Alcoholic beverages are available in Thailand and there are so many kinds and brands. At the same time the cost of alcohol in Thailand is low, but the quality is very high. Perhaps due to this, drinkers on holiday, arriving in Thailand, do not feel wronged and begin “tasting” of local alcoholic beverages, including beer, right in the airport Suvarnabhumi. In this article, I will talk about alcohol in Thailand who drink Thais and foreign tourists, voiced the price of alcoholic beverages in Thailand in 2017 and give some of their own assessment of the Thai alcoholic beverages, which I tasted lately in Thailand. As usual, I will start with low-alcohol drinks, gradually moving to a more strong alcoholic beverages in Thailand.
CONTENTS OF ARTICLE ( you can click on the link for quick transition)
Alcohol in Thailand: especially the consumption and sales
The availability of alcohol in Thailand, even for the locals and a large number of tourists has led to the fact that the Kingdom of Thailand is included in the global top five in alcohol consumption per capita. However, it is worth noting that the alcoholic beverages consumed in Thailand is not the same uniform. Thus, the share of the country’s southern provinces, where the population is predominantly Muslim, is not more than 8% on the amount of alcohol consumed annually. Conversely, in the north, where there are mostly Buddhists and is cold enough (by Thai standards) at night in the winter, the locals drink many times more. Of course, a huge amount of alcohol consumed in the popular resorts of Thailand, where the most favorable conditions are created for this. Even people who do not drink alcohol almost everyday life in Thailand often can not resist the temptation to try the local drink of varying degrees of fortress, in spite of the fact that to enjoy your vacation in this country and feel a sense of euphoria, you can be absolutely sober.
In accordance with local legislation, the sale of alcohol while in Thailand is limited. Thus, the official ban on the sale of alcohol from 00.00 (midnight) till 11.00 am and in the afternoon – from 14.00 till 17.00. Here it should be noted that not all such prohibitions are strictly observed. More strictly this rule is observed in Bangkok and in the non-touristic areas of the country. But on the popular Thai resorts more liberal, so if you want to buy a drink – you have a chance to do so at any time of the day or night. Even search for shop selling alcohol, a long time is not necessary – they are everywhere. Although there are situations where you can not buy alcohol at all. For example, on election day you can not even buy a thai beer.
Also, the sale of alcohol is completely banned in some important national holidays, such as the birthday of the King or Queen, etc. A ban on alcohol sales in Thailand are often announced and during the elections to various state authorities. What to do if you want to drink alcohol, but its stores do not sell even beer ? Firstly, many bars at your disposal. Second, a minimum set of alcohol in Thailand is usually contained in the mini-bar hotel. Third, you should remember the main holidays in Thailand (at the same time learn the culture of the country). By law, alcohol is not sold in stores near schools, churches, especially mosques, shops and gas stations. Also, be aware that the sale of alcohol in Thailand is only allowed to persons with the age after 20 years. However, such a restriction on tourists especially are not covered, so that even high school graduates and first-year students can be assured that they will not go without alcohol, and to drink or not to drink – it’s up to them.
Low-alcohol drinks in Thailand
The main and most popular for tourists and for local residents low-alcohol drink – Thai beer, which has a pleasant taste, very refreshing and thirst quenching. Since about this drink on the site already has a separate article “Thai beer: brands, prices, taste, review”, i will not details write about this here.
A very popular drink is a cocktail Bacardi Breezer, which, as the name suggests is based on the famous rum. This cocktail is the second most popular in the world (second only to Smirnoff Ice), but personally I have formed the opinion that in Thailand at the Bacardi Breezer in the segment has no competitors, as in any bar or shop tourists and locals choose this cocktail . And that Bacardi Breezer, you can often find a mini bar in the room at the hotel, although exceptions can also be.
There are different flavors (orange, lime, grapefruit, strawberries, grapes), while the volume of the bottle is small – only 0.33 liters. Price from 35 baht to 200 baht stores in popular clubs. In Insomnia club in Pattaya, where I sometimes ordered the drink in Thailand for me and for my thai girlfriend, the price of 185 baht (2016). Less common, but still can be found and other low-alcohol cocktails: Spy, the same Smirnoff Ice, and Ginger and Nite. Prices are about the same, the taste can not say, because i am not tried in Thailand these alcoholic cocktails.
Very popular low alcohol drink in Thailand – is a rice wine Siam Sato. For sale in two varieties: bottles of 0.7 liters fortress 8% and 0.25 liter bottles strength of 5%. Often you can find the first option – a large bottle, usually sold in the beer sections. So when I first bought Siam Sato, I did not even know that this wine (think strong beer) and was very surprised to taste. Taste, it must be said, on the fan. Reminds that somewhere between cider and champagne, but with fewer bubbles. Despite a good snack, I hardly drank a big bottle, and small did not even want to buy and when to try, although after reading somewhere that it is more pleasant taste, especially with ice.
