I drink the infamous snake-soaked beverage of Southeast Asia
Going across the Mekong and visiting the Laos side of the Golden Triangle was for the most part another tourist trap that didn’t give much perspective on what life is truly like in Southeast Asia. However, the mini trip across the boarder did offer me an opportunity I had been searching for, and another item on my bucket list: snake wine!!
Yes, you read that corectly, folks. This is a thrilling beverage that I absolutely had to try at some point in Asia.
Vendors sold snake wine in glass bottles of various sizes and shapes. One stall had free samples for tourists to try, and the vendor used metal tongs to take out various dead reptiles and scorpions to scare and intrigue the customers.
From a food science perspective, this beverage is fascinating. The venom from a cobra IS poisonous if injested. However, cobra venom is protein-based. Meaning that the ethenol (alcohol) denatures (breaks apart) the venom and renders it inactive. However, from what I have heard, it still leaves behind a dizzying sensation. Also from a Southeast Asian pharmaceutical point of view, the snake wine is a male aphrodisiac. I am obsessed with trying weird foods, so answering “yes” to a free sample was a no-brainer.
And yes, it did just taste like alcohol mixed with dead reptile.