I recently wrote a review of the world’s first bar dedicated to baijiu, a traditional Chinese rice liquor. Capital Spirits opened in August in Beijing, and offers more than 40 different varieties of baijiu.
Baijiu, which literally translates into “white liquor,” has been made in China for more than 5,000 years. The drink is generally 40 to 60 percent alcohol by volume, and its taste has been compared to bathroom cleaner and cheap perfume.
For the sake of the story, I tried a few different kinds, including one infused with five snakes. The shot went “down easier than I had envisioned, and perhaps it’s because I expected it to taste like formaldehyde, or worse yet, five rotting snakes,” I wrote in the review. “It has a mineral aftertaste, and though I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s far from the worst liquor I’ve ever tried.”
The snake baijiu is believed to enhance virility. For me, the only thing it enhanced is my belief that snakes and alcohol should not be mixed.