Nepal is not only famous for its natural grandeur and mighty Himalayas, but also its peculiar culture, tradition and custom. This multitude of peculiarity and novelty is also reflected within Nepali food culture. Food in Nepal is as diverse as the country itself and is not only rich in taste but also reflects the culture and customs of local people. In many communities, brewing and drinking alcohol is a century-old tradition. Brewing is still done in many homes to prepare alcohol for traditional rituals and family members during get together and festivals. Nepal boasts a diverse range of local alcoholic brews, most of them being indigenous with unique way of making. Here are some of the alcoholic delights to accompany you while in Nepal:
- Raksi: Raksi is the distilled alcoholic drink of Nepal usually made from Kodo (a variety of millet found in Nepal). It can also be made up of corn, rice, wheat, barley or fruits. CNN has placed Nepal’s ‘Raksi’, an alcoholic drink in World’s 50 most delicious drinks. Describing ‘Raksi’ CNN has written, ‘Made from millet or rice, Raksi is strong on the nose and sends a burning sensation straight down your throat that resolves itself into a surprisingly smooth, velvety sensation’.
- Tongba: This millet brew is a specialty of the Eastern Hills. It is made of cooked, fermented millet topped off with boiling water and served in a wooden churn with a straw poking out of the top. A lot of places these days serve Tongba in a metal pot. But originally it is supposed to be served in a wooden vessel, greased with yak butter when not in use. Tongba is your perfect drink for a cold winter night in the hills.
- Chhyang: Chhyang is somewhat similar to Tongba and is strained and served in a mug rather than a tongba pot. It is usually taken at room temperature in summer, but is often served piping-hot in brass bowls or wooden mugs when the weather is cold.
- Beer: Nepal has an ever-growing number of local beers such as Gorkha, Everest and Nepal Ice to name a few which almost gives international beer brands a run for their money.
- Spirits: An amazing and amusing selection of spirits is bottled in Nepal, ranging from the classic Khukuri Rum (dark and raisiny) to Ye Grand Earl Whisky (“Glasgow – London – Kathmandu). These are often rough but tolerable when mixed with soft drinks.