Rượu cần (literally "stem wine" or "tube wine") is a fermented rice wine produced in Vietnam, especially in mountainous areas like Tây Nguyên or Tây Bắc. It is made of cooked glutinous rice (nếp) mixed with several kinds of herbs (including leaves and roots) from the local forests. The types and amount of herbs added differs according to ethnic group and region. This mixture is then put into a large earthenware jug, covered, and allowed to ferment for at least one month. Rượu cần's strength is typically 15 to 25 percent alcohol by volume.
Rượu cần is consumed by placing long, slender cane tubes in the jar, through which the wine is drunk. Often two or more people (and sometimes up to ten or more) will drink together from the same jug communally, each using a separate tube.
Rượu cần is typically drunk for special occasions such as festivals, weddings, or harvest feasts. It is often drunk by a fire or in a nhà rông, or community house. People always dance and play music (in Tây Nguyên, they play gong) after drinking. When a guest is invited to drink rượu cần by the local people, it means that this he/she is seen as distinguished guest.
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