Alcohol is the means of socializing in the community, even the Gods were believed to consume. Then it was termed as ‘SOMRAS’ and now it is called ‘RAKSI’. There have been many popular brands in the markets but many prefer local beverages over the brands and are of better standards. Most popular are mentioned here, we encourage you to try it once but strongly discourage the excessive consumption.
Chhyang is popular beverage made of fermented rice and hence a little cloudy in color and has a mild sour taste like a mild cider. Sometimes the raw material used are either corn or millet or sometimes even both. It is most popular drink during the summer. The white chhyang is the most popular one, however, ‘Karthon’ – a thick brown Chhyang, and ‘Hyaunthon’ – red Chhyang is lesser known.
Generally, all the alcoholic beverages are termed as Raksi but in Nepali, raksi specifies to the alcohol made out of “kodo” or millet. The standard quality is tasteless as water and tends to affect slowly. This alcohols also contains spices and herbs which also makes it as medicinal status.
Tongba, generally pronounced as tumba, is also one of the most popular beverage and is mostly consumed during winter. Unlike other beverages, millet is brewed without water to prepare tongba. The brewed millet is added with hot water and consumed through a metal straw. Traditionally served in a large wooden container called Tongba, hence the name.
Aila is the most potent beverage found in Nepal whose odor reveals the high alcohol content in it. It’s brewed from millet and then distilled. The choices are offered among single, double and triple distilled, locally referred to as ek pani, dui pani, tin pani respectively. It is typically served in pyala made of mud.