नेपाली रक्सी - Nepalese Rakshi - the Local Alcoholic Drink of Nepal

The fermented kodo [finger millet] (first, cooked like rice and then mixed with some kind of locally prepared yeast - and then stored in a semi-dark corner of the room) is prepared. The kodo is then boiled with water to generate streams of vapours to eventually collect the local alcoholic drink, rakshi. Inside the big cylinder-like structure, there is a small dish placed to collect the vapour turned into the liquid due to the cold area at the top. And how well the yeast is prepared also depends on the maker, and this is a whole new skill.

All the preparing structures (utensils) are usually of copper. But, they may be of the clay or of the other types too. 

Careful attention is given so as to not let the vapours escape from any holes. For this, the formed gas (vapours) is not allowed to escape. 

The taste of the alcohol drink depends on how well the kodo was fermented earlier. And how long the steam is collected from the same sets of boiled kodo. Often popularly called Tin Pane (तिन पाने), is when the earliest-collected-steam is received earlier. Here, the cold water at the upper part is exactly to be removed three times. The water in the upper part is generally replaced till 13 times. The more the process of removal is repeated, the rakshi loses its taste. 

The aroma of the rakshi totally surrounds and is an enchanting smell. The freshness can lure any individual and drinking this brings whole new excitement. People who prepare them certainly refer to the drink to have medicinal values or the healing powers; this is ambrosia to them. The nectared delicacy can, however, invite the hideous souls into our body ruining the person's mind, body and soul.

Preparing rakshi is the way of rural life that represents the indigenous groups of Nepal, gurungs, magars, rais, limbus and others. This is the unbroken tradition since the development of time, society and tradition. People might blame the drink as the real culprit for damaging the society,  this never is the case. What should be understood is: the people or the individual themselves have been corrupted for the drink. People have damaged their body and health being intoxicated under the influence of peers and by their habits. 

Amazingly, the people who use to refer to them as the unholy drink are the main groups who have been equally besotted by such drinks now. Anyway, what should be followed is the mechanized  way or more refined ways of their preparation, preserving the Nepalese way or local techniques which may get lost in the near future. Rakshi represents us. We should take responsibility for its preservation, promotion and its further research. 

Video: How is Rakshi made? रक्सी कसरी बन्छ?

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