Souvenir Of The Week: Snake Wine In Vietnam

Reportedly, it tastes like envelope glue. And there might be a gecko or lizard floating around, like a hair in the soup du jour. But who cares? You’re not actually going to swirl and sip the snake wine you bring back from this Southeast Asian nation. You’re going to casually set it on the table at your next dinner party and freak everyone out and give them yet another reason to use a camera phone at mealtime. Bottles of rice wine with a preserved reptile coiled inside (scorpions are another variation) are popular souvenirs from Vietnam, where the dissolved poison is said to be used for medicinal purposes, and they make fantastic conversation pieces if you can get them through Customs. Bottles are subject to U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service prohibitions on importing certain reptiles.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Niko si]