Snake wine is a traditional drink found in China and Southeast Asia that is actually made using snakes – usually venomous varieties – as a main ingredient. The base is an overproof spirit that delivers quite a punch -- it has too, after all, since you are drinking snake. It is illegal to import snake wine to the U.S. because some of the snakes popular in the production are endangered species.
That fact did not derail a Texas rancher who says he decided to make snake vodka for medicinal purposes. Bob Popplewell, has raised rattlesnakes and turtles at his ranch south of Mineral Wells. Agents for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the place recently, charging Popplewell with selling alcohol without a license. The ABC agents confiscated 429 bottles of the snake-infused vodka the agents claim Popplewell was selling at $23 a bottle.
Popplewell spent a short time in jail. He says he is meeting the demand of the Asian community who use the products as wellness remedies. He buys vodka and places 10-inch rattlesnakes in each bottle. He says he does not feel he is violating the law. ABC agents feel otherwise and a conviction could result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.