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Upmarket moonshine in Bangkok

Published December 20th, 2015

Ask just about anyone who has backpacked in Thailand, and they’ll tell you about nights drinking caustic, oesophagus-searing moonshine.

Often brewed illegally, yadong consists of lao khao (“white whisky” made from glutinous rice) infused with anything from medicinal herbs to dead cobras.

Sold for 10 to 50 baht (40c to $1) from street carts decked out in Christmas lights, these cheap shots are very tempting for travellers on a budget.

Although they reputedly restore strength and bolster male virility – popular varieties include doh mai roo lom (“never go down”) and kamlung seua khrong (“strength of a tiger”) – they tend to leave inexperienced imbibers with a particularly soul-crushing hangover.

A photo posted by BKKMENU.com (@bkkmenu) on

But yadong is finding a new audience with urbanites happy to pay top baht for what was once stigmatised as countryside swill.

At Studio Lam, an eclectic bar in the Thonglor area of Bangkok – where a Norwegian DJ might be spinning Kenyan Afro beats or folk tunes from Isaan province – an affluent, artsy crowd drinks house-infused citrus yadong shots and cocktails.

And Tep Bar, in a gussied-up shophouse on a gentrifying stretch of Chinatown, is bold enough to serve a tasting flight of three house-produced yadong shots with a pandan-infused water chaser and a nibble of salted green mango pickle to cleanse the palate.

#Yadong #Thai #Infused #Alcohol #TepBar A photo posted by Kathy Cheng (@kathzc2911) on

While the intensely aromatic alcohol remains an acquired taste – one that I haven’t acquired – these legal variations make for a far more pleasurable sipping experience than their street-stall cousins.


Take a swig from the moonshine jug with a trip to Bangkok thanks to Student Flights' exclusive Black Market airfares.


This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

This article was written by Diana Hubbell from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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