Konnichiwa and Happy T(ea) for Tuesday! Today I am coming to you LIVE from vacation in Okinawa, Japan!
I can almost guarantee that this post (and drink of the day) has more than likely NEVER been done here before! I also sincerely apologize in advance for those faint of heart, squeamish of snakes and most probably bringing you the heebie-jeebies!!
Habushu, also called Habu Sake, is a liqueur made in Okinawa, Japan. We had the luxury of toasting shots of it just days ago. . .
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 intact.
Appreciated since ancient times by Okinawan people as a health drink, Habu Sake is prepared utilizing a special process that mixes high class Okinawan awamori, extract from the Habu snake and 13 different kinds of herbs native to Okinawa.
Vitality of the Okinawan habu is legendary. It is able to live one year without eating anything, and its energy is matchless. When it mates, it can go on as long as 26 hours. So, it’s no wonder that habu sake is often called Okinawa’s original Viagra.
Even among the different types of awamori, habu sake is a very special drink. The snake is said to have strong medicinal properties. For instance, some believe that it is good for back problems, arthritis, and removing toxins from the body.
I wish I could tell you one shot made me 20 years younger, cured every ache I have ever felt and gave me buns of steel, but alas, it was neither a miracle cure, nor fountain of youth. Quite frankly, I am happy enough to have downed a shot and lived to tell about it! Cheers to that!
To join in on T(ea) for Tuesday, visit Elizabeth and Bleubeard here.