By the way, the network of shops 7Eleven usually only sold large bottles of Siam Sato, and small is better to look at the major supermarkets – Tesco Lotus, Big-C, etc. Despite the high alcohol content, rice wine somehow cheaper beer. If my memory serves me, price of a bottle of 0.7 liter just 35 baht, and small bottle – from 22 to 25 baht. Definitely, it is one of the cheapest ways to get drunk in Thailand. But you must remember that the taste of rice wine a little specific, and only few of my friends can drink more than one bottle of warm wine Siam Sato. Therefore it is better to drink this low-alcoholic drink with ice or from the refrigerator.
Such alcohol in Thailand, as the grape wine is not too popular with the locals, because the culture of wine was born in the country of just over 30 years ago, and in the sale of the first Thai wine appeared only in 1995 under the name Chateau de Loei. Therefore, in the most of the stores you can find not local, but imported wine from Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and from Europe. The minimum price for a bottle in the supermarket 200-300 THB. The cost of a good old wine from major world producers comes to 1000-1500 baht per bottle. Thai wine is also represented in the supermarkets of the country mainly from the company Siam Winery, which owns a large number of vineyards in the district of Hua-Hin.
Also in the thai supermarkets you can find and fruit and berry wines under the brand Fresco, which for its unusual taste and aroma have already won several international medals. Personally, I really like this sparkling wine. Generally, the wine industry in the country is developing rapidly, so many of those who “turn up his nose” of Thai wine 10 years ago recognized that today it has become much better and more pleasant to the taste. Among the most recommended to eat Thai wine brands can be noted Mont Clair, Peter Vella and Kookaburra, produced under the supervision of European winemakers.
Strong alcohol in Thailand
All lovers of alcoholic beverages in Thailand, preferring such recognized brands as Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker, Chivas Regal, etc. can be quiet: all this and much more is available and prices not too overpriced even compared to the Duty Free prices. And buy or order these drinks you can in almost every shop and bar. However, this article is primarily about thai alcohol in Thailand, so I tell you in more detail all the same is not about the famous international brands, but about the most interesting from my point of view of local brands of strong alcohol drinks.
SangSom – Thai rum №1
The legendary Thai rum. I do not accidentally set it on top of the list, as the drink is the most popular local alcoholic drinks from tourists according to statistical data, as well as in my personal ranking. Produced Sangsom rum from Thai sugar cane and has a strength of 40%. This alcoholic drink in Thailand has many international medals and exported to the two dozen countries. For all those who do not like rum, still advise you to try this drink, as even the taste of undiluted Sangsom is very nice: a drink on the surprisingly soft and has a pleasant aftertaste.
Personally I do not like to dilute strong drinks with cola or other drinks, so always drink Sangsom pure. I do not accidentally use the word “drink”, because from each trip bring home 5-6 bottles of the drink and sometimes use this drink “for medicinal purposes”. And every time I drink a couple of glasses of rum, I always think of Thailand and plan to soon return to this wonderful country :). On the other hand, many people drink Sangsom in cocktails, diluting cola and energy drinks in Thailand.
Even at numerous beach parties, including the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is the rum is the main component of the famous “buckets of alcohol.” On the Internet you can find information all over the place, that the cost of a small bottle of Sang Som (0,37l volume in the form of a flat flask) is 130-140 baht in 7Eleven stores. In reality, from 2014 all a bit wrong: Now rum Sang Som worth 155 baht 7Eleven and Family Mart, and for 130 baht a similar bottle can be bought only in large supermarkets, for example, Tesco Lotus and smaller stores this network.
As a gift or a souvenir from Thailand is better to buy a large bottle of Sangsom volume of 0.7 liters. The price will be comparable to the two small, and you additionally get a beautiful gift box. In addition to drink with white label (Sang Som Gold) in the sale is a variety with black label SangSom Premium, which is kind of like a sustained 5 years in oak barrels. IMHO, the taste is the same, so I do not see sense to overpay.
The drink, named after one of the largest rivers in the country. Sold as the SangSom in small flat bottles and bottles of 0.7 liters in boxes. Easily recognized by their bright yellow label with red inscription «Mekhong». Sometimes you can see this drink in Thailand without Latin inscriptions, but also easy to learn all the yellow label and red thai lettering in diagonal (sometimes the label is not yellow, and beige or light brown).
