Monday, December 6, 2010

A Question for the Vietnamese? Part 3

How do you actually make ruou or rice wine as it is called in English? I have been drinking the stuff for a year and half, when encouraged by Vietnamese men, but still have no real idea of what goes into it. With the way I feel the next day it is probably better I don't know.

I know it is rice wine and I know a lot of it is home made. My neighbour for example makes rice wine with geckos. When I raise my eyebrow at the idea of drinking it he tells me with conviction that it is good for my health. He said the same thing about the duck embryo. I have seen rice wine with snakes, lizards, worms and bugs. By this I mean a bottle of wine with a dead snake in it. There are of course others that are just plain old rice wine with no added animals. These are the ones I drink most often, usually in the country side, when socialising with Vietnamese men.

The tastes are always different and the after effects as well. Sometimes I wake up spacey like on drugs, others dizzy but rarely ill. So I wonder how is it actually made and what is used to make it?

What have I been drinking for the past year and a half?

1 comment:

  1. Ruou is distilled spirit made primarily with fermented rice.
    It's best if you avoid the "homemade" moonshine stuffs, as they're full of alcoholic impurities that were most likely responsible for your spacey hangovers.
    As gross as it may be, the lizard or snake wines you drank were probably less detrimental to your health than the plain stuffs alone. The drinking man's learned over the ages to mellow their fire water with protein: Russians used milk, we used fully grown cobras-same same, but different.
    With that being said, I'm more partial to ruou which has been infused with ginseng and herbs than to the ones with a bunch of dried lizards floating inside the jugs.