Sunday, 15 May 2011

LaoLao - I feel fire burning

There is one thing I discovered in Laos apart from smiley people and that speaking french can get you discounts, the famous LaoLao. And as every dinner started by a shot of it (and finished by many) I wondered where that white alcohol (that tasted so differently from places to places and came into so many recycled bottles) actually came from. If you gonna burn your brain cells like there is no tomorrow, might as well read a bit about it before becoming blind from it.

First of all did you know that people from Laos are the heaviest drinkers in SEA? The Amy Winehouse of Asia has many rituals such as the traditional reception ceremony that involves quite a lot of drinking. Basically they make a mean alcohol and they are more than happy to share it with the backpacker by the litre.

So what was that in my bucket in Luang Prabang?
Well it was a rice whiskey. Depending on where you drunk it from it could have been a nicely made moonshine or some nail varnish drinking like experience made at the back of a shop. Although it seems to be the same word, it is actually two separate words when you can put the right pronunciation in. lao (falling down tone) means alcohol and Lao (rising sound) means, well, Laos. It is one of the symbol of the Laos pride and is often the second source of income for most of people (sell fruits by day, make whisky at night, wait for the tourist).
I really want to make some at home to remember these awesome hangovers from SEA and get all my friends in the same state I was in.
Sure my dear. Here is how to make it.
-Boil some rice (you should mesure the water needed with a buffalo horn)
-Let the cooked rice ferment for 5days in the open air until it turns into mash
Now the tricky part:
-Boil the mash in a copper kettle with a condenser tube so no steam escape at 150°F
-Filter the liquid that comes out of your condenser.
-Get the shot glasses out, you are done.

Liz and I, experiencing LaoLao Mai Tai bucket in VangVieng
I don’t feel like shooting it. Why should I do?
Make a cocktail!

Pygmy Slow Lorange
1/3 Lao Lao
1/3 Green tea
1/3 Orange squash/Juice
A dash of lime juice
Build/High Ball
Shake the lao lao, the green tea and squeeze a few bits of lime.
In a high ball glass, build your orange squash or juice at the bottom. Add some crushed ice. Use the strainer to slowly add the laolao and the green tea to create a nice layer. Garnish with mint and a slice of lime.

Oh and I nearly fogort; you can flavor it by adding some scorpions, bees, or snakes. Niceeee.

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