The distillation process is typical of other Japanese liqueurs, except this refreshing beverage gets a venomous habu snake shoved into the bottle. This viper is related to rattlesnakes and its venom can cause nausea, vomiting, hypotension, and possibly death. Don’t worry about dying though, the liqueur usually neutralizes the venom.
Two traditional methods exist to introduce the snake to the liqueur.
1. Simply drown the live snake in the alcohol and seal the bottle.
2. Freeze the snake, gut it, then put it into the bottle. It will thaw quickly and drown. Removing the snake’s intestines before drowning it reduces the stench vs. drowning it with guts in tact. Lovely.
Some Japanese believe this snake wine increases the male libido because the habu snake can mate 26 hours straight [insert joke here.]