Mekhong (spirit)

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Mekhong Whisky 700ml

Mekhong (แม่โขง) is Thailand's first domestically produced branded golden spirit. Launched in 1941, it 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. The distilled spirit is then blended with a secret recipe of indigenous herbs and spices to produce its 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 is the "Thai Sabai".[1]

Mekhong is widely available across Southeast Asia and is 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. In the song, the singer, at a bar in Bangkok, is recently arrived from Taipei. He repeatedly orders Mekhong 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 Thai rum maker, SangSom (แสงโสม), 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. By mid-2011 it was for sale at Duty Free Bangkok.


  1. ^ "Mekhong Cocktails". Mekhong; The Spirit of Thailand. Thai Beverage PLC. Retrieved 2014-12-31. 

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