What does Sombai Cambodian Liqueur mean?
Sombai – pronounced as “som bai” – means “some rice, please” in Khmer.
Rice is the main staple food in Cambodia, but is also the base of the distillation of alcohol hence the preparation of the staple alcoholic beverage, the rice wine that the Cambodians drink. Throughout history, the Khmer people have used local liquor in traditional medicine to extract the benefits of fruits, spices and roots. Sombai is now considered by some as the national drink of Cambodia and thus a typical souvenir.
Liqueur production process
Because we wanted to make a delicious liqueur, sweet and fruity, we decided to add the secrets from Mauritius that are used in the production of infused rums that we drink in the islands.
Thus, the spices and local fruits freshly bought from the market are infused in the spirit. The flavours are always presented in a combination of 2. Indeed, this enhance the balance and complexity in taste for this Cambodian liqueur. Furthermore we insert a sugar cane stick in each bottle rounding out the taste and giving it an additional woody flavour as time goes by. Already very tasty at the time we proceed with the bottling, it all gets even better with time.
An unique packaging in hand-painted bottles as souvenir from Siem Reap
Some may say “no matter the bottle, provided there is tipsiness”. To agree to this implies ignoring the quality of young Cambodian artists and their ability to sublimate the bottles. And “to crown” the whole thing, each Sombai bottle proudly bears its traditional colourful krama cloth over the bottle top. Moreover, young artists paint on the Sombai bottles and they are decorated by hand, making each of them a unique piece and an amazing souvenir.
More details about this drink…
For more details you can read the reviews posted on Tripadvisor regarding the Sombai Workshop.