Aila (liquor)

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Newari Anti with Khola.jpg
Traditional container and cup used to serve Aila
Course liquor
Place of origin Nepal[citation needed]
Main ingredients rice, grains and millet
Cookbook:Aila  Aila

Aylā (Nepal Bhasa: अयला:) is a Newari beverage prepared by distillation of fermented ingredients such as rice, grains and millet. Apart from casual drinking, Aila is an important part of festivals in Nepal.[1] This liquor is usually homemade and prepared by traditional methods. Its preparation is not yet commercial in Nepal, however it is sold in restaurant that serve Newa cuisine.[2] It is about 50% alcohol and can be bought in local Newari restaurants for a fairly cheap price.[3] CNN has noted it as being one of the "50 most delicious drinks in the world".[4]


Aila is usually prepared by Newari women before any festival or socio-cultural event. Rice along with many other ingredients is mixed with Marcha, a local organic fermenting compound, and fermented at least four to five days to ensure the preparation of a good quality Aila. Millet is used instead of rice for an even stronger flavor.[5] The final product is obtained after distillation. This is done by using traditional clay and brass vessel designed specifically for this purpose. The raw fermented mixture is cooked over a wood fire stove.[6] Temperature of flame and cooling water are the two factors controlling the quality of this beverage during distillation.

Religious Significance[edit]

Consumption of alcohol is not just allowed but generally encouraged in Newari culture. This is a religious practice promoted by Tantric traditions. According to the Tantric practices, foods are divided into three groups. These food groups are, mamsa (meat), matsya (fish) and madya (alcoholic beverage). It is believed that offering alcohol would satisfy the Tantric Gods who in turn grant followers with good luck.[7] Aila is first offered to the Gods before every religious festival and cultural activities, and then it is served. One such famous Newari festival is Yenya.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aila:(Nepal) Made from Rice". February 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ Shrestha, Bijay (July 2003). "Aila...The Mystical Taste of Nepal". ECS Nepal. 
  3. ^ Bell, Thomas (March 1, 2012). "Nepal’s local eateries". BBC Travel. 
  4. ^ Cheung, Tim (December 9, 2011). "World's 50 most delicious drinks". CNN Travel. 
  5. ^ Basnet, Ayushma (n.d.). "Think Local, Drink Local". Friday Weekly. 
  6. ^ Shrestha, Bijay (July 2003). "Aila...The Mystical Taste of Nepal". ECS Nepal. 
  7. ^ "Food In Newari Culture".