Can you get Habu Sake in the United States?
You may only be allowed to carry Habushu (snake wine) into USA if it is not listed as an endangered species. Can I bring back snake wine or habu sake from Asia? While all imports of alcoholic beverages are subject to certain restrictions, snake wine is also subject to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulations.
In the USA, the wine isn't illegal in and of itself, but importing the snakes is. The cobras that typically end up in those bottles are considered endangered species by Uncle Sam, and as such, he won't allow most of them into the country. (As they say, where there's a will there's a way…)
Worst case scenario, a bite from the habu can cause death. Nausea and vomiting are the most common side-effects.
A bottle of habushu doesn't exactly come cheap as you can expect to pay anywhere between $90 to $250 for a bottle.
When you're wondering where to buy sake, Takara Sake USA offers you the finest options in America. Made with pure snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the highest quality of rice from the Sacramento Valley, our varieties of sake blend Japanese tradition with modern technology.
Dry white wine. The flavor profiles of sake and dry white wine are very similar, though sake may be slightly stronger. Use a dry white wine as a 1:1 replacement.
Snake wine is quite popular in Vietnam, Southeast Asia and Southern China. It can be found in old markets and traditional snake restaurants as well.
Many travelers want to buy Vietnamese snake wine as a souvenir to bring home. Just keep in mind that importing snake wine is not legal in all countries, as some snakes are on the list of endangered species. It is best to check this before, to avoid problems.
The beer isn't yet available for purchase in the United States, but if you happen to live in the U.K. or you're visiting soon, Snake Venom retails for a hefty $76 per bottle.
A habu snake is able to mate for as long as 26 hours, which causes some to believe that a drink of habushu may help sexual dysfunction in men. A common superstition is that these strengths are passed on to those who drink habushu.
Are habu snakes endangered?
The Habu Snake is not currently considered endangered. However, its population has been in decline at least since the 1970s.
But it won't be simple because a shortage of container ships leaving Japan has led to a shortage of premium sakes in some US markets even as restaurants are beginning to reopen. From 2010 to 2020, overall sake exports from Japan to all countries went up 57 percent by volume and 183 percent by value.