It’s in there. You can’t see it, but the devil lurks inside. Actually, it’s a handsome devil that only rears its ugly head when you partake too much.
Lao lao. Lau lao. Spell it how you will, the Laotians do a mean whisky (from rice). Sometimes it’s beautiful moonshine that mixes pleasantly with lime juice or soda. Sometimes it’s a wretched elixir sold from plastic jugs in the market, taken home in plastic baggies. In any case, lao lao is invariably strong, pungent, bold; gutsier than any whisky sold at home (my home, anyway). For a real treat, try lao hai, jar wine drunk through long straws from a massive vessel.