Noted Thai rum brand, Mekhong, recently hosted Mekhong Thai Spirit Cocktails 2017, a cocktail-crafting competition that searched for the perfect cocktails that best represent Thailand’s multi-faceted culture. Nine drinks, created by some of the best restaurants and bars in Bangkok, made it to the shortlist, five most-voted mixes were presented to a distinguished judging panel composed of food and drinks experts and honorary guests, including Gaelle Van Hieu, Michelin’s Vice President for East Asia & Australia.
Apart from two winning cocktails that were selected for Bangkok's first Michelin Gala Dinner, three other shortlisted mixes are also worth mentioning.
1. Ruen Rudee
Try it at: Saneh Jaan
Ingredients: Mekhong, Frangelico, sugarcane juice, champaka flower syrup, champaka foam and orange peel
One Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Sanah Jaan takes inspiration from ruen ruedee, a Thai dessert that was traditionally reserved for the royal court and is usually smoked with a scented candle, to create a sweet but boozy cocktail. Saneh Jaan’s concoction is an aromatic sipper that combines Frangelico—which adds a hazelnut flavor to the traditional drink—with sugar cane juice and white champaka syrup. The cocktail is topped with white champaka mousse prior to serving.
Glasshouse at Sindhorn, 130-132 Wireless Road, Lumpini, 0 2650 9880
2. Siam Park
Try it at: Hyde & Seek Peeka- Boo
Ingredients: Mekhong, vanilla syrup, pineapple juice, ginger, Thai basil and lime juice
Tropical fruits and aromatic herbs are key ingredients in Thai cuisine. Upscale bistro Hyde & Seek Peek-a-Boo pays tribute to the country’s indigenous produce by creating an alcohol-infused “garden within a glass.” Siam Park combines the spicy notes of Mekhong with the tropical flavors of pineapple juice, ginger and Thai basil to come up with a light and sweet drink that rests easy on the palate.
1st floor, Groove, CentralWorld, Rama 1 Road, 0 2646 1099
3. Tom Yam Mekhala
Try it at: Osha
Ingredients: Mekhong, chili, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, butterfly pea tea, lime and syrup
Modern Thai eatety Osha puts together a photogenic cocktail inspired by the tale of Mekhala, the goddess of the ocean and a character in traditional Thai folklore. The pea flower-colored Tom Yum Mekhala, which also reflects the goddess’ skin color, delivers exotic flavors through a mix of galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime and shallots—the staple ingredients that go into tom yum soup—plus a shot of Mekhong to inject a spicy note to the drink. Embellished with an exquisite chada headpiece, the drink is also served with an ice ball as an allegory to a famous scene in the tale when the goddess is chased by a giant demon for her crystal ball.
Osha, 99 Wireless Road, Lumpini, 0 2256 6555
Click here to see the winners.