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Tapuy, also spelled as tapey or tapuey, is the famous alcoholic beverage of the Igorots. The term is derived from the word tapay, which means fermented food. Traditionally, tapuy is served during important occasions such as weddings, fiestas, cultural affairs, and it also plays a major role in religious ceremonies.
The characteristics of tapuy depend on the process and ingredients used by each producer. However, in general, tapuy is a clear wine with a strong alcoholic flavor but moderately sweet. But unlike lambanóg, its alcohol content is just 28 proof or around 14 percent.
Making a tapuy only requires 2 ingredients and it also do not need too much time. Here's how.
What we need
1kg of diket (glutinous rice). Igorots prefer the kintuman–a violet red variety of glutinous rice.
½ pound of bubod – a white to brown hardened starch powder that contains yeast.
Banana leaf or bilao (circular winnowing basket), or any clean flat surface that can be used to spread the rice for cooling and curing.
A gusi (clay jar) or any closed container that can be used for storing and fermentation. Except for plastic containers, because they might add a plasticky flavor.
Rice cooker or cooking container.
In the preparation and curing of tapuy, some old folks chose the time between midnight and dusk to start it. They said there should be no distraction in order not to disturb the spirit of tapuy. Of course, there must also be lesser chance of spreading other bacteria on the tapuy when the tapuy maker is alone.
Cooking. Wash the rice and cook with 1L of water. Then wait for the rice to be half-cooked. When the boiling water or bubbles are gone, it means the rice is now ready to be made tapuy.
Curing. Using a ladle, lay the newly-cooked rice on the banana leaf or bilao and spread until it is about an inch thick. Then let it cool. After cooling, crush and crumb the bubod all over the top of the rice.
Brewing. After putting the bubod, use the ladle to put the rice into the gusi. Cover it with two to three plies of banana leaf or use a clean cloth. Seal using a rubber band or a garter. Do not seal the container airtight because the cap or container might break as the fermentation goes and air is also needed during the fermentation. Store or hide the gusi in a warm and safe place. Most of the time, is is placed near the dalikan – a traditional cooking place. The tapuy can already be consumed on the 4th to 6th day of brewing, when it is still sweet.
The tapuy now have two parts, the liquid which is called the rice wine, and the solid part called wine rice. Both can be consumed, but you can also extract the rice wine and discard the solid mass.
You can now enjoy the tapuy but of course, drink moderately.