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Thai Swizzle Cocktail

Thai Swizzle Cocktail

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Launched in 1941, Mekhong is Thailand's first domestically produced spirit. Made from a mysterious mix of secret-recipe Thai herbs and spices, this golden spirit is commonly known as a whiskey, but would be more accurately described as a rum (made from 95 percent sugar cane/molasses and 5 percent rice). We may not know which spices are in Mekhong, but according to Gemma bartender Walter Easterbrook, who created this cocktail, "The Mekhong rum adds a touch of spiced ginger to the refreshing juices, while a dash of Angostura helps to harmonize the flavor profile and create a delicious cocktail." Since the rum has rich notes of toffee, vanilla, pepper, and cinnamon, the Thai Swizzle delivers an exotic, highly spiced flavor profile that will keep your palate guessing.

Click here for the 9 Unique Spiced Cocktails story.


  • 2 ounces Mekhong Thai Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Splash of grenadine
  • Ice
  • Lemon wedge, for garnish

Top pairings

The predominant flavours of Thai cuisine are sweet, sour, hot and salty - slightly different from the warm spicing of many Indian curries or the more fragrant, herbal notes of Vietnamese. So which which drinks pair best with a Thai meal?

As with other Asian cuisines dishes are served at the same time rather than in succession - a typical selection being a salad, a soup, a deep-fried or steamed dish, a stir-fry and a curry - which can make it difficult to find one drink to match all. (Thais themselves would not typically drink wine with food - traditionally green tea or jasmine-infused water would have been served either side of rather than during the meal.)

Authentic Thai food can be really hot but tends to be modified in most Western restaurants. The pairings that I think work best are aromatic or fruity white wines and light, cloudy wheat beers. Here are my favourite pairings:

Alsace - and other - Pinot Gris

My favourite pairing overall. Alsace Pinot Gris has the requisite touch of sweetness but also an exotic muskiness that tunes in perfectly with Thai spicing. New Zealand pinot gris, particularly the off-dry styles, also works well.

Spätlese and other off-dry Riesling

Again, a touch of sweetness really helps, giving German and Austrian

spätlese Rieslings and Alsace vendange tardive Rieslings the edge over their dry counterparts. A fruity Clare Valley, New Zealand or Californian Riesling can also work well too especially with Thai-spiced seafood, salads and stir-fries.


Many people&rsquos favourite with Thai and other oriental cuisines but in my view it goes better with some dishes such as Thai red curries than others (I find it slightly overwhelming with more delicate dishes like Thai spiced crab cakes or green mango or papaya salads). One good compromise is an aromatic blend that includes Gewürz. (Domaine Josmeyer produced a very attractive one called Fleur de Lotus which included Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling though I&rsquom not sure they&rsquore still making it) Vendange tardive Gewürztraminer can be very good with intensely sweet Thai desserts.


Quality is on the up with this overlooked grape variety which performs well with Asian food, Thai included. May possibly not have the power to deal with hotter dishes but worth a try.

Sauvignon Blanc and other intensely citrussy whites such as Rueda

If you&rsquore not a fan of aromatic whites Sauvignon Blanc is the best alternative though may get overwhelmed by hotter dishes. Best with Thai-spiced seafood, salads and stir-fries.


The quality of Torrontes has much improved since I first made this suggestion a few years ago. A good budget option with Thai.

Witbier/bière blanche

Jasmine tea

As already noted, Thais wouldn&rsquot traditionally drink tea throughout the meal but if you&rsquore not drinking alcohol it can be a refreshing accompaniment. Alternatively serve it at the end.

Exotic fruit juices

Wines that don&rsquot pair easily with Thai food:

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You may also enjoy &hellip

Comments: 3 (Add)

The BurNarj natural orange sparkling wine you writing about , is that one ?

BurNarj , its not expensive sparkling but very tasty , made from natural Andalusian oranges . I think its the only combination in the world of natural oranges in sparkling wine produced using patented method similar to traditional method used for champagne production.
I don't want to describe the pleasure of discovering unknown, new dimension of world - oranges , but believe me Burnarj its a great option.

