Mekhong (spirit)

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Mekhong Whisky 700ml

Mekhong is Thailand's first domestically produced branded golden spirit. Launched in 1941, it quickly became the most popular brand in Thailand. This was helped by a dispute with the French concerning the border with Laos along the Mekong River which gives the brand its name.

Despite being known as a whisky, Mekhong is in fact much closer to a rum. The distilled spirit is made from 95% sugar cane/molasses and 5% rice. This distilled spirit is then blended with a secret recipe of indigenous herbs and spices to produce its distinctive aroma and taste.

Mekhong is distilled, blended and bottled at the Bangyikhan Distillery on the outskirts of Bangkok. Its slightly lower strength of 35% abv means that it mixes well including as an ingredient in cocktails, the most famous of which being the 'Sabai Sabai', known as the Thai Welcome Drink.

Mekhong is widely available across South East Asia and is also now available in the Europe and the USA.

Mekhong Whisky is mentioned several times on the album Hell's Ditch by The Pogues, along with other common Thai drinks.

Mekhong (Mekong) is also the name of a popular song recorded by The Refreshments on the album Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy. The singer (at a bar in Bangkok) recently arrived from Taipei, he frequently orders Mekong for himself and a new friend (whose name he cannot remember), always allowing the bartender to keep the change.

It appears that the company was bought out by Sangsom in around 2010 and ceased production. It was almost impossible to buy a bottle in early 2011. However it is now back in production with a new English language label. In mid-2011 it was for sale at Duty Free Bangkok.

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