake wine comes with a whole snake (or snakes) in a glass jar of rice wine. Winemakers often add medicinal herbs and smaller snakes to the mix, often leaving it to steep for months.

Here in the states that's often referred to as "infusion," but we opted to not include snake on Tuesday's list of liquor infusion suggestions.

The other way to make snake wine is to mix its body fluids with rice wine or grain alcohol and drink it as a shot. This way you get immediate gratification rather than having to wait for months.

Some make snake blood wine by slicing the snake along its underbelly and draining its blood into a shot glass partially filled with rice wine or grain alcohol. You can do the same thing with snake bile by draining the gall bladder instead (this is not an early April Fool's Day prank, we swear).

Venomous snakes like cobras are the prime candidates for snake wine because the poison is neutralized by the ethanol in the alcohol which then lends itself to the wine's supposedly curative nature.

You can travel to Snake Village in Hanoi, Vietnam to buy some ... or you can order it online for $129 (including shipping) at