Beatrice Inn’s Cocktail Revival With a New Snake Venom Addition

By Paul Dousset

The most anticipated restaurant opening this year is the newly revamped Beatrice Inn owned by Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief and restaurant entrepreneur, Graydon Carter. So far the venue has welcomed A-list celebrities at a private event and was the venue for tennis player Roger Federer’s 31st birthday back in August. However, Carter still plans on making Beatrice Inn into a quiet, top-end neighborhood restaurant, a far cry from the a late-night hotspot/club that Ashley Olsen, Lindsay Lohan and Kate Moss may remember it for back in 2006-2009.

Although it won’t be a nightlife destination, Carter has promised a respectable martini that Beatrice used to be famous for. And Brian Nasworthy, Carter’s head chef at Beatrice, has an idea for his own cocktail. 

After Nasworthy’s trip to Okinawa, Japan, patrons can expect a Habu-Snake Sake to be on the cocktail menu. Habu Sake is awamori-based liquor. It’s indigenous and unique because it’s made from rice and not brewed, but instead distilled. The Habu snake belongs to the pit viper family, and is related to American snakes like the rattle and copperhead.

Habu Sake is mixed first with awamori, various herbs and honey, which gives the clear liquid a yellow hue. A pit viper is inserted to the liquid, and then stored until consumed. While some brands of Habu Sake come with the snake inside the bottle, it’s highly unlikely that Nasworthy will be leaving venomous snakes in his cocktails.

Don’t worry about the drink being poisonous — the alcohol helps the venom dissolve and become non-lethal.

This is definitely the cocktail you want to drink in Beatrice’s handsome bar, in its low-ceilinged front room, with leather barstool seats, down just a half-flight of stairs from street level. Beatrice Inn is currently open to only family and friends, but will be open to the public in early November.