Here are two types of alcohol to drink when in Kerala:
- Palm wine
Because you could say that these are two very Kerala type drinks.
Toddy aka Kerala palm wine
When you’re in Kerala, you may consider trying the Kerala palm wine, also known as toddy. This is made from the sap of palm trees.
There are toddy shops all over the state, including around Alleppey.
You can find toddy shops right along the water…
…like when you’re on a backwaters village tour.
You can also find toddy shops along paddy fields…
So… does toddy taste good?!
Well… I don’t really think so. 😀
But… when in Kerala!
So give it a try! 😉
Actually the grape toddy tastes pretty good, but most toddy shops will only have plain toddy. You may also try mixing the toddy with juice to give it some extra flavor.
Why you may NOT want to go to a toddy shop
If you want to experience a little bit of local, going to a toddy shop can do that for you.
But, there are also some reasons that you might want to skip the toddy experience too.
1. You don’t know the quality of the toddy.
The quality of toddy can vary. If you go into a random toddy shop that you find on the side of the road (or canal), you can’t really be certain of the quality.
2. The toddy will probably be served in a used bottle.
If you drink your toddy at the toddy shop itself, you’ll likely get the toddy in a used glass bottle.
If you ask for your toddy to-go, you’ll likely get the toddy in a used water bottle.
In both cases, how clean these bottles are is questionable. This is India.
3. Toddy shops are local hangout spots for men.
You really won’t find women drinking at a toddy shop.
As such, it is possible that you might feel uncomfortable walking into one alone if you’re a girl.
If this is a concern for you and you still want to visit a toddy shop, your best bet is to go for a village canoe tour on the backwaters and ask to stop by a toddy shop then.
How to know what a toddy shop looks like
The vast majority of toddy shops in Kerala will have a sign only in the local language of Malayalam, although every now and then it might say “toddy” in English too.
So, just learn to recognize the word for TODDY (kall/kallu) in Malayalam! (The word with 3 “letters” in the picture below.)
Once you learn this word, you will notice that there are toddy shops everywhere!
Rum in Kerala
Most of these people are probably buying rum at this government beverage shop in Alleppey. I think it’s safe to say that the people of Kerala like rum. 😉
Sometimes the lines may be long, but if you’re a girl, you can go straight to the front of the line.
As a foreigner, even if you’re a guy, you can probably also try going to the front of the line. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a girl or a foreigner (or both) that people were telling me to go to the front.
Rum and coconut
The Kerala state drink is rum. (Okay, it’s not actually the state drink, but it sure seems like it!)
And Kerala literally means “land of coconuts” in the local language of Malayalam. (This is true.)
So it’s only fitting that when in Kerala…
You must have a drink in which you mix rum with fresh coconut water! 🙂
Rum, coconut, and pineapple (aka pina colada!)
Kerala also isn’t a bad place to make a FRESH pina colada drink!
Or make it without the rum for a non-alcoholic drink.
It would help to stay at a guesthouse in Alleppey with a kitchen and smoothie blender!
It would also help to stay somewhere that the staff will help you break open a fresh coconut. 😉
And even better if you can get a coconut straight from a coconut tree. 😀
You can’t get a coconut that’s any more fresh than that, right?! 😀
Best place to stay in Alleppey, obvi. 😉
But even if you can’t get a fresh coconut straight from the tree, it could be worth buying a coconut in town and then bringing it back to your guesthouse so you can break open your own coconut!
Because breaking open your own coconut makes the coconut taste that much better. 😉
But first make sure the guesthouse you’re staying at has the tools or utensils that will allow you to do so!
Rum and beer
Mixing rum and beer seems to be an actual thing in Kerala.
Rum and water
It’s also a thing in Kerala to add water to rum and then take it as a shot.
Where to buy alcohol in Alleppey
If you’re looking to buy alcohol in Alleppey, the best thing to do may be to ask these people:
- The staff at the place you’re staying where to get some nearby
- A rickshaw driver to take you to get some
If you stay at this guesthouse near Alleppey Beach, they will go and buy beer for you if you ask ahead of time.
Places in Alleppey to buy beer and rum (and other types of liquor and possibly wine) to-go
- Harbour Bar near Alleppey Beach
- Government beverage shop in town, down an alley near More Supermarket
Once again, you may get long lines at the government shop, so be prepared to wait.
Down the alley you go.
And if you see someone sticking out slips of paper, they are selling lottery tickets. Buy some! 😉
So instead of giving money to beggars, buying lottery tickets is a good way to be charitable in Kerala.
They are sold by poor people, so you are helping them to earn money, and you give yourself a chance to win some money too. Win – win. 😉 They are around 30 rupees (50 cents) a ticket.
Map of where to buy alcohol in Alleppey
Have a look at the map of where to buy alcohol in Alleppey to locate where you can buy some drinks.
Harbour Bar is near the beach.
The government beverage shop is in town.
Be sure to take a look at the rest of the best of Alleppey travel guide so you can plan the PERFECT trip to Alleppey!
HAPPY DRINKING IN ALLEPPEY!