(image, Life’s a gasp)
Yep, that’s exactly what it looks like. A snake in a bottle of alcohol. Snake Whiskey.
What is snake whiskey? Well, it’s madness, a bottle of whiskey with a dead cobra inside,pieces of snake skin floating around in it, nasty! [source]
I, personally, didn’t find it nasty. I experienced it in a very weird way.
The Tall Ships came to Vancouver in the summer of 2005. I was working for one of the major sponsors of the festival and as such, got to go on all sorts of cool events pertaining to the festival.
One of these was a party that the Russian Tall Ship, the Pallada, threw. We had copious amounts of Russian vodka, (mixed with orange juice, kinda – you know, in the “would you like some orange juice with your vodka?” sorta way), and had had enough to agree to go with a crew member to his cabin. There were two of us, so I knew we’d be safe, but it was still weird in that “I want to show you something” sort of way. And, add to that, the crew member taking us below-decks didn’t have what could be considered good English. He was a lovely man, but, well… yeah. It was complicated. (image source: Telstar Logistics)
He lead us down a complicated warren of staircases and sat us down in his cabin. He brought out a bottle of snake… what I thought was vodka, but I think now, was actually whiskey. Either way, it was a bottle of something, with a small cobra in it. (image source: John Brown) It didn’t look like this one – it was the size and shape of a 26 oz bottle, and had a red label, mostly in an Asian language I couldn’t read.
He had a cantaloupe. He handed us pieces. At first, I had no idea why, and I was confused. He poured all three of us shots and made sure we had the cantaloupe in hand. We did the shot, which was stinging, astringent, and … wow. It was very much alcohol. He gestured that we should eat the cantaloupe, you know, like you do with a bad shot of tequila – you suck on the lime afterwards to cut the flavour of the low-quality tequila.
But, GET THIS! It worked!! the cantaloupe totally cut the astringent flavour. I was stunned.
I’m planning to go to Thailand when the olympics are in Vancouver (2010…..winter. sounds like the best time to go away to me!), and despite the fact that the snake vodka/whiskey is apparently only for tourists, I’m trying it again. I am IN, if only because I can get some good pictures. Anyone want to come with me?
(PS – if you’re looking to buy some without travelling to Asia, try here.)