Found this at an honest-to-golly supermarket in Ho Chi Mihn City.
Ruou Sai Gon.Â A form of distilled rice wine.
Here’s underground Portland beverage maven Trevor M. using his phone to research this bottle which has almost zero english on it.Â He brought up this overview of this category of beverage: http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/none/vietnams-rice-wine-culture-223868/
Interesting early translations included “pear” and “sand” and eventually “glutinous rice”.
How does it taste?Â I’d say it tastes “OK”.Â It clearly has a rice character, and I could easily be convinced that there’s a pear note in there.Â I don’t have documentation on what it set me back, but if it was more than $5 I’m sure I’d have remembered.Â Is it great? No.Â But try to find something this good for under $5 in Oregon or Washington.
Tasting new things from far away places = fun!