(DAILY BEAST) From an old cardboard box, Li Wen drew a clear glass bottle filled with a dark brown liquid. The yellowed label indicated that it was brewed decades ago.
“I have newer batches too,” Li said in a voice stained by caffeine and nicotine, “and I’m also making my own.” Several steps away, like a stage magician, he lifted a black cloth for the grand reveal: a glass carboy, about five gallons in volume, filled nearly to the brim with a spirit that was lighter in shade than the aged elixirs on display. At the bottom was unmistakably a bone. “Tiger, too, of course.”
Li has a small collection of tiger bone wine. His hobby of buying and selling the stuff led him to experiment with tincturing. His recipe for the spirit is simple: add a tiger bone to rice wine, steep for 50 days. The traditional process is much more complex: tiger bones were also brewed with a multitude of other ingredients like antelope horn, red sage, and dried ginger.