The prices of decent wines and certainly champagne in Thailand lead me to think you are aiming your comments at very rich people!

Thai Bloody Mary

The Thai Bloody Mary from The Modern Hotel and Bar (featured in our July/August 2018 issue) incorporates salty and spicy fish sauce and Sriracha, while muddled and fresh Thai basil adds peppery, herbal aromatics.

1½ oz. vodka or gin
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
4 oz. tomato juice
1 tsp. fish sauce
½ tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. honey syrup (1:1)
½ tsp. orange flower water
Pinch of salt
3 or 4 Thai basil leaves
Tools: shaker, muddler, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: double rocks
Garnish: Thai basil sprig, Sriracha salt rim

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker, then muddle the Thai basil, add ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a rimmed glass filled with fresh, large ice cubes and garnish.

Sriracha Salt: In a bowl mix 1 cup of kosher salt with 3 tablespoons of Sriracha and mix until well combined. Spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and place in a 350-degree F oven for 5 minutes. Mix again and return to the oven for 5 more minutes, then allow the mixture to cool and dry over night.

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Must-Try Mezcal Cocktail Recipes

Ahumado Seco. | Photo by Jody Horton. All Jacked Up. | Photo by Eric Medsker. Bitters & Smoke. | Photo by Greta Rybus. Calebassito Cocktail. | Photo by Dylan + Jeni. Carter Beats the Devil. | Photo by Angkana Kurutach. Esplanade Swizzle. | Photo by Emma Janzen. El Camino. | Photo by Dylan + Jeni. How To Kill a Friend. | Photo by Justin Alford. Limantour's Jamaica Cocktail. | Photo by Dylan + Jeni. La Capirucha. | Photo by Amy Gawlik. Last of the Oaxacans. Limantour Michelada TJ. | Photo by John Valls. Mezcal Ancho Paloma. | Photo by Maddie Teren. Mezcal Milk Punch. | Photo by Kelly Puleio. Mezcal Avocado Margarita. | Photo courtesy of Margo's. Pasion de Oaxaca. | Photo by John Valls. Smoke & Mirrors. | Photo by Emma Janzen. Tamarind Margarita. | Photo by Lara Ferroni. Oaxacan Old Fashioned. | Photo by Daniel Krieger. Virgin's Sacrifice. | Photo by Lara Ferroni.

With characteristics that range from earthy and smoky to fresh and verdant, mezcal is a versatile spirit primed for mixing into cocktails. Here are 20 of our favorite recipes.

Ahumado Seco
The earthiness of mezcal shines with the brightness of hibiscus and ginger.

All Jacked Up
One of Mayahuel&rsquos boldest cocktails, made with apple brandy, Fernet Branca, maraschino and sweet vermouth.

Bitters & Smoke
For amari and agave lovers, a cocktail combining mezcal, tequila, Cynar and Fernet.

Calebassito Cocktail
Straight from Mexico City, this cocktail combines watermelon, mezcal, Strega, lime and ginger beer.

Carter Beats the Devil
Thai chilis lend a little heat to this tequila and mezcal classic from San Francisco bartender Erik Adkins.

Esplanade Swizzle
Mezcal and sherry meet in this summery swizzle.

El Camino
A mashup of mezcal and whiskey makes for a rich, smoky combo.

How to Kill a Friend
A tropical cocktail that hits all the right flavor notes.

Jamaica Cocktail
Hibiscus steals the show in this simple mezcal cocktail from Mexico City.

La Capirucha
Juicy prickly pears bring an earthy sweetness and electric pink color to this cocktail.

Last of the Oaxacans
The classic gin cocktail meets mezcal.

Limantour Michelada TJ
Inspired by flavors of Tijuana, this spin balances cucumber and Clamato with mezcal.

Mezcal Ancho Paloma
A spicy, smoky take on the traditional tequila cocktail.

Mezcal Avocado Margarita
A unique twist on the classic.

Mezcal Milk Punch
An amped up milk punch from Velveteen Rabbit in Vegas.

