Do try this at home

Good thing or bad thing? The way the world is going, you can argue that the destruction of the planet would be broadly positive – or at least that it’s a toss-up. But apparently Asteroid Bennu is not going to smash the Earth into little pieces. And to add to humanity’s anguish, the gut-wrenchingly tedious, fatuous, ritualized hype-fest that is the Olympics is about to start, yet again. (I haven’t seen an infantile cartoon mascot yet. Maybe the Brazilians can’t afford one, or it got shot and dumped in the bay.) All is despair.

But wait! I have discovered a source of solace. On a recent inspection tour of Shenzhen, I saw some little packs of yeast used to make glutinous rice wine soup – a slightly alcoholic sweet rice pudding especially popular in winter. Think of congee you can get (faintly) drunk on.


The method: cook rice, let it cool a bit, add yeast, leave mixture at room temperature in a container for two days, eat.

Or you can do it the interesting way, and leave it for weeks. Over time, the rice starts to shrink and the amount of liquid starts to increase. After (say) a month, you remove the icky mouldy cap that forms on the top of the stuff (it comes away easily with chopsticks), and you squeeze the liquid out through a cheesecloth.


And behold – you have real rice wine. It is thick and gummy, and surprisingly sweet and tasty. Water it down a bit, and you essentially have fresh home-made makgeolli, the cloudy Korean rice beer you can get in 759 stores. Judging by the detectable buzz from a small glass of it on an otherwise booze-free day, I would guess it’s roughly 5% or 6% in strength.

Not sure what Hong Kong law says about home brewing, but it would be even more gratifying to think, as we declare the weekend open, that this hooch is illegal.


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7 Responses to Do try this at home

  1. reductio says:

    Stick it in a brown paper bag, sell it for fifty bucks to tourists as they disgorge from the escalator…it’s the new cool cool Lan Kwai Fong/Soho experience!

  2. I sometimes think you must have been in jail for some time.

    They make hooch out of cream crackers and orange juice inside. Crumble the cracker onto the juice, shake the plastic bag and stow on the radiator. Give it a try.

    All rice wine is pure alkie fare. Paint thinner is the real McCoy, surely. Kills the brain cells better than Hong Kong TV.

    Afore ye go….If you drink rice wine, you’re going faster than most people!


  3. Big Al says:

    … and for those tourists with a less robust constitution (I’m thinking of Americans making their way over to “Jim Saw Chewie”), you can sell buckets and wet wipes 200m further down the road for $100. Can’t lose!

  4. WTF says:

    Seems like the CCP’s local mouth pieces have already been hitting the juice when they are taking a break from planting them on Xi’s buttocks. Don’t show them how to make it even cheaper and less repulsive than that nasty Mao Tai they’ve been killing their livers with.

    These include Japanese-controlled Okinotorishima island, as well Johnston Atoll, Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef in the Pacific, which are controlled by the US.


    On 22 April 2004, Chinese diplomats stated during bilateral talks with Japan that they regarded Okinotorishima as an atoll, not an islet, and did not acknowledge Japan’s claim to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) stemming from Okinotorishima. [2]

    哎呀,该死、该死、该死…… (translation. OMG, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t…

  5. Joe Blow says:

    Jim’s so chewy ~ coined by Wolfendale. He still alive ?

  6. Colonel Kurtz. says:

    The Viet Cong in Whitehead and Shek Kong Camps made a mean hooch out of orange peel and potato skins, then filtered through an old sock filled with charcoal. Having tasted some I can attest to its full-bodied ability to warp the mind… had me doing the full Captain Willard.

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