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Thai Spices and Tipsy Tales: Navigating the Heat of Thai Cuisine with a Drink in Hand

Thai Basil Cocktail

If you're planning a Thai dinner night, pairing the right cocktail with those intricate dishes can turn a good meal into a fantastic one. Thai food isn't shy on flavour, so your drinks shouldn't be either. Let's get into some fun and flavorful cocktails that complement the heat and complexity of Thai spice.

Thai food balances sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavours, often all in one dish. With ingredients like chilli, garlic, and lemongrass, you need a drink that not only stands up to these tastes but also enhances them. Here’s how to mix up cocktails that live up to the task.

Lemongrass Mojito

Lemongrass Mojito

For a refreshing drink that echoes the citrusy notes prevalent in Thai cuisine, try a Lemongrass Mojito. Muddle a couple of fresh lemongrass stalks with lime and mint in a glass, pour in 60 ml of Gordon's Gin for its floral and subtle juniper notes, add a splash of simple syrup, and top with soda water. This mojito variant not only leaves you refreshed but also enhances the herbal freshness of Thai dishes like Tom Yum soup.

Thai Tea-Infused Old Fashioned

Thai Tea-Infused Old Fashioned

Take the classic Old Fashioned and give it a Thai touch by infusing bourbon with Thai tea. The slight bitterness of the tea adds an intriguing layer to the sweet and smoky profiles of the bourbon. Mix 45 ml of this Thai tea-infused bourbon (consider Johnnie Walker Black for its versatility and smoothness), a teaspoon of brown sugar, and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. Serve over ice and garnish with an orange peel. This cocktail pairs wonderfully with richer Thai dishes, such as Massaman curry, balancing the creamy and savoury profiles.

Coconut Mai Tai

Coconut Mai Tai

Imagine a drink that feels like an escape—perfect for the vibrant, often coconut-laden dishes of Thailand. Shake together 45 ml of Smirnoff Vodka, 15 ml of triple sec, 15 ml of lime juice, 30 ml of coconut cream, and a splash of pineapple juice. Serve over crushed ice, and garnish with a sprig of mint and a piece of pineapple. This Mai Tai adaptation is a sweet way to complement the spiciness of dishes like Thai red curry.

Thai Basil Vodka Tonic

Thai Basil Vodka Tonic

For something that packs a punch yet cleanses your palate, whip up a Thai Basil Vodka Tonic. Clap a handful of Thai basil leaves between your hands to release their aroma, and drop them into a tall glass. Add ice, pour over 45 ml of Smirnoff Vodka, and squeeze in some fresh lime juice. Top with tonic water and stir gently. The herbal sharpness of the basil melds beautifully with the crispness of the tonic, making it a perfect accompaniment to Thai seafood barbecue or stir-fries served with a spicy sauce.

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