How Tapey is made

The Most popular Igorot Alcoholic beverage!. I noticed that Igorots prefer this over all the over alcoholic beverages. I'd like to call this wine... But shucks!... aged Tapey does not taste like wine ... It tastes like Whiskey with a lot of bitters, and kicks like a horse. This is rice wine, and the only Philippine rice wine, I might add. Sake, the Japanese rice wine, does not compare to this in terms of alcoholic percentage, esp. if its aged. Sake, on the other hand, is somewhat more tasty to me. (or was it my imagination?). Part of my posting this recipe is to clear up certain things about tapey that are misunderstood by the lowland people, notably the Ilocanos and the Tagalogs. During drinking sessions, I've had the opportunity to listen to stories by braggarts on how they've tasted Sake, and How they've taken in Tuba(Coconut wine), and How Irish mead gives a fast hangover... and generally touching on the alcoholic proof of tapey. It sure makes me smile just to listen to the stories.
Before I go on, I'd like to point out the following:

1 to 2 weeks old Tapey.
The best dinner wine. Good for the ladies. This is still sweet, and can be compared to drinking Cali Shandy, or Q Shandy. Most of the braggarts I've listened to have drank this stuff. One ends up so full, before he gets tipsy. (ever drank 4 liters of liquid?).
1 month old Tapey

Just right for social occasions. A little less sweet. More zest in it. A shot before a meal suits me right.
2 months to 6 months old Tapey
The Kicker Tapey. This is where the kicker stories start. Usually, during Filipino drinking sessions, the drinkers are sitting down. If they are imbibing in Tapey, they would tend to drink faster, and a little bit more than the usual beer or gin shots. This is because the Tapey has not yet lost its sweetness, and has more zest. The overall effect is a heady feeling, where one gets drowsier and a little bit sleepy. Now, of course one would then get the urge to empty bladders, and usually, when the drinker stands up fast, he'd suddenly get dizzy for no reason. I still do not know the scientific explanation to this, but I'd tried this around five times, just to find out if the stories were true. The first time I did this (stood up fast), I simply sat down. The second time I tried it, I leaned on a wall. The last time, I held on to my bladder, and when I stood up fast, I just ran outside, just to puke. {The trick}...However, if one were to stand up slowly, nothing happens. If you were feeling heady while sitting down, it would be none the worse when you stand up. What I'd usually do is, casual-like, light a cigarette, crack a joke while standing up, straighten slowly, then walk slowly and nonchalantly towards wherever I can piss. I don't get "kicked". If one wants to hasten feeling the alcoholic effect, include eating the grains while drinking.
1 to two years old Tapey
The tapey has lost its sweetness, and is bitter. The liquid is not white anymore, but yellowish in color. If the tapey was done finely, the alcohol content would be high - around that of Brandy. Don't drink this as you would to beer. Drink it and take it as you would take Brandy.
Five years old Tapey

Out of curiousity, I made Tapey like this. There was no visible rice left, and what remained of the rice settled at the bottom. It was also of a dark golden color. It is bitter. Before I drank it, I tasted it sip by sip (testing out for food poisoning, since It was my first time to have something like this.) I'm still here, and sure, I drank it... The taste is just like mixing mentholated Whiskey, Brandy, and Apple Cider. I got slightly tipsy after two tumblersful.


200 grams Rice Yeast or "Fufud"/"Bubod" - This are yeast made from rice. They look like rough, round biscuits. These are normally sold in small markets (You have to ask). My mother acquires hers from an old lady who hails from Guina-ang, Mountain Province, and prefers these from those that come from Tucucan and Kalinga. In the different parts of the Cordilleras, There are some markets/locations well-known for good Fufud. My apologies, if I don't post the recipe for this. I simply do not know. I only know that old Fufud and ground rice are part of it, but I do not know the process. The old woman that sells me Fufud won't tell me exactly how. In the US of A, try the Ground yeast sold by Thai/Indian/Indonesian Stores. In the absence of these, use the same amount of commercial yeast, but expect a less sweet, and less alcoholic effect.
1 kilo of Gluteinous rice, known as "tsayaket", "dayaket", "diket", "malagkit", preferably the red variety. The more gluteinous, the better. The best type are the ones that are around three months old from the time the palay was harvested. The Palay that was stored for long or "baak" is not good.
Banana Leaves - The banana leaves should be prepared this way... Wash the banana leaves. Heat the leaves over fire, where the heated parts have turned greener. Wipe the leaves clean with a clean damp cloth.

Container: Either a gourd container, A wooden container, or a Glass container or an earthenware container should be used. Do not use Plastic or metal containers.

Preparation of Tapey
Cook the Gluteinous or sticky rice as you would with normal rice, but with less water than normal. After all the water has been absorbed, but it has not been thoroughly cooked, remove from the heat. Work in a cool dry place, where there it is not too breezy.
(A purely supertitious notice:
Igorots make Tapey with some stuff in mind:
1. No one must disturb the maker.
2. It must be done in a very silent surrounding, where there is no sound whatsoever, and no one talks. It is better if the maker is all alone. The reasons why these are done are varied from place to place, but one thing for sure sticks out: the Tapey will get sour if the superstitions are not followed.)

Prepare a clean flat surface, and cover it with the banana leaves. Spread the rice over the banana leaves, and let it cool and dry a little bit.While waiting, get the Fufud, and pound it into very fine powder. Now mix it evenly with the Rice. Mix it as evenly as possible. An uneven mixture may produce a sour taste. After mixing, put it in your container, and seal tightly. Put it in a warm place. If you are planning on aging it for a long time, Put it in a dark Place. I have seen many Tapey containers stored in cool, dry, and dark places. Why? I really don't know why, but it is practiced. The Tapey is usually ready as very light wine in four days. You will notice that there is liquid within the container. However, It is a lot better if you open it after six to seven days. The liquid that you produce is sweet, but the sweetness will gradually lessen as it ages. The color will change from white to Yellow to brown.


Remove the liquid - That is what is drunk. An easy way to do this if the rice is floating is to use a dipper, and press slowly downwards into the mixture. Let just the liquid spill over the dipper. transfer this into your cup. Others like to eat some of the grain, so in serving add a little grain(adding a little makes your serving more authentic). I love drinking this when the liquid has been cooled off in the freezer. You might want to try it. I have seen men in the "Ator" sing "Faya-u" while drinking in front of a container that must contain 5 gallons or more.


Never assume that you can hold your drink with Tapey. The alcoholic effect is a little bit more long-lasting than gin. Perhaps because the sweetness hides the alcoholic taste? I really do not have a scientific explanation. Perhaps one of the readers can write to me and explain why?

Daler, at your service....