Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage that includes a whole venomous snake in the bottle. It originated in Vietnam and can be found around Southeast Asia. The snakes, preferably venomous ones, are not usually preserved for their meat but to have the snake poison dissolved in the liquor. However, the snake venom is denatured by the ethanol; its proteins are unfolded and therefore inactivated.
The snake is often placed with many smaller snakes, turtles, insects, or birds, and left to steep for many months. The wine is drunk as a restorative in small shots or cups.
Snakes are widely believed to possess medicinal qualities and the wine is often advertised to cure everything from farsightedness to hair loss, as well as to increase sexual performance. However, many of these claims are likely exaggerated to attract buyers.
Snake wine and Scorpion wine are asian beverages that can be found in some Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Laos Cambodia, but also in Korea, and Japan.
To prepare this incredible beverage a cobra snake or some scorpions are put into a bottle fulfilled with transparent rice wine liquor and some herbs are added before the drink is left to ferment for months. The venomous cobra snake used to make Snake wine is preserved to have the snake poison dissolved in the rice wine, but because snake venoms are protein-based they are inactivated by the denaturing effects of ethanol, and no more dangerous, but this makes a healthy liquor with many health benefits.