How To Make Alcohol
Around two months ago, at around 9.40 pm, I saw a post on Twitter that made my face scrunch up and my mouth to silently say, ‘what the fu…?’. Unbeknown to me, around 4 hours earlier, the Thai government announced that a ban on the selling of all alcohol would begin at 10 pm that very night. I and the rest of Thailand were entering an alcohol lockdown. Within roughly six minutes of sharing the news with my wife, she proclaimed that we would make our own alcohol. This post is dedicated to how to make alcohol in Thailand.
The ban was to remain in place until the 1st of May, and as I measured up how much gin we had left, I felt confident that we would make it. By keeping a strict eye on measurements we’d have enough gin to keep the crazy wolves from the door. Neither of us are big drinkers despite how the last sentence may sound. For us to decide to make our own within minutes of being told a ban was underway sounds like we may like alcohol too much. It has much more to do with being told you can’t have something than actually wanting booze.
How To Manufacture Your Personal Tipple
The best way to make your alcohol is to prepare well; for us, this meant my wife researched ingredients and technique. Meanwhile, I shook my head in disbelief that the Thai government had been so thoughtless to take away my ability to buy the odd tipple now and again. (I realise that with every sentence that I mention alcohol I sound more and more like I have a problem).
The research having been undertaken the following day we had a plan.
The water in Thailand is undrinkable even after boiling, so the water was needed.
The sugar. Any sugar will do.
Yeast. Neither of us had ever bought yeast before, so this wasn’t so easy. Finding it was tricky – not that it’s hard to get here but when you don’t know what it looks like there is a slight chance you could walk past it several times even after asking a member of staff where it is. I couldn’t comment on whether this happened to us, but we did eventually find the yeast.
As you can see, we bought the brand named ‘Instant Success’ so things were already going well.
Roselle. Roselle is, according to Google, a species of Hibiscus. I ignored the fact I have zero ideas on what Hibiscus is and nodded dutifully when the wife said we could use it to make alcohol. On further investigation, I found out that Hibiscus is a popular alcohol substitute in Thailand, passed down by generations of Thai people for the use of getting utterly mortal.
Put the Roselle in water and give it a good old soaking and cleaning. Then take a blurry photograph of it due to a shaking hand because of alcohol withdrawals.
Brew The Liqour
Add the roselle to the water and boil and simmer and all that jazz. I can’t recall how long we cooked it for, but it wasn’t too long.
After seperating the roselle and the water, empty the liquid into a bottle and add the yeast. Now, we had little idea how much yeast to add but we added a tea spoon’s worth. Then after some discussion about not wanting to go to all this trouble only to have weak alcohol, we added a little bit more…
Then we (the wife) filled the top of the bottle with some cotton wool. This initially confused me but after a lively conversation between us both I learnt that this was common practice for home brewing. Who knew? (Apart from the wife and a lot of other people!)
We then left the holy creation to work its magic for a couple of weeks.
The Taste Test
We were quite patient, and it wasn’t until two weeks that we finally took the plunge and poured our beautiful creation into our appreciative gobs. The taste was terrific. It wasn’t perfect and had a slight mulled wine body and warmth to it.
Besides the taste, it was…strong. It was somewhat more ‘robust’ than we anticipated. In fact, by the end of the first glass, we were laughing and red in the face. I am even have been sweating a little…
Who needs gin when you can make your own weird wine…thingy. Cheers!
I don’t just make alcohol or write about it, or even dream about it. I also write other stuff – The Top 6 Things You Must Do In Bangkok….
If the above method sounds to difficult you could always just follow the crowd 😉