Toddy Tapping in Sri Lanka – The art of preparing an ethereal brew!

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Back in the day, when there wasn’t beer or wine, most of the farmers and chena cultivators in Sri Lanka used to drink toddy to drown their fatigue. Here are some facts about the art of toddy-tapping!

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From time immemorial, Sri Lankans have been harvesting coconut palm trees to prepare ‘toddy’, a local alcoholic drink made by palm sugar and coconut syrup. In Sri Lanka, toddy is called in different names depending on the plant that is used to prepare the brew. There is palm toddy, treacle toddy, coconut toddy, and many other varieties.

The process

The process of toddy-tapping is not an easy task to master! As the first step, the flower is beaten for three days and on the next day, the flower is cut letting the sap to flow out freely. A special container called ‘labu katey’ is left hanging below the flower to collect all of its sap.

A sight to behold!

Those holidaying in Sri Lanka will be able to witness how toddy tappers walk along a tightrope called ‘athura’ which is tied between two adjacent coconut trees. This is a frequent sight in coastal areas like Wadduwa. Do not miss the sight of these toddy climbers and the way they practice this wonderful art! Tourists who are staying at one of the many luxury hotels in Sri Lanka the likes of Blue Water Club Suites will be able to savour great local mixes including a fresh toddy brew!


Strapped around the waist of a toddy tapper are the tools that are utilized in this trade. The most important out of those is the ‘thalanaya’, a wooden stick with which the flower is beaten.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

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