World's Strangest Liquors
Lizard Wine (Hejie Jiu)
Description: Valued for its medicinal qualities, the lizard (usually a gecko) is a key ingredient in one of China’s strongest alcoholic drinks. Typically, the reptile (the more poisonous, the more potent) marinates, whole, in bottles of rice wine or whiskey from 10 days to one year; its glassy-eyed stare is said to scare away cancer, arthritis, and ulcers, among other nefarious ills. Hejie jiu is served by the shot—usually in restaurants where exotic meats are sold.
Where to Find It: In restaurants, souvenir shops, and grocery stores (which sell small bottles containing their own individual lizards) around China.