Vietnamese Snake Wine

by: Katie, staff

Last October a few girlfriends and myself had the luxury of traveling through Việt Nam…

 

 

We stayed for a night in an agricultural village by the name of Yên Đức, east of Hà Nội.  It was an incredible experience as we got to live a day like the locals do: making rice, catching our own fish for dinner, and weaving brooms.

 

The family we were staying with was very hospitable and cooked a large delicious dinner for us.  It was so yummy, and we were encouraging each other to finish everything on the table until we were so full we couldn’t eat any more.

 

 

Once we were finished, the owner of the house came out  and offered us his homemade rice wine.  It ended up tasting somewhere between sake and vodka.  It was pretty good (rocket fuel proof nonetheless) and definitely made for a great memory (or loss there of depending on who drank how much).

 

 

As the girls and I continued our adventure south through the country, we began to hear about the local snake wine.  Snake wine is a bottle of rice wine that’s been marinating over a cobra (or scorpion sometimes).

 

 

While exploring the Mekong Delta area in southern Việt Nam, we came across an area of curios and oddities.  There was a woman who was offering us a free taste of said snake wine – we gladly accepted.  It’s illegal to bring snake wine back to the states because the snake is very real, so I decided to drink it while we were there.  Surprisingly, it tasted a bit like vodka and Fireball whiskey combined, only without the sweet taste of candy throughout.  If I remember correctly, it also made my lips swell up the way a Sephora lip plumper lip gloss does (bonus!).  If you ever travel to Southeast Asia, I highly suggest trying the snake wine if you get the opportunity, if for nothing else, to tell your story about it as well.

 

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