Pasion de Oaxaca
Tropical flavors abound in this agave spirits cocktail from Guelaguetza.

Smoke & Mirrors
The heat of jalapeño makes the flavors of pineapple and ginger pop.

Tamarind Margarita
An inventive riff that&rsquos a little tart, a little savory and a touch smoky.

Oaxacan Old Fashioned
A Mexican-accented Old Fashioned riff, created by Phil Ward, mixes reposado tequila with mezcal and mole bitters.

Virgin&rsquos Sacrifice
A frozen cocktail inspired by one of San Francisco&rsquos modern classics.

Deep Fried

Fried fish with fresh turmeric and garlic

Fried fish with turmeric (ปลาทอดขมิ้น)

Thai fish deep fried with garlic and turmeric is one of the popular ways to cook and eat a fish in the south of Thailand. This recipe is really quite easy, and as long as you can get your hands on some fresh fish, lots of garlic and fresh turmeric, you’ll be set. It’s a simple dish, but the flavors are amazing.

The fruit

For the canned fruit, be sure to save the syrup inside one of the cans because you will use this as a sweetener later. (Using only one can of syrup helps emphasize the sweetness without muddling the taste.) Cut all the fruit into bite sized pieces and put them into a large punch bowl along with the “red rubies.”

How the Chartreuse Swizzle Became a Modern Classic

In the San Francisco bar world of the early aughts, Fernet and Chartreuse loomed large. These intensely herbal, palate-challenging European liqueurs were the two prevailing “bartender’s handshakes,” shared over countless bar tops as a sign of connoisseurship.

“I was always squarely in the Fernet camp,” recalls Jon Santer, a veteran San Francisco bartender, “but Chartreuse had a fanatical following. I remember there was even a guy who hung out in North Beach and Russian Hill who had his car painted Green Chartreuse.”

Fellow bartender Marcovaldo Dionysos was one of those Chartreuse fanatics. So much so, that starting in 1999, he entered the San Francisco cocktail competition sponsored by the French herbal liqueur every year for five years running. For the first four contests, he landed on the podium, including one first-place finish. Having achieved this respectable measure of success as a Chartreuse master, Dionysos was prepared to sit out the fifth competition in 2003.

“I didn’t have any great ideas,” he remembers. But the organizer of the event reached out and asked him to reconsider. “I decided to make something fun and went in a tropical direction,” he recalls.

His entry was the Chartreuse Swizzle, an improbable drink that dragged the centuries-old European liqueur into the realm of tiki. He paired it with pineapple juice, lime juice, mint, a load of crushed ice and one final ingredient that all but stole the show from the bright green elixir: Velvet Falernum.

“I remember reading about Velvet Falernum and being intrigued,” says Dionysos, referring to the spiced syrup from the Caribbean that was once a popular cocktail ingredient, but had nearly faded from memory by the 21st century.

Between the falernum and the drink’s exotic form (swizzles, icy concoctions typically made with rum, were not well known in the States at the time), Dionysos caught the judges’ attention. He took home the top prize—a Fuji mountain bike.

From there, the Chartreuse Swizzle began its arduous, decadelong climb to worldwide recognition. As any cocktail-world observer can tell you, winning a competition is no guarantee that a drink will catch on. Judges don’t make cocktails famous bartenders and the public do.

The Swizzle made its first menu appearance in 2003 at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, a swanky cocktail destination where Dionysos was working. Denton, a renowned lover of Chartreuse, was a receptive audience. The cocktail sold decently, but hardly set the room on fire.

It was at Clock Bar, opened by celebrity chef Michael Mina in 2008, that the cocktail—which appeared on the debut menu—first took off. Paul Clarke, the editor of Imbibe magazine and a prominent cocktail blogger at the time, recalls having the drink there, as does Camper English, a San Francisco–based drinks writer. “Marco’s cocktail seemed to pop up on the most random cocktail menus in town,” recalls English.

