Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Sip of Siam: Thai Cocktails

Travel writer, foodie and beverage queen Cynthia Barnes shares her favourite Thai cocktails, the ideal way to unwind after a day on the beach or hanging in the city.

Relaxing with an adult beverage is a Thai tradition honoured by both visitors and locals. In 2009, the Tourism Authority of Thailand Thai created a national cocktail, hoping to lure visitors with 'Thailand in a Glass'. Although it hasn’t caught on like Manhattans or Singapore Slings, the 'Siam Sunray' is still a Land of Smiles-worthy sip.

Try it (and the drinks below) for a refreshing reminder of happy hours in lush and lovely Thailand.

Siam Sunray
45 ml vodka
30 ml coconut liqueur 
15 ml simple syrup (make it with palm sugar for extra flavour)
½ fresh Thai chili
3 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 kaffir lime leaf
3 slices lemongrass 
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Club soda

In a shaker, muddle the chili, ginger, lime leaf and lemongrass. Add vodka, simple syrup, coconut liqueur and lime juice. Shake well. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top with Club soda. Garnish with a lime slice and Thai chili.

Basil Lime Punch
2 bottles of vodka, chilled
4 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup palm sugar
1 cup soda water
lime wedges (for garnish)

Muddle basil and palm sugar in a large pitcher. Add the vodka, lime juice and soda 
and stir well. Serve over ice.

1/2 cup rambutan flesh (canned or fresh)
45 mls ginger-flavoured vodka or ginger liqueur
15 mls Cointreau
30 mls Club soda

Muddle rambutans in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker halfway with ice, then add remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange slice and lemongrass stalk.

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