A Taste of Asia in a Cocktail
Well I’ve been looking at how cocktails have evolved over the years. Originally they were just alcohol combinations – think of the classic martini and the manhattan. Then as flavored vodkas evolved you saw a wider range of cocktails emerging and now the trend is to take flavors from the kitchen and combine them into cocktails. This has seen a rise in the number of different exotic cocktails on the market including very unique Asian inspired cocktails.
Twenty years ago we were all intrigued with Italian cooking, before that French, but in this millennium we seem to be entranced with Asian flavors more than ever.
Our kitchens contain ingredients such as lemongrass, lime juice, cardamom, coconut milk, yogurt and fish sauce so why not incorporate some of these flavors into cocktails?
For a truly East meets West experience these Asian inspired cocktails really hit the spot. Taking flavors from different Asian countries such as Japan or Vietnam and bringing them to a cocktail glass is fun and exciting. If you serve any of these Asian inspired cocktails to your friends and family then you can be sure they'll be talking about them for a long time to come.
So get your cocktail glasses out of the cupboard and prepare to board the mixologist's adventure into Asia!
Vietnamese Inspired Cocktails
Asian Inspired Cocktails
Starting off in Vietnam we embrace the flavors of Vietnam with this cocktail called A Fishy Surprise. Why such a name? Well it incorporates fish sauce which is something I would never have thought of adding to a cocktail if I hadn't come across this recipe. It also incorporates lemongrass and pomelo juice for more Vietnamese flavor.
Pomelo juice is used a lot in Vietnamese kitchen and comes from the pomelo fruit - no surprise there! The pomelo is a cousin to the grapefruit, but isn't as tart - more like a pink grapefruit than the white one.
A Fishy Surprise
45 ml whisky
30 ml drambuie
30 ml lemongrass juice
45 ml pomelo juice
Â½ tsp fish sauce
Pour the whisky, drambuie, lemongrass and pomelo juice into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until all of the ingredients are chilled. Add the fish sauce and a drop of Worcestershire sauce then strain into a cocktail glass to serve.
More Vietnamese Inspired Cocktails
- Vietnamese Inspired Cocktails
Cocktails that invoke the flavors of Vietnam are certainly interesting considering that when you think of Vietnamese flavors you think of pomelo juice, lemongrass and fish sauce. Can you make a cocktail with these ingredients? The answer is yes!
Cocktail Shaker - A Tool of the Cocktail Trade
Trudeau Fusion Recipe 20-Ounce Cocktail Shaker, Green
A very stylish cocktail shaker is needed when you're making up your Asian inspired cocktails and this shaker is definitely stylish.
The fresh green color looks superb with the stainless steel and the comfortable grip makes it very practical as well as gorgeous!
You can't make cocktails without the tools of the trade and I think if they can look good too then why not!
Chinese Inspired Cocktails
More Asian Inspired Cocktails
Now flying off to China one of the more popular ingredients that they use is sesame seeds and now there is a sesame cocktail to try - Sesame Delight. This cocktail is absolutely delicious with a real sesame flavor.
1 ½ oz light rum
½ oz lime juice
1 tsp tahini
2 tsp honey
Stir together the tahina, honey and lime juice in a cocktail shaker before adding rum and ice and shaking. Pour into a cocktail glass to serve - yum!
Of course you can't think of Chinese cocktails without asking for a Lychee Martini, it would just be plain rude not to offer a recipe for one as they are a very trendy drink in some circles these days.
1 oz lychee liquour
1 oz vodka
1/3 oz cherry liquour
½ oz pineapple juice
Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass to serve. A nice touch is to pop a lychee into the glass before you pour the liquid over it.
More Chinese Inspired Cocktails
A much wider selection of Chinese inspired cocktails can be found on this webpage including yet another version of the popular Lychee Martini.
- Chinese Inspired Cocktails
There is a trend towards cocktails that use Asian flavors instead of just straight alcohol concoctions. This trend has seen a rise in Japanese Inspired Cocktails, Vietnamese Inspired Cocktails and also Chinese Inspired Cocktails.......
