Raksi is usually made from kodo millet (kodo) or rice; different grains produce different flavors. It can even be made from mulberries. It is a strong drink, clear like vodka or gin, tasting somewhat like Japanese sake.
In the CNN's list of World's 50 most delicious drinks, it was ranked 41st and was described as "Made from millet or rice, Raksi is strong on the nose and sends a burning sensation straight down your throat that resolves itself into a surprisingly smooth, velvety sensation. Nepalese drink this home brew to celebrate festivals, though we think that the prized drink itself is the reason to celebrate."
Because of its popularity, there exist various temperance movements in Nepal, including various women's groups. Raksi, however, remains an important requirement of various religious rituals and social events, due in part perhaps to its antiseptic properties.
Raksi is often served in a bhatti glass and during special occasions, the drink is poured from a great height via a pitcher with a small spout, making an entertaining spectacle.
Raksi is produced, sold and mostly consumed at rustic distilleries scattered around the countryside. Usually it is not aged before consumption. A large amount of wood is used in the distillation process.
- Jand, a Nepalese drink
- Chhaang, a Tibetan and Nepalese Limbu drink
- Jhaal, a Tibetan drink
- Ara, a Bhutanese drink