Picture the scene: a friend returns from some former Soviet republic clutching a bottle of vodka that's supposedly been fermented in the nose cone of a MiG using Siberian snow flakes, before being bottled by one of Rasputin's relatives in a former Cossack boot factory. How do you top that?
No, you don't admit defeat in the battle of vodka one-upmanship; you produce a bottle of Scorpion Vodka and make your gloating guest look sillier than Boris Yeltsin after a few lemonades.
As you can see, Scorpion Vodka contains a walloping great scorpion. And it's not just any old scorpion. This particular pickled arachnid has been specially bred in southern China and is totally safe to eat. So they tell us. The word is that each pincer-wielding beastie (infused in the vodka for three months before hitting the shelves) has undergone a special detoxifying process. This neutralises the scorpion's venom, making it 100% edible, tail 'n' all!
We're not saying this makes it any easier to wolf down the sozzled little critter but it's nice to know that death and paralysis are not on the cards when you're chewing on that deliciously squishy tail. Besides, the Scorpion lives in the bottom of the bottle, so chances are you'll have downed the contents before you're faced with eating it.
As well as its novelty factor, the eight-legged lush in each bottle has other benefits. No, really. For starters it's guaranteed to frighten the living daylights out of would-be booze bandits ('Blah-blah won't mind if I just nick a bit of his vodk...aargh!'). What's more it imparts a soft, woody taste to the vodka and smooths off its sharp edge. Not that you'll be thinking about that when you're arguing over who has to eat the little blighter. Mmm...pincers. Cheers!