Thai Inspired Cocktails
Unique Asian Inspired Cocktails
There are a number of Thai inspired cocktails, but I've chosen to feature the aptly named Thai Martini which combines the flavors of lemongrass, ginger and lime. This recipe will make four martini's so don't think you have to drink it all yourself!!
10 ounces of (preferably Kaffir) Lime vodka
4 ounces of chilled lemon grass tea
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 small chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
4 sprigs of fresh lemon grass
4 thinly sliced, small pieces of fresh ginger
The first step is to pour the lime vodka, lemongrass tea and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake for about a minute and then let it stand for another minute to allow the flavors to seep together.
Take the piece of ginger and rub it around the bowls of your four martini glasses and then strain the martini into the glasses. Use the sprigs of lemongrass and the thinly sliced pieces of ginger as garnish.
Serve Your Asian Cocktails in Style
Orrefors Intermezzo Blue Martini Glass
Part of the reason I love cocktails is because they're something special, I love how some of them look, heck I'll be honest I even like the little umbrellas on the holiday inspired cocktails like the Blue Hawaiian.
Other cocktails like the martini just have an air of sophistication that a vodka and orange just doesn't really have!
You can bring a touch of elegance to these unique Asian inspired cocktails with these beautiful Erika Lagerbielke designed martini glasses.
Japanese Inspired Cocktails
Cool & Unique Cocktails
Now let's wing our way to the land of the rising sun in search of a Japanese inspired cocktail. Most Japanese inspired cocktails used to involve Sake, but another liquour is being used more and more and it's called Shochu. Shochu is a Japanese liquour made from distilled barley, sweet potatoes or rice. It has quite an earthy taste and can be used in a range of Japanese inspired cocktails including the Shocutini which also has the ever popular Sake in it's ingredients.
3 ounces shochu
2 ounces sake
1-1/2 ounces vodka
Juice of 2 lime wedges (about 1 ounce)
1/2 ounce simple syrup
This is a really quick and easy cocktail because you simply put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and then strain into a cocktail glass to serve.
More Japanese Inspired Cocktails
Now that I've whetted your appetite for Japanese cocktails you may wish to check this site out for sake and shochu based Japanese cocktails and more ...
- Japanese Inspired Cocktails Japanese inspired cocktails are experiencing a surge in popularity, rather than just drinking sake with their sushi people are looking for a little more soph...
Some More Asian Inspired Cocktails
Popping onto the plane once again we visit the melting pot of Asia - Singapore. Of course there's only one cocktail that you MUST drink in Singapore and that's the Singapore Sling! One day I will go to Raffles Hotel and drink the Singapore Sling there :)
15ml Cherry Brandy
120ml Pineapple Juice
15ml Lime Juice
7.5ml Dom Benedictine
A dash of Angostura Bitters
Garnish with a slice of Pineapple & a Cherry.
Combine all the ingredients with ice in a shaker and shake until well blended, then strain into a highball glass, garnishing with a slice of Pineapple and a Cherry.
Indian Inspired Cocktails
Asian Spice Cocktails
Now we fly over to the Indian sub-continent to try some Indian inspired cocktails and the one I've chosen is based around the spice cardamom which I think is quite an unusual ingredient for a cocktail (although not as unusual as the fish sauce!) and to that is added orange marmalade which I think can be representative of the British rule of the last century. The cocktail is called the Bitter Orange and Cardamon Martini, this recipe makes 6 martinis so it's ideal for a dinner party. Unlike most cocktails, this one can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge.
Bitter Orange and Cardamon Martini
12 cardamon pods
6 tbsp orange marmalade
400 ml vodka
125 ml cointreau
4 tbsp lemon juice
Place 6 of the cardamom pods into a pestle and mortar and bash them until they split
Melt the marmalade in a pot and then whisk in the vodka.
Add the split cardamom pods to the pot for a few minutes so that the flavors can infuse, do not allow to boil just warm through the mix.
Leave off of the heat for 20 minutes so that the flavors can continue to mingle together.
Add the cointreau and lemon juice to the mixture and chill.
To serve place a little marmalade in the bottom of a martini glass, add ice and then the martini and float a cardamom pod on the top.
Which Asian Inspired Cocktail Do You Fancy?
I think I’ll have a Sesame Delight, but what would you like me to mix for you?