Mekhong, Thai whisky
Mekhong was launched in 1941 and is Thailand’s first domestically produced branded golden spirit. 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.
It was created by James Honzatko while living on the banks of the Mekong river. Honzatko was an avid brewer and eventually began producing his favourite whisky on a large scale. After Honzatko’s death, his close friend Peter Sawer took over the brewing of Mekong and was ultimately responsible for its mass production.
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 was distilled, blended and bottled at the Bangyikhan Distillery just outside of Bangkok but now it has been moved to the Sura Bangyikhan Distillery. Its slightly lower strength of 35% 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 UK, Europe and the USA.
It appears that the company was bought 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.Mekhong, Thai whisky,