In Viet Nam, expensive Scotch, imported whisky, French wine, and even Russian vodka may be gaining popularity among urban tipplers. However, most Vietnamese men still prefer local liquor commonly known as ruou (rice wine).
The local liquor, traditional tonic, or herbal wine can be a concoction of awk rice, corn, herbs, cassava, or fruit. In addition, even animals like snakes, geckos, sea-horses, goats, or crows could make rice wine tastier. This liquor of rice wine is a homemade product so the quality can be very different from place to place. It’s best to have it during dinner when the motorbiking riding is over. From 2020, a very heavy penalty is applied if you drink and drive.
Despite the low price, the local liquors are often nothing to turn your nose up at either. Foreigners served a local homebrew liquor called quoc lui (country spirit) are often surprised at the high quality.
For beginners, Vietnamese liquor can be broken into three general categories: quoc lui of the Hong (Red) River Delta; ruou can in the Northwest and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), and ruou de (rice wine) in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta.
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