Branch out from the bub­bly and whip up some of Saan’s sen­sa­tional South­east Asian-in­spired cock­tails this New Year’s Eve.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Recipes by Daniel Sul­li­van / cock­tails made by Joey Lai, award-win­ning bar­tender at Auck­land Thai restau­rant Saan / Pho­tog­ra­phy Ja­son Creaghan

Joey Lai whips up spec­tac­u­lar cock­tails from Saan restau­rant


MAKES 1 DRINK Thanks to the mag­i­cal prop­er­ties of but­ter­fly pea tea, this cock­tail changes colour as the ice cube melts. But­ter­fly pea tea can be hard to get hold of (Joey buys his from Auck­land’s Ruay Thai Mart, Do­min­ion Rd), but it doesn’t change the flavour of the drink so feel free to omit. A reg­u­lar large ice cube will still look stunning. FOR THE BLUE CHAI ICE CUBE (OP­TIONAL) 20g but­ter­fly pea tea* In­fuse the tea with 1 litre of boil­ing wa­ter un­til the de­sired colour is reached. Care­fully pour into an ice tray and freeze overnight. *Re­duce this quan­tity and the cor­re­spond­ing amount of boil­ing wa­ter if you wish to make fewer ice cubes. FOR THE LE­MON­GRASS & CAR­DAMOM SYRUP (ENOUGH FOR ABOUT 10 DRINKS) 10 car­damom pods 1 frozen le­mon­grass stem 500g caster su­gar Smash the car­damom pods and crush the le­mon­grass. Make a hot su­gar syrup by mix­ing 500ml boil­ing wa­ter with the su­gar. Add the car­damom and le­mon­grass to it and leave to steep for 1 hour be­fore us­ing. FOR THE COCK­TAIL ½ lime 2 stems Thai basil plus ex­tra to gar­nish 45ml Arette Re­posado Tequila 10ml Green Chartreuse 45ml le­mon­grass & car­damom syrup soda wa­ter to serve In a cock­tail shaker, mud­dle the lime and basil then add the tequila, Chartreuse and syrup. Add ice and shake.

Put a blue chai ice cube or a reg­u­lar large ice cube in a whisky glass and strain the cock­tail over it, adding a splash of soda wa­ter. Gar­nish with Thai basil.


MAKES 1 DRINK As the Saan drinks list says, this is the only place you’ll find the ubiq­ui­tous Thai soup tom yum on the menu. FOR THE KAFFIR & GALANGAL SYRUP (ENOUGH FOR ABOUT 12 DRINKS) 250g caster su­gar 12g (8-10) kaffir lime leaves 50g galangal, peeled Put the su­gar in a bowl with the kaffir lime leaves and finely grate the galangal over. Add 250ml boil­ing wa­ter, stir and let sit for 30 min­utes be­fore us­ing. FOR THE COCK­TAIL ¼ bird’s eye chilli 1 le­mon­grass stem, cut into thirds 60ml Fin­lan­dia Lime Vodka 30ml co­conut wa­ter 20ml kaffir & galangal syrup de­hy­drated kaffir lime leaf to gar­nish (op­tional)* Mud­dle the chilli and le­mon­grass in a cock­tail shaker, then add the vodka, co­conut wa­ter and syrup. Add ice, shake and finely strain into a coupe. Gar­nish with dried kaffir lime leaf, if us­ing. *If you don’t have a de­hy­dra­tor, you can put a kaffir lime leaf in a medium oven un­til de­hy­drated.


MAKES 1 DRINