7 Indian Liquors & Spirits Made From Fermented Rice
Image Credit: Freepik

India is the second largest contributor to the overall rice production in the world. The Indian rice is of enticing quality and taste. The production of rice in India has massively increased over the years. Rice is a staple food in many parts of the country, especially in the Southern coastal line. There are different ways people like to consume rice. Some like frying, some like steaming, some like sautéing and some choose other ways. 

But there is also a very unique way to consume rice not just in India but throughout the world. This is fermenting rice and making delicious drinks out of it. Indians have developed a plethora of unique and delicious recipes to make scrumptious rice drinks. In this article, one will find a list of some special fermented rice drinks that are prepared in India.

Video Credits: YouTube

* Lugdi

This is a special drink from Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Many people might have heard of this drink from the cult favourite movie ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’. This drink is made from fermented rice and has a citrusy flavour. Mostly it is sweet with slight hints of fruit. The colour of this drink is a milky white dish and it is translucent. The drink is made by the process of mashing, mixing, distilling and heating the fermented rice to make this delicious drink.

* Sekmai Yu

Sekmai Yu is an alcohol that is made from rice and is very popular in Manipur. This is made by a mixture of water and fermented rice in almost equal quantities. The whole mixture is then distilled to create this delicious alcohol. This has very authentic and earthy flavours. It is for people who enjoy versatile and strong flavours in their drinks.

Image Credits: Unsplash

* Kiad Um

This is another rice-based liquor from the north-east part of India. It is very popular in the states of Tripura and Meghalaya. Like other drinks on the list, it is also prepared by the fermentation of rice along with water. The different thing in this drink is the use of a locally available herb called Maiwand. This herb has a very subtle flavour that is sour and earthy at the same time. The overall flavour of the liquor is slightly sweet, slightly sour and earthy at the same time.

* Zutho

This is a beer made from fermented rice and is very popular in the state of Nagaland. This drink has been made by regional Naga tribes for many years now. It was previously a secret recipe but now is popular all over the northeastern part of India. It is made from basic ingredients like fermented rice and water. The star ingredient in this beer is a starter culture which is known as thap. The starter culture is a mixture of some local herbs and leaves that give the drink it's delicious and refreshing flavour.

* Apong

This is also made from rice and is thoroughly enjoyed in different states of the Northeast and also called apo in many parts of the country. It is very popular in states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Assam. It's easy to guess the common ingredients used to make this drink are fermented rice and water. But what gives the drink its real taste is a starter culture which is called thoh. This starter culture is made by mixing some bacteria and yeast and it is then added to the mixture of fermented rice and water.

* Chuak

Chuak is also a rice beer and is extremely popular among the regional tribes of Meghalaya especially the Khasi tribe and the Jaintia tribes. This drink is prepared by taking some soaked rice that is rich in gluten. These soaked rice are then wrapped in banana leaves and left to ferment for a long time. This is how this rice beer is prepared that is extremely refreshing in taste and delicious to pair with a variety of dishes.

* Handia

This drink is known by the name Hadiya as well as Handia. This beer is made from rice and is very popular in states like West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand. This has a very tangy taste and is also slightly sour. This beer can be called a beer made from grains as it is made by using different grains like millet, rice, and some other grains depending upon the region. All of these grains are fermented to make this delicious beer.

These are some very famous fermented rice drinks from different parts of the country. Fermented rice liquors have not become popular in India just recently. They have been a part of India's culture for a very long time. It is believed that moderate consumption of fermented rice drinks can benefit our gut. However one must always limit the consumption of intoxicants even if they are made naturally at home.