Zane Lamprey has a reputation to uphold. As a host of shows like SpikeTV’s Three Sheets, Drinking Made Easy on HDNet, and the new Chug, he's expected to partake in parties. That's why even he was surprised to be feeling good when we talked to him on the morning after Chug's premiere party. The show debuts on Monday night at 10:30 p.m. on NatGeo and is the first program to be funded via Kickstarter, where he raised $600,000. Here, we talked to Zane about the challenges of drinking in certain parts of the world and what could be one of the great fashion statements of the coming year—his self-designed “Drinking Jacket”
What’s the wildest thing you've ever imbibed?
Toddy. Toddy is the most rudimentary example of fermentation I’ve ever had. People tap the stalks of a toddy palm tree and put a bucket on the end of a stalk. They leave it overnight and collect it in the morning full of nectar. The naturally occurring yeast in the air eats the sugar and turns it into alcohol overnight. In one day it gets to 4 to 5% alcohol. Then they chill it, which stops the fermentation, filter the bees and flies out and then serve it.
Where do you find it?
Malaysia. What’s interesting about Malaysia is that it is a cultural and religious melting pot and most of those religions frown on drinking. I think there was a plot to destroy a brewery not long ago that was stopped. My wife, who is also the show’s producer, said she got off the phone with our fixer (a local who helps arrange travel, translate, etc.) who recommended places in the city to drink. It was three hotel bars and a TGI Fridays. We had to go a good hour outside the city to a toddy shop that was really just somebody’s house with a few plastic tables and chairs. They cooked me up some monitor lizard and that was my toddy experience.