Friday, December 08, 2006

Whiskey Stengah (Setengah)??

Ever since the power dinner I had with a Viscount a few months ago, I've been meaning to look up this "Malayan Whiskey" that he mentioned a couple of times... The Viscount mentioned that he loved it...

Now, whenever I mentioned that to a fellow M'sian, the reaction that I'd get is typically one of shock... It'll usually go like this: "Got such thing wan meh?? Why never hear before??"... And a couple of days ago, while in the shower, I decided that this warranted a little more research..

I didn't think that the Internet would hold many clues, as any mention of this beverage would have been pre-independence and pre-Net... But it was as good a place as any to start the search... And after a little digging, I found this reference:

"The imperial ruling class in Asia was a privileged caste. It consisted of people who had spent their entire adult lives being served by someone darker, who never had to bother with carrying cash, and who regarded pink gin, the gimlet and the whiskey stengah as a food group." ---

Now, that's interesting... What's this "whiskey stengah"?? Sounds very much like a "whiskey setengah" or "half whiskey"... oooh... So, then, I did a little more searching and found this:

"a 'stengah' was a whiskey and soda, served over ice. The term derives from the Malay word for 'half'. 'Pahits', often consumed in the same colonial locales, were a combination of gin and bitters." ---

Ha!! Mystery solved!! So, there WAS such a thing as a "Malayan Whiskey" and it was popular among the British during that period... Not only that, there was a "Malayan Gin" as well!! Hehe... This is cool... This makes me wonder what else was conveniently left out of the official history books??

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