Beginning around 2010, the drink grew international legs. Among the hundreds of bars that have featured the Swizzle over the years (Dionysos keeps detailed notes on its appearances) are such far-flung saloons as Galatoire’s in New Orleans, The Rathskeller in Duluth, Minnesota, Candelaria in Paris, Hefner Bar in Berlin, Vesper Bar in Bangkok, Vintaged Bar + Grill in Brisbane and Concierge in Tel Aviv. When Dionysos started working at the popular San Francisco tiki bar Smuggler’s Cove in 2010, the Chartreuse Swizzle was put on the menu for a time and became popular all over again.

Naturally, this all pleased Dionysos. But perhaps not as much as it pleased Chartreuse itself. Sales of the liqueur had dipped in the 1980s and ’90s. But, thanks to the Chartreuse Swizzle, in the aughts, the line on the graph began to climb again.

“We saw a resurgence in the early 2000s,” says Tim Master, who has represented the brand since 2011, “Partially thanks to Murray Stenson, who started making The Last Word popular again. But Marco’s Chartreuse Swizzle wasn’t too far behind.”

In turn, Dionysos credits the complex base spirit for the cocktail’s enduring popularity. “Chartreuse is magical stuff,” he says. “I think this drink tastes enough of Chartreuse to satisfy die-hard fans of the spirit, but softens it enough to attract newbies.”

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the drink’s sustained visibility is that it achieved prominence in spite of its defining ingredient, which—demanding flavor profile notwithstanding—happens to be one of the pricier bottles on the shelf. As English put it, “For a cocktail with crazy expensive and specific ingredients, it sure gets around.”

19 Mojito Recipes That Put a Spin on the Refreshing Classic

These cocktail recipes are a tropical vacation in a glass.

The mojito conjures up tropical reveries, beaches, gold sands, vacation&ndash and there's no coincidence to this association, as the mojito's origin story opens on the seas of the island of Cuba with the infamous pirate Sir Francis Drake.

The Drake legend holds that the pirate sought a remedy for his crew's scurvy and general malnutrition when he arrived in Cuba in the late 1500's. A common tincture amongst the Cuban middle-class at the time consisted of Aguardiente de Caña (unrefined rum), lime, sugarcane juice, and according to some stories, mint. The drink was called "El Draque" or the dragon, after Drake's nickname. Whatever the mojito's origins, it has made its way across the world, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway's and an extra in a 2002 James Bond Movie.

The ingredients of a mojito are refreshing and simple: rum, lime, soda water, and mint. It can be made with vodka, but we'll let you decide which recipe is better with these delicious takes on the classic mojito.


1/2 oz. lime juice (squeezed fresh)
1 tsp. finely granulated sugar
3 mint leaves
2 oz. white rum
Club soda or seltzer


Muddle the lime juice with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar and mint leaves. Fill the glass about 2/3 with ice and add rum. Garnish with used lime and and top off with club soda or seltzer.


1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
4 ounces fresh lime juice
4 ounces Simple Syrup, recipe follows
16 ounces coconut water, chilled
8 ounces white rum, chilled
1 cup granulated sugar (for simple syrup)

Muddle mint, lime juice and Simple Syrup in a pitcher. Pour in the coconut water and rum. Add ice to fill a pitcher, and stir to combine.


5 to 6 fresh mint leaves
2 strawberries, cut into quarters
2 ounces citrus rum
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lime juice


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the mint and strawberries and muddle all together. Pour in the citrus rum, simple syrup, and lime juice. Shake and pour into a glass. Garnish with strawberries and or mint.
&ndash Guy Fieri for Food Network

Shop Now Cocktail Shaker Bar Set, $14.95

Ingredients :

2 oz light rum
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
4-5 muddled blackberries
7-10 mint leaves
Soda water


Muddle and shake ingredients without soda water. Add soda water to Collins glass with strained ingredients and ice. Garnish with mint leaves and blackberry. Stir lightly and serve.

