Last night we enjoyed another fantastic meal with Grubwithus at Thai Classic in Lakeview. We met some amazing people and enjoyed some great conversation. For the meal we created two cocktails that would compliment the Thai cuisine and this beautiful Chicago weather we are having.
Our first cocktail, the Thai Tea Cooler is a take on a tea punch. We infused the vodka with Thai Chilis to give it some heat, then mixed in some sweet pineapple syrup and balanced it out with some lime and iced tea. This is a great summer "cooler" as the heat in the vodka should get your blood pumping and aid in turning down that body temp.
Our second drink for the evening was inspired by the classic Cuba Libre, otherwise known as a rum and coke with a lime. Note, there is no Cola in our cocktail! Instead we used Sailor Jerry, a spicy rum with heavy vanilla notes, made a syrup out of tamarind, a popular Asian fruit that has a sweet and sour flavor, added Hum liqueur, which is made from Hibiscus flower, Kaffir lime, Cardamom and ginger, and then balanced the drink out with fresh squeezed lime and topped it with soda water for some fizz.
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2 oz Thai chili infused vodka
1 1/2 oz grilled pineapple syrup
1/2 fresh lime
Top with iced earl grey tea
Add vodka, pineapple syrup and lime in shaker, add some basil leaves and shake with ice to bruise basil (This will help to release the essential oils in the basil). Strain into collins glass over ice. Top with iced tea. Garnish with sprig of Thai basil.
Notes: When making the simple syrup we grilled the pineapple to caramelize the sugars. This additional step is optional, but we thought it added a nice richness and depth to the syrup. Also we encourage you to experiment with different chili's, when infusing the vodka. Whatever you are growing in the garden or find at the local market should work great. The chili's we used were grown by Rabbit. Finally, If you are not a fan of Earl Grey, replace it with some of your favorite tea for sipping in the sun.
2 oz spiced rum
1 oz tamarind syrup
1/2 oz Hum liqueur
1/2 oz lime juice
Top with soda water
Add rum, tamarind syrup, Hum liqueur and lime juice to shaker. Shake and strain in rocks glass over ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with lime wheel.
Notes: We used a tamarind paste that we found at Whole Foods, it looks like molasses in a tiny jar. Tamarind is commonly used in Mexican, Indian and Thai cuisine and should be easy to find at those specialty food shops in a paste form.
PS...we love this episode of This American Life, where Ira Glass thinks he may have uncovered the original recipe for Coca-Cola.