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Thai-inspired cocktails


prasantrin
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I was at a friend's Thai restaurant today, and I was thinking of how great it would be if she offered a few Thai-inspired cocktails to her beverage menu. No one at the restaurant is capable of making anything other than a basic cocktail (long island ice tea, for example, is about as complicated as they can handle), so anything I suggested would have to be easy to make.

She carries a few wines, some beers (Thai and domestic), and has very basic spirits for making very basic drinks (whiskey, rum, vodka...maybe gin, but I'm not sure). She has some canned fruit juices, like tamarind and mango, and she used to make her own lemongrass drink (just lemongrass steeped in hot water with lots of sugar), and of course she has Thai iced tea and coffee (and run-of-the-mill soft drinks, too). Those are all the beverages she has to work with.

I was thinking of something like a Thai-inspired sangria for the summer--it could be made ahead and kept in the fridge for the evening, so the staff wouldn't have to spend too much time with it during service. Anyone have a recipe for such a thing, or have an idea of how to go about creating a recipe for it?

Any other interesting easy-to-make cocktail ideas?

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I think the sangria idea sounds great. Any way of incorporating her lemongrass mixture into that? I love lemongrass in a cocktail-- usually achieved at my house by infusing vodka with it. Works well with tropical fruit such as lychees, maybe some ginger... I'm thinking white wine or sparkling wine sangria.

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Tabla in NYC does some interesting Indian inspired cocktails-- tamarind margaritas, lemongrass infused pineapple juice mixed with things, etc...

Maybe your friend could try the same tricks but with Thai ingredients... the lemongrass infusion could be accompanied by lime leaf infusions too... Galangal-ale in place of ginger ale as a mixer... rambutan sours maybe... spicy pepper and coconut milk based cocktails... infuse the fresh green peppercorns into gin or vodka and play around to find something that works...

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Coconut water is a great mixer, though I guess with coconut you run the risk of setting off Caribbean associations more than Thai ones.

Oh, but there's KHangar One's Kaffir Lime vodka -- I'm not usually a fan of flavored vodkas, but this one is very good, a very multi-layered flavor. I've heard good things about their Buddha's Hand vodka, too.

ETA: Fixed vodka name

Edited by Ktepi (log)
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Lychee martinis are an easy (and tasty) choice. You can use Soho Lychee Liqueur, or the syrup from the tinned fruit.

Playing around with ingredients one day, I came up with something I called the Thaiprinha, using Awamori (a variety of Shochu native to Okinawa, distilled from long grain Thai rice), lime, a small sliver of kaffir lime leaf (just a bit to muddle with the lime - it's a strong flavor which can easily overpower the drink), and lemongrass infused simple syrup.

One of Gary Regan's old columns has a recipe for a Thai Lady, essentially a White Lady made with lemongrass syrup.

Edit - I forgot to mention that we're in the middle of lychee season, so there's every reason to use the fresh fruit.

Edited by jmfangio (log)

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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Oh, but there's Ketel One's Kaffir Lime vodka -- I'm not usually a fan of flavored vodkas, but this one is very good, a very multi-layered flavor.  I've heard good things about their Buddha's Hand vodka, too.

I believe you're thinking of Hangar One, as opposed to Ketel One.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I did a riff on a Caipirinha I called a Thai-pirinha once. Muddled limes, Thai basil and ginger simple syrup with cachaca, shaken and dropped into a rocks glass, topped with soda water. It was pretty tasty and relatively easy. The flavor profile would work for that application.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I recently grated fresh ginger juice into chilled vodka inna cocktail glass. Sharp, refreshing and totally delicious, not to mention dead easy.

I also intend to try making infusions of lemongrass and of kaffir lime leaves.

You could try making a Bloody Mary variation based on Tom Yum or a papaya concoction based on Som Tam.

There Will Be Bloody Marys
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Oh, but there's Ketel One's Kaffir Lime vodka -- I'm not usually a fan of flavored vodkas, but this one is very good, a very multi-layered flavor.  I've heard good things about their Buddha's Hand vodka, too.

I believe you're thinking of Hangar One, as opposed to Ketel One.

Shoot, yes! Told you I didn't drink vodka much.

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