Sunday, December 20, 2009

A sherpa's trick to warm you up

Our sherpa Ang Kami Sherpa had a nice little trick to warm us up in the evenings after the sun had set and the chill of the Himalayan air had sunk down through your core.  Tongba is an adult beverage consisting of fermented millet grain served up in a tall aluminium cylinder or a small red bucket with a thermos of boiled water.  The boiled water is pored into the fermented grain and you drink through an aluminium straw with perforations on the end ensuring you only get a mouthful of tongba, not grain.  Its pretty tasty and since it is not that strong, you can suck down a few buckets before you get wobbly.  Alternatively, you can ask the teahouse owners for roxy (its not on the menu so don't bother looking), which is a local wine made from rice with coffee and honey blended into the mix.  This stuff has the strength of tequila with a taste unimaginably more harsh and comes with a kick in the stomach that will make you question life.  The beers available include Everest and San Miguel (which is questionably offered as a local beer?) And of course you have good ol' Everest Whiskey or Even Royal Stag... my preference being for the former.

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