Property of Connelly Library, uncataloged
Snake Wine: This is a bottle of Vietnamese snake wine produced from infusing the body of a poisonous snake and a scorpion with high alcohol content rice wine. This tradition Chinese folk medicine product is thought to enhance human health in everything from hair growth to virility. It is a very old custom (western Zhou Dynasty) adapted by the Vietnamese and sold on the street. The concoction is usually drunk by the shot because of the high alcohol content and the animals are sometimes consumed as well. The venom of both the snakes and scorpions are neutralized by the alcohol. These small bottles of snake wine have become very popular tourist souvenirs in modern day Viet Nam – especially in Ho Chi Minh City. Many countries do not allow its importation because the snakes are often endangered species. This particular example was donated by John S. Baky, Director of Libraries at the Connelly Library after a Honors Program Travel-Study trip to Viet Nam in 2007.