Bamboo is the grass that just keeps on giving. Now, in addition to sheltering, clothing, and feeding us, this magnificent plant can also provide us with a healthy buzz. If you are searching for something new and exotic to spice up your happy hour, you need look no further than this magnificent plant. Check out the following libations, and you’ll agree that bamboo and alcohol are a combination worth considering.
“Zhuyeqing jiu”, produced in China, is a sweet liquor made from bamboo leaves, which gives the liquid a yellowish green color. It is brewed for a number of herbal medicines, and ranges from 38-46% in alcohol content. “Jugyeopcheongju” is a traditional Korean liquor also made with the leaves of bamboo. Throughout Asia, wine is made from fermented bamboo and other sugary carbohydrates and housed in the nodes of the plant. Some varieties of rice wine are infused with the juice of the grass and once sealed inside the stalk, absorbs more of the bamboo’s liquid.
To learn more about the process of distilling alcohol from bamboo, check out our in-depth article on Ethical Ethanol: Fueling up with bamboo alcohol. Ethyl alcohol, aka ethanol, not only delivers a powerful buzz, it also holds great promise as a renewable fuel source.
The Bamboo Cocktail
A variation of the martini, the Bamboo Cocktail was created during the later half of the nineteenth century at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan. The drink combines vermouth, sherry, orange bitters, Angostura aromatic bitters, a twist of lemon, and an olive for decoration. Extra points for serving the cocktail in a bamboo drinking vessel.
Even when not the main player, bamboo is an important supporting actor in the production and presentation of alcohol. To produce Indian Jack-fruit wine, the pulp of the fruit is soaked, the seeds removed, and ground in bamboo baskets to extract the juice. The juice is later transferred to earthen jars and fermented. Bamboo wine bottle racks and holders are currently en vogue. Whether woven, compressed, or fashioned from the entire stalk of the grass, the material makes for a stylish way to cradle your distilled delights.
What would a backyard Polynesian retreat be without the bamboo tiki bar? Bambu Batu is home to several styles of bars and patio sets that are certain to make you feel as though you are on your own private tropical island. Add a fashionable surf cutting board for garnishes, bamboo tongs to handle the ice cubes, and bamboo kitchen towels for cleanup, and you are set to entertain like a pro.
Whether fermented or furniture, bamboo is the life of the party!
- Get more intoxicating recipes from the One-Bottle Cocktail, a collection of 80 luscious libations, available at Amazon
- You might also enjoy our article on Edible Bamboo Shoots
- Find more titillating tidbits in our list of 17 Surprising Bamboo Facts
- And don’t miss our complete overview: What’s so great about bamboo?