Quarantine, rain, self-reward ... there are endless reasons to experiment at home in the liquor cabinet! Let us add an Asian flair to your possibilities. Lightening the day, these interesting favorites hail from our teams on the ground in various countries. Our favorite Asian-inspired drink recipes offer a unique refreshment for when the weather heats up.
CHRISTIE | Cardamom Refresher
I thoroughly enjoy the unique earthy flavor that cardamom adds to a large variety of drinks. For the average 90F/32C day in Cambodia, combining cardamom with either Gin & Tonic or simply soda water is satisfying and delicious. A mini mortar and pestle (a common household item here) sits on-hand in my kitchen for easy seed crushing and food experimenting. Recently, I added cardamom to my White Russian and found it amazing.
- 2-3 Cardamom seed pods
- Base drink of choice (soda water or gin & tonic)
- Lime (optional)
- Remove outer skin from seed pods and crush seeds
- Add seeds to base drink
- If adding to gin & tonic, consider combining gin, seeds and lime in a shaker first, to release more cardamom flavor
- If adding to soda water, stir for 20 seconds to spread cardamom flavor
- Add lime if desired.
JAKE | Mango Shandy
Grab a Mango IPA beer (or normal IPA), a fresh mango, and top it off with Sprite! What is more tropical than beer & mangoes combined? The perfect tropical escape while being stuck. My amazing team at Dialogue pioneered this drink. When we received our Mango IPAs, we combined it with our strong demand by Aussie and British customers for a "shandy".
I'd suggest this drink is best served alongside a bbq and a pool! If neither are possible, a home-cooked meat dish with YouTube "ocean views". Haha
- Mango IPA beer (or normal IPA),
- fresh mango, chopped
- Combine chopped mango with IPA then top with Sprite.
JIN | Egg Coffee
Drinking egg coffee sits near the top of popular experiences in Vietnam right now. Even the locals pride themselves in indulging at least one time in life. Only two places in Hanoi retain the “original location” status for egg coffee, which makes it even more mysterious. I ordered my first egg coffee in Hanoi years ago. Drink it in place of any other coffee at any time of day. I vote it as the most unique coffee option in Vietnam.
Our team member, Thang demonstrates how to make it:
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 spoons of condensed milk (can substitute sugar or honey)
- coffee of your choice
- Make your coffee of choice.
- Separate the egg yolks from the *whites (save whites for a proper Gin Fizz)
- Put the egg yolks into a bowl
- Add condensed milk (or sweetener) to the egg yolks. Add according to the amount of sweet you want.
- Mix this well until it thickens, by hand or mixer machine.
- Once you have the egg foam, time to serve the drink by pouring on top of your coffee.
Done. Very simple.
PAWEL | Kaffir Variation
In my opinion, fresh Kaffir lime presents the key to any great Asian-themed cocktail. Citrus hystrix, known as Kaffir lime or makrut lime, makes for a distinct flavor in any product of mixology with a lot of applications. This works for a variety of classic citrus-based cocktails:
Presenting, "When Life Gives You Kaffir Limes."
Are you into the classics? Slice up the lime and combine with your “good old screwdriver”.
- 2 ounces of vodka
- 3 ounces of orange juice
- 1 kaffir lime
- Combine vodka and orange juice over ice
- Lightly squeeze lime wedges and add to drink
Or try, "Mojito meets South East Asia!"
If you’re looking to cool down, go for your favorite mojito recipe but crush some kaffir lime leaves into the mix.
Finally, if you’re not a straight whiskey/bourbon person, then peel the kaffir fruit and turn your favorite smokey old-fashioned into a uniquely-scented experience. Flame kaffir’s zest along with sweet orange peels. Remember to wipe the smoked peels before dropping them in.
Truly, a super-fruit.
CLAIRE | 50 cent drafts
Ok it's not exactly a recipe, but Cambodia’s 50-cent draft beats anything else for my favorite Asian-inspired drink! No mixing, plain drink, no hangover. Nothing better exists than a cold draft after a long cycle. Local companies create these cheap lagers, thus the low cost. But, poured from a tap into a frosty mug, this drink equals refreshment. I must add, for a woman, I love going against the gender stereotype of drinking a pint!
- Incredible thirst
- Favorite barstool
- Request, consume and sigh happily
REECE | Ginger Rogers
The well-known version of this uses ginger syrup which is fairly easy to make in advance. Or my lazy version which requires just muddling some ginger with the mint and syrup (if you don’t mind ginger chunks).
Ginger instantly reminds me of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia. Used as a key ingredient in cooking, it can be found (and smelled) everywhere.
Ginger adds a zesty and peppery note, and pairing it with mint leaves and lemon makes this a very refreshing drink that’s perfect for a hot day. Ginger is also well known for its medicinal qualities, but I’m not sure a cocktail is going to be the best delivery method in those uses… or will it…
- 1-3 Peeled chunks of ginger (by preference)
- A few sprigs of mint
- 1/2 oz (15ml) Sugar syrup or Ginger syrup (steps below)
- 1/2 oz (15ml) Fresh lime juice
- Ginger ale
If making the ginger syrup...
Simmer a cup of water with the ginger chunks and half a cup of sugar for 30 min strain and cool. Use in place of the fresh ginger and sugar syrup.
Lazy method if not making syrup...
Muddle half the mint leaves with the sugar syrup and ginger to really squeeze out that flavor, you could strain this if you want it to look nice but leaving the chunks in gives it that extra kick of flavor.
Gently muddle remaining mint leaves in a tall glass, add all the remaining ingredients, stir and top with ice. Enjoy!
Garnish with lemon or fresh mint if you are feeling fancy.
THANG | Power-packed Lime Juice
On our tours, the guests and guides alike prefer this one drink above the rest - lime juice. After a satisfying ride, or for breaks in between, tasty lime juice or lime soda water really invigorates and restores.
One of the most basic drinks on this list of favorite Asian-inspired drink recipes, lime juice quite possibly contains the most health benefits. Regular limes contain a lot more juice than their Kaffir cousins above. This power juice carries calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and lots of vitamin C — all for the low cost of 5 calories per wedge!
- 1 lime (according to sour preference)
- Glass of water or soda water
- Preferred sweetener (sugar or honey)
- Cut and juice lime into glass of ice.
- Add water or soda water and sweetener.
- Mix well and enjoy!
Yes, beyond a plethora of incredible food options, Asia also boasts some unique drink offerings. Which of these favorite Asian-inspired drink recipes will you try? For a great summer cool-down or an any-season refresher, we invite you to have a go and enjoy the results!
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Curries to Cocktails: 12 Asia-inspired food & drink recipes compiled by our team.