Just for an episode tho, on the National Geographic Channel!
A travel program on food n drink, CHUG, was in Malaysia a coupla months back. I was contacted to show ’em some local brew. In this case, it was toddy.
It’s hosted by Zane Lamprey, an established drinker. I think he wants to be a celebrity drinker, like me.
I guess the diff is Zane has 141,000 likes on FB. (Probably all fakes.)
The show is called CHUG (Country Hopping Ultimate Guide), and is due to air on some networks, n on DVD.
Toddy is basically weak-ass coconut sap beer. Its sweet-sour n fizzy, and is consumed almost as soon as it’s made. It’s a common drink in many tropical / island countries around d world.
Toddy bar, pre-action
The guys met up with me at a toddy joint in Banting, before we headed to d plantation where d hooch is produced.
Its quite easy how its made, basically requiring an ability to climb. The guy goes up there, trims d flower stems n bunches them together, so they drip into a pot.
What? Gettin high on his own supply?
After a few hours, the sap becomes booze! It truly shocks me how quickly this particular strain of wild yeasts work. The yeast that i use to make cider (and most strains of yeasts) take weeks to do d job. Weeks. So the toddy ones are super-yeasts!
Fuckin cool mutants.
Fella had a GoPro stuck to his head
Soundman lovin it
Anyway, we head back to d toddy shack to drink away, as well as enjoy food like turkey rendang, wild boar curry, etc. Good stuff.
Zane all eager n shit
Here we go
It was a blast, and everyone was pretty buzzed by the time the afternoon was over. Haha. Coz I also made them do the toddy-Guinness cocktail, while biting on exotic meats, like monitor lizard. Ambik.
This toddy joint was checked-out in detail on this about blog three years back, and is a cool place to hang.
Note: This episode featured on Nat Geo in Nov 2014.
Came across a piece in TIME mag titled Top 10 Long-Forgotten Liquors.
Watdefuck. What kind of society would forget their booze?
Turns out they aint completely forgotten, but gettin ignored or overtaken by ‘modern demands’.
Lemme know if u’ve tried any of ’em.
Heard of sorghum beer? This is a traditional high-protein beer of the South African blacks, but once the whites felt the black were ‘qualified’ to drink beer, sorghum became less popular. It’s a “sour, pink beer that keeps fermenting in the carton.” Sounds like a bomb.
Fire in da hole (Pix: Time)
Sorghum is a type of grass btw. Will def try it if am there.
There’s Stone-Age beer too… Traces of a ancient beer made of rice, honey & fruit have been found in China. Watdat, a Hoegaarden?
Anyway, they’ve started reproducing it now, courtesy of Dogfish (USA).
An old (3,800 years) Sumerian beer recipe was found, translated and…. reproduced in 1989! No reports on its taste tho. Maybe they all died.
Also on this hit list is pulque (ancient name: iztac octli), from Mexico. Time calls it the original tequila, tho its more like a beer or toddy. The Aztecs were an ancient tribe that didnt predict 2012 & doom & gloom, unlike their ‘happening’ cousins, the Mayans, but the Aztecs are obviously laid back n not so calculative. So they cooler.
The Mayans were researching all sorts of goddam astrology, building fucking spaceships and getting concerned, while the Aztecs got high and screwed.
The hooch they created is from a plant called maguey, of the agave family. Gotta try.
Latest Aztec tech (Pix: Time)
It’s a white, milky shit, and is good for health. Well, like all booze then.
I got sumtin to add – samsu. Toddy too. Dat shit seems to be gettin rare in KL, tho i doubt it’ll ever disappear. Still an estate & kampung special.
I got sum leftover cough syrup – will try this sometime – one shot of cough mixture /codeine, add one shot of samsu, topped with Coke, n lotsa chunky ice. A squeeze of lime perhaps?
Damn, it’s starting to sound tasty. What shall i call it tho? Coca Codeine?
Had a great week in Laos. Vang Vieng to be specific. Second time around.
Hit it with my bro & Klang Kenny. As soon as we strolled outta d airport in Vientiane, we were on da road to VV. The three-hour journey took longer due to d many Beer Lao stops, as well as sourcing for bites.
Food over there is consistently great, whether local or foreign. The street-side grilled pork ribs are insane!
Spotted a bbq goin on, so told d driver to turn back.
Dog BBQ anyone?
VV seems exactly the same as it was two years ago, thankfully. Beer Lao, which used to cost 10,000 kip, is still 10 grand, or 4 ringgit. But its even cheaper now, coz we spent mostly in US dollars, whose value has dropped. So a large bottle is only RM3.60 now. Haha!
On d road
One of d many stalls we checked-out had bbq bats.
Decided not to try, coz i dont like d smell of bat shit!
Crashed at our usual spot, the Other Side Bungalows (huts), which lies across the Namsong River, which runs thru VV.
Rickety bridge over wide river
Got up to lotsa activities. Drinking, partying, eating, hammocking, tubing, bacon, kayaking, climbing, biking. My skin got well-roasted.
The bridge by day (left) dat leads to our pad
Chilllin at our 'VIP hut'
Sumtin for d heat
We headed to this great riverside spot that i once went to.
Spot d Beer Lao
A hut for a break
Some of d boys remembered me, so we partied. They brought out some major firepower, ie lao lao. Rice liquor, similar to our langkau.
Kenny waiting for his turn after Thiang to down lao-lao (breakfast)
Buffaloes take a dip, as a hot-air baloon rises over VV in d distance
We went back again d next morning coz they organized a bbq party for us. We had baby birds, freshly-caught fish, wild jungle soup (which was awesome!), and sticky rice, plus whisky, beer and lao lao.
Boys catching our brunch
Babies are crunchy
They caught a few puffer fish, that blow up when threatened
Diggin in. Except for d rice, everything was wild
Tubing (or kayaking if u prefer) is also a great way to spend a day. Ur dropped off several km upriver of VV, then u just cruise down in a tube. There’re loads of bars n party spots on d riverbank, where u’ll be thrown a line n pulled in if u want. A whole day could go by!
Climbed this crazy steep limestone hill near our huts
Dipped in here. COLD!
Ready to kayak
Some dude who gave us free shots of dunno wat
Had to do some fucking-big-centipede liquor shots
Jump off d platform if u dare
The sun sets over Laos
Great place, even greater people. Might even do it again!