斯里兰卡人以热爱饮酒著称,但为了应对疫情,当地政府关闭了酒吧以及酒铺,这导致酒类供不应求,其价格也随着飙升。为了满足酒瘾,一些人开始在家私自酿酒,但这可能会导致酒精中毒问题。如何取缔私自酿酒也成了一个让当地政府感到头疼的问题。

Worth a shot

Faced with a ban on booze, Sri Lankans have been making moonshine

面对禁酒令,斯里兰卡人民已经开始了私自酿酒

The closure of shops selling alcohol was supposed to curb covid-19

“DATES, JAGGERY?” asked the grocer, offering the main ingredients for brewing palm wine. His customer bought both, tucking them away with his onions and lentils before disappearing down a narrow lane in a suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital.

食品杂货店主问顾客:“是要椰枣,还是赤糖?”这是他向顾客提供的酿造棕榈酒的主要原料。他的顾客将这两种原料都买下,并将它们藏在洋葱和小扁豆之间,然后转身消失在科伦坡郊区的一条狭窄小巷中。科伦坡是斯里兰卡的首都。

On March 21st the government closed all bars and liquor shops as part of a series of restrictions to curb the spread of covid-19. The intention, it said, was to prevent “drink parties” at which the virus might spread and to reduce unnecessary shopping trips. Small wonder: when the government first began introducing countrywide measures to slow the spread of the disease, “wine shops”—ubiquitous small stores selling mainly beer and liquor—were mobbed (social distancing be damned) by customers frantically stocking up.

政府于3月21日关闭了所有酒吧和酒铺,这也是为限制新冠病毒传播而采取的措施中的一部分。政府说,此举的目的是防止人们参加“饮酒聚会”,因为病毒可能会在聚会人群中传播。另一个目的是减少不必要的购物出行。难怪当政府刚开始在全国范围内采取措施减缓这种疾病的传播时,“酒铺”就被疯狂囤货的顾客挤爆了(保持社交距离这一点被他们抛在脑后)。这些“酒铺”遍布各地,主要售卖啤酒和白酒。

从那以后,酒饮就很难获得。超市提供送货服务,但很少有超市有销售酒精的许可证。有胆识的分销商也曾有一段时间安排了酒的配送,但后来当局明确禁止了这类操作。一个黑市已经冒了出来,但卖家很难找到,而且价格也让人望而却步。一瓶由椰子树的树汁蒸馏而来的“加仑酒”,其价格几乎是平时的三倍。它平时的价格约为1850卢比(9.75美元)。

The obvious, albeit illegal, solution is home-brewing. Sri Lankans desperate for a tipple are mixing everything from beets to pineapple with sugar, water and yeast, and leaving the cocktail to ferment. The result can be cloudy, fizzy and sickly sweet, but is at least mildly alcoholic. The more ambitious are trying to distil these brews into something stronger. One home-distiller describes fending off inquiries from the man who delivers cooking-gas canisters, who wants to know why his consumption has shot up. The next wave of hospital admissions, a common joke runs, won’t be victims of the virus, but of alcohol poisoning.

一个比较直接的解决方案是自家酿酒(虽然这是非法的)。渴求酒饮的斯里兰卡人正在将甜菜、菠萝等物品和糖、水和酵母混合,然后让这些混合物发酵。混合物发酵后可能会变得浑浊、起气泡,同时带有令人恶心的甜味,但它至少有淡淡的酒精味。一些更为大胆的人正尝试将这些混合物提炼为浓度更高的东西。一名在家酿酒的人描述了他如何避开问询:送燃气罐的人想要知道为何他家最近的燃气使用飙升。一个广为流传的笑话讲到,下一波住院的不是病毒感染者,而是那些酒精中毒的人。

警方说,他们已经发现了18000起非法酿酒案件。例如,官员在4月13日逮捕了两名男子,因为他们在沼泽地中酿制了36桶酒。在家酿酒的人更难被抓住。斯里兰卡政府正每天损失约5亿斯里兰卡卢比(合260万美元)的税收收入,它已要求电信监管机构寻找某种方法来阻止人们在社交媒体上共享酿酒配方。法律执行部门的卡皮拉·库玛拉辛格抱怨说:“他们正在使用六年级的科学知识在家酿酒”。尽管如此,他也承认:“我们不能一家家排查,对他们厨房进行突袭”。