365 Drinks: #137 Qingke jiu (Tibet)

Qingke jiu barley vodka
Qingke jiu barley vodka

Bless the Tibetans and their amazing rakija drink

Today our journey brought us to “north-east Tibet”. We went to a small town called Xiahe on the edge of the Himalayan mountains. The city is famous for its large Buddhist monastery. On our three-hour bus ride to the city we encountered several pilgrims clapping their hands and lay down on every step they make on their way to the monastery. Truly impressive dedication. I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with them after this training. The city also had quite some booze shops to offer. They all had huge jugs in them. Of course I had to find out what it was.

I chose the 500ml for 18RMB version. The shop owner took an empty vitamin water bottle and filled it up directly from the jug. It was clear and I had to to give it a try just outside the shop. It had a sweet plum-like very fragrant aroma that somehow smelled familiar. Could it be that the Tibetans have some kind of rakija? I gave it a try and indeed, we found something like rakija thousands of kilometres away from any Slavic country. It was slightly harsh at the beginning but turned immediately into a sweet and fruity taste. The 46 percent alcohol left a warm feeling in my chest which was very welcome considering the outside temperatures of -2° Celsius. We couldn’t help ourselves but laugh and smile in joy about this miraculous find. This drink is truly one of the highlights of my drinking spree so far, if not the best drink I had.

Tibetan rakija

Tibetan rakija

With a large selection to choose from, further research is definitely needed into this mysterious drink

8.8

The Breakdown


Aroma
9
Taste
9
Drinkability
9
Alcoholic Punch
8



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