Adding Local Spice to your happy hour
Butterfly Pea Flowers Locally grown butterfly pea flowers are now being infused with alcohol and tea, creating a drink with a vibrant purple hue. In Siem Reap, The Baby Elephant Boutique and Butterfly Pea Hotel have used this simple flower to create their own unique drinks; the Butterfly Pea cocktail and The Mood Ring!
Whether it’s Friday night knock off drinks or a weekend away to the islands or temple town, cocktails are nearly always on the happy hour menu. In recent years we’ve seen the good old favorites (in a variety of interpretations) on the menus of cheap and cheerful bars, evolve and become more sophisticated as elegant venues embrace the cocktail culture and even make their own bespoke specialties.
Local ingredients, like lemongrass, feature in cocktails using gin or vodka infused with this fresh local herb. Check out the rose and lemongrass martini at Miss Wong’s.
Adding a touch of class to the Phnom Penh scene is the dark and soulful Jazz Club Elite, serving high quality classics to match the mood.
Going to the beach? Then take a look at the Waterfront Kep and Knai Bang Chatt for sweet cocktails and stunning sunsets.
Don’t like alcohol? Most places make a ‘mock’ version, all of the flavor without the alcohol, think Virgin Mary (bloody Mary without the vodka) and her friend Virgin Colada (pineapple and coconut shake!). Similar to the cocktail movement, many places create their own blends of fruit and flavour adding a tropical vibe to your day. Mint and Lime shake is a Southeast Asian favourite, add a drizzle of honey and you’ll have a drink that will have other guests green with envy.
Before you take the plunge, follow these words of advice:
Frozen discussions can be made to flow with a little fire water.
So, how do you serve your valued and varied guests refreshing drinks to encourage socialization, without encouraging irresponsible behavior on your tipple? Enjoy with appetizers; tasty, savory and fresh. Add fruit and garnish to give body and hydration. Or go for a full meal. Cocktails — even if filled with fruit — are not a real meal!
As an alternative, wine with a splash of soda can be a refreshing alternative in the Cambodian heat.