Untold tales from Asia: have you ever heard of a Toddy Tapper?

Like most of us, Sri Lankans love a tipple. Two of their distinctive nationwide drinks, Toddy and Arrack, are born of the identical flower and are immensely common all through the nation. Downside is, this scrumptious nectar can solely be discovered excessive within the palm bushes – which might vary from 60-100m excessive.

Enter Indika. Indika (pictured) is one among solely 200 skilled Toddy Tappers left in Sri Lanka. With no harness and no security internet, Indika scales the large palms in with easy grace. He began working in his household Toddy store, and went on to be taught the ropes (excuse the pun) from his father.

He faucets for toddy full-time and receives a adequate revenue to help his spouse and three kids – aged 21, 18 and seven. He additionally make a bit of additional cash from vacationers stopping to take images. As soon as he’s ascended the ropes, he’ll be up there for round an hour.

The problem, in fact, is the peak. It’s a continuing means of going between the totally different palms to get the correct flowers on the proper time – therefore all of the ropes between the palms. To gather the sap, the tappers beat the flower over a number of days (serving to the fermentation course of), then tie a container beneath the flower to gather the sap, usually in a single day. The method could be repeated twice a day. As soon as a considerable amount of sap has been collected it may be drunk immediately, or combined with yeast prepared for the distillery.

It’s essential to attempt no less than one glass in your vacation. An ‘entry degree’ Arrack might be in Mojito type – a scrumptious drink, greatest made at one of many transformed colonial boutique accommodations in Sri Lanka. Purists will at all times drink it ‘on the rocks’, or with a splash of soda or water.

We requested Indika himself whether or not he truly likes Toddy. He stated that he’s a bit resistant to it as of late, however enjoys a pleasant glass of Arrack and Soda on an important day. You’ll discover Toddy Tappers scaling the palms bushes in a number of areas of Sri Lanka, primarily alongside the west coast. Round Chilaw and Bentota are greatest see the sheer scale of their operation.