Rượu cần (straw liquor in Vietnam) is no longer strange to every Vietnamese. Even if it is not a familiar drink every day, the image of ethnic minorities with jar of rượu cần in festivals in Vietnam is highly typical. Not only is it a regular drink at festivals and important occasions, but it is also a cultural beauty that ethnic minorities have built for generations.
A little bit about rượu cần
“Ruou can” has been around since time immemorial. Among them, The “Ruou can” of Muong people in Hoa Binh is the most famous. In addition to the unique flavors of this liquor, people also design a unique way of enjoying this one- enjoying it with bamboo straws. The sweetness from the wine flowing through the long straw will enhance the flavor of the liquor, making them taste sweeter and more seductive.
Going deeper to learn about “rượu cần” to see, the rượu cần jar is not an everyday item. For the mountainous people, the jar is an heirloom that becomes rare and precious as time goes on and can be a dowry. If you pay close attention, you will see how much mountain people cherish and cherish the jar. They will take a long time to clean, store in secret places and bring out only when needed.
How to make the liquor
To have a good jar of liquor, it is necessary to be meticulous from the selection of ingredients, processing to the enjoying stage. The first step is to choose rice, the rice for making wine needs to be the Be sticky rice of Dien Bien. This sticky rice has long, thin, stretchy seeds and still has bran in the skin. The unique aroma of this type of sticky rice will be the decisive factor in rượu cần’s characteristic and delicious taste.
The selection of wine yeast is also crucial. Rượu cần’s yeast is a unique and heirloom leaven of local people. Each region, ethnic group, people have different ways of processing and using wine yeast, which makes the distinctive flavor of each rượu cần more obvious.
The yeast that mountain people often use to make wine is usually made from many different types of forest leaves, with traditional herbs, chili, ginger, and rice husks with a pre-calculated ratio. The mixture is then squeezed into fists and incubated for a certain length of time. The finished product is determined by the fermentation time, the mixing ratio, and the maker’s ingenuity. Yeast, after being brewed, has a sour taste, gray-green color, and a characteristic aroma.
Rice husk is an essential and indispensable ingredient to produce a jar of straw liquor with the right taste. The husk is separated from the rice grain. In the past, mountainous people used to pound rice by hand and then use those husks to make wine. Today, the milling industry is advanced. The grinder separates the husk, so the husk preparation is also easier.
When all the ingredients have been prepared, they will be put into a large pot for storage. After the rice and husks are cooked, they will mix more yeast and then ferment it for a specific time. Enough time, you will see the mixture of yeast, rice, and rice husk bulging onto the lid. People often use plastic bags to wrap and keep incubating. When the combination is down, across the bottle’s mouth, it is time the straw liquor is ready to use.
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Enjoy the rượu cần (straw liquor) in Vietnam
It takes a lot of love and respect. The people of the mountains are so careful with jars of rượu cần. Making this liquor requires a certain sophistication and meticulousness, and enjoying it is not simple.
A jar of “ruou can” of the mountainous people has six bamboo straws plugged in. Drinking “rượu cần” (straw liquor) in Vietnam often goes in pairs: even goes with even, odd go with odd. It is easy for people to get caught up in the jar of wine because it is always full. When the liquor runs out, people will add water to the pot to always be on the verge of overflowing the mouth. Perhaps, that is why wine needs to perform its role in festivals and important days of the family and clan.
“Rượu cần” must be drunk by a large number of people to be happy. People are not only drunk in the yeast of the liquor but also in the conversation. The drops of “can wine” flow evenly in the body as a stimulus for everyone’s stories to be more fun and exciting. The beauty of mountainous people is the beauty created by their own hands and brains. With delicious jars of “ruou can” blended with traditional music, people are happier with tiny and familiar things.