Despite the fact that this is the Mekhong whiskey to taste it is closer to the classic rum than Sang Som, because it serves as a raw material for molasses from sugar cane (95%) and Thai rice (5%). The manufacturer claims that the composition is also added to a mixture of Thai herbs, spices and plant roots, the recipe of which is kept in the strictest confidence. Alcohol content in Mekhong whiskey – 35%. Compared with SangSom rum, taste of the Mekhong whiskey in my opinion worse, tighter. But this is my opinion and you may think differently, so try for yourself.
After each glass of the Mekhong, I want to drink something more enjoyable, so it is best to dilute this whiskey with cola or other soft drinks. Despite a long history (first released in 1941) and love for him Thais themselves, a brand, a former long time the most popular in the country, gradually lost their positions, and from 2010 this brand vooobsche not produced till 2011 (in this period production and brand was sold to the new owner). Personally, I did not like the Mekhong whiskey, bought more than once, and no such desire, because I like to drink in the pure form. But everyone has different tastes, so you can try, because this drink cheaper than SangSom.
Hong Thong Whiskey
Enough popular with the locals alcoholic drink in Thailand, which is well matched with cola or drink with good snack. Like whiskey Mekhong, Hong Tong inferior in taste rum SangSom and it is more “hard” drinks. However, the popularity of the drink is quite high and I am sure that the reason is not only to a lesser value than the price of SangSom rum and alcohol of foreign brands.
Fortress of Hong Thong – 35%, and this drink sold in flat small bottles and standard bottles of 0,7 liters with a label light beige color, on which is written the name in big red letters. Larger bottles are sold in gift boxes of red color. Unlike brand Mekhong, whiskey Hong Tong I occasionally buy and drink, pre-cooled in a refrigerator of hotel (this drink in a warm as it seems to me nasty). But for drink at home i still never take Hong Thong whiskey from Thailand and like souvenir too.
Sang Thip Whiskey
Sang Thip Whiskey as though created in order to quickly get drunk in Thailand as much as possible cheap. If my memory serves me, there is this sort of alcohol in Thailand less than 100 baht for a small flat bottle with a black label on which the red bar on the diagonal is written the name of the drink. Not to be confused with the SangSom Premium (labels visually similar). It is believed that the drinking of Sang Thip Whiskey dangerous because at some point a feast man who drinks the drink, begins to experience memory problems. For example, the next morning people do not remember what they did the night before.
I did not encounter a similar phenomenon, but not drink so much. As is the case with the Mekong whiskey, buy a second time, and even more so to drive home this drink did not have the desire. By the way, in Thai shops and supermarkets can be found and other spirits for less than 100 baht. Some of them I tried an experiment (with green label with wording in the Thai language), but the taste is not impressed, but rather the opposite. So I think that will not be mistaken when I will write that all drinks in this price range do not have a pleasant taste.
Lao Khao Whiskey – Thai moonshine
In an article on Thai alcohol, I must tell you about another one “legendary” brand – Lao Khao whiskey. In the process of manufacture of this alcoholic beverage used Thai rice wine. Those, Lao Khao – a product of distillate of rice wine in whiskey. The drink is a kind of moonshine and has a corresponding taste, so if you want to try it in the tourist bars, you probably will not find Lao Khao there. In other words, Lao Khao is alcohol in Thailand, which is in demand in the lower strata of the population, which abusing alcohol. So if you ask to sell you a bottle of Lao Khao in the store, the seller is very surprised and will look at you suspiciously.
Lao Khao you can find in the bottles, that look like beer bottles: small have a volume of 0.33 liters and larger – 0.625 liters. Since all the inscriptions made in the Thai language, you can remember that Lao Khao with red or yellow label – is a fortress of 28%. Lao Khao with green and pink labels, respectively, have a fortress of 30% and 35%. The most strong grade Lao Khao is the whiskey that is bottled with a blue (or blue) label – 40%.
Also, if the store several varieties of Lao Khao the strongest can be determined at a higher price. Very popular souvenir from Thailand – is a local bottle of whiskey infused with the local fauna: spiders, scorpions, snakes, etc. I have not tried these drinks, but repeatedly heard that as the basis for their preparation is taken as time Lao Khao, as the cheapest possible. And according to rumors, these drinks are considered useful, but their taste is terrible, so it is best to use such drinks as original souvenirs from Thailand.
It’s not all types of alcohol in Thailand, but the most famous and popular beverages, giving an idea of the alcohol market of the country, I have listed. I would also like to remind you that my tastes may differ significantly from your own and what I liked, not necessarily like you, and vice versa. Therefore, I recommend to try different alcoholic beverages in Thailand. So in the future you can choose the one that will be favorite for you personally. I wish you a pleasant stay in Thailand without hangover!
P.S. And what is your favorite alcoholic beverage in Thailand? Write about it in the comments!