&ndashCourtesy Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen in Scottsdale, Arizona


Handful mint leaves
3 whole raspberries
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 ounces spiced rum
Club soda


Muddle the mint, raspberries, lime juice and sugar in the glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice add the rum and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into the glass and top with the club soda.
&ndash Rachael Ray


8 mint leaves
10 blueberries
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz blueberry vodka
1 oz lime juice
Club soda or seltzer


Muddle the mint, blueberries, and syrup in a shaker. Add the lime juice and vodka and fill remaining space with ice. Shake thoroughly. Strain into highball or collins glass&ndashyou can add ice to either of those first if you like&ndash and top off with club soda or seltzer. Garnish with mint and or blueberries.


4 mangoes peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups lime juice
2/3 cup packed mint leaves
2 cups rum
2 12 oz cans club soda or seltzer


Combine mango, rum, and lime juice in blender until smooth. Add mint leaves and blend again. Add club soda or seltzer and stir. Pour over ice and garnish with thin slice of mango.

Shrubs, Spritzes, and Swizzles: Everything You Need to Make Summer's Coolest Cocktails

A summer cocktail plays by different rules. It needs to be pretty simple—you’re not playing mixologist in your swimsuit—but more impressive than a bucket of beers. It should be refreshing enough to stand up to the heat and—like a good work outfit—be able to go from day to night. Picture farmstand-fueled syrups, beachy elixirs over mountains of ice, and splashy three-ingredient sparklers. Enter the shrub, the swizzle, and the spritz, our cocktails of the season.

Try these tasty shrub-and-booze combos, clockwise from top right: pineapple and tequila strawberry and vodka plum and gin peach and bourbon.

Chefs are always telling us to add more acid to food. The same goes for cocktails. That’s why we love shrubs: fruit-and-vinegar syrups to add to booze, soda, or both. The acidic tinge brings out the fruit flavor without overloading on the sweet for a complex-tasting, easy-mixing cocktail. Shrubs also make for fabulous nonalcoholic drinks—just add soda for a tart, gulpable fruit drink. Make your own shrub with your latest produce haul, then tweak our formula depending on how sweet the fruit is and your taste for tartness (or booze). Or buy one of these three great bottled versions available and get pouring:

Pok Pok Som, Inna Shrub, and The Hudson Standard Shrub are your best bottled bets. Illustrations by Hisashi Okawa

Pok Pok Som — As expected, Pok Pok's shrubs come in flavors like Thai basil, Chinese celery, and turmeric. ($15)

Inna Shrub — This artisanal jam and pickle brand also batches up shrubs in flavors like Meyer lemon, Black Mission fig, and sour plum. ($15)

Cocktail #14: Eric's Headhunter

My family is from the Boston, Massachusetts area so even though I grew up in New Jersey, I often visited Boston. My first "tiki palace" experience was when I was about 5 years old at the venerable Kowloon's in Saugus, MA about 15 minutes from Boston, to which I would return often. Built in 1950, it is (or maybe was) something like the 3rd or 4th largest restaurant in terms of seating in the country with about 1,200 seats. The interior is amazing - there are working volcanoes, a fountain surrounded by tables (I think the volcano sat on an island in the fountain). The walls are covered with Polynesian pop art and decor. The food, which is American Chinese and "Thai" is nothing to write home about, I'm sorry to say. But you don't go to a tiki palace for the food - it's an experience.

By chance, I was checking out the sale at the Edgewater Antique Mall which is a 10 minute bike ride from my apartment, and found this tiki mug from none other than Kowloon's in Saugus, MA!

In honor of this find, I tried to find a drink menu from Kowloon's online and try my hand at replicating one of their exotic cocktails. I didn't find anything comprehensive - a page here or there, so I decided to just go completely off book this week and basically create my own drink. This cocktail is based on what I understand to be the New England version of the Headhunter. Jeff Berry has a Headhunter recipe in the Grog Log which he attributes to bartender Manny "Blackie" Andal of the Hawaii Kai restaurant, New York City, 1960s. However, that recipe is much different from the Headhunters I've drank at Chinese restaurants in New England. I did find one recipe of the "New England" Headhunter a while ago online, but details are not great. So I decided to use that as a starting point and create my version of the Headhunter:

Watch the video: Cocktail guide: Rum Swizzle - The Wild Geese Golden Rum (July 2022).


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