As a big fan of Asian countries and lifestyle in today's post I want to talk about drinking in the oriental hemisphere. Many of us have visited Asian countries and confess to be addicted to local food but what about drinking alcohol in this part of the world?
Are there any drinks in Asia people are fund of that have not been exported to other countries yet? Or let's say any drink that should be taken just on one specific spot and nowhere else.
Thailand is among the most visited places in Asia and its hot climate, friendly people and paradisiac beaches attract people from all over the world. The loud and crowdy "Khao San Road" in Bangkok has become the main meeting point for international travellers, especially backpackers. Apart from visiting the city, there's one thing they especially enjoy: drinking
One of the most famous drinks in Thailand is Rice wine, a beer brewed from glutinous rice that is similar to japanes Sake. It is sold nationwide under the brand Siam Sato. Although it is called wine, it is actually more similar to beer. It is cheap and potent, but be careful, you might regret it the next morning.
On a trip to China you shouldn't forget to try Baijiu, a distilled Chinese alcoholic beverage. Its name literally means "white liquor" and it has about 40 - 60% alcohol by volume. Baiju is quite challenging for the western palate, but once you got used to it you might love it. It has been described as similar to grappa although the Chinese usually prefer to take it warm.
For sure a thing that really causes impression are snake wines. They can be found in China and Vietnam and in many other countries in Southeast Asia. Snake wines are alcoholic beverages with venomous snakes inside. According to traditional Chinese medicine this drink with snake venom dissolved in liquor is able to cure different health problems as backpains, lumbago, rheumatisms and many more but they are also considered as aphrodisiacs. Snake venom is of course denatured by ethanol.
Imagine drinking a spirit with a real cobra or scorpion inside? Are you scared just thinking about it or you always wanted to try it? That's up to you on your next trip to Vietnam!
Korea is known for its "wet" drinking culture that is similar to Finland or Russia and sadly as well for the frequent alcohol abuse of its citizens. It's common walking around the streets and running into a well dressed bussiness man lying on the middle of the street completely smashed. Drinking is somehow part of the work culture and if you want to be accepted by your boss or employees you should never refuse drinking with them, often a lot, until the point you just forget your own name.
Makkoli is a famous Korean drink, that is a little bit softer and therefore more recommended. It is a milky beverage with a kind of bitter sweet taste and it is drunk from a small bowl. Its alcohol content is about 7%.
To have a bit of Asian feeling at home you should try those products:
Tiger Beer, the beer of Singapore.
Nikka Miyagikyou Single Malt, a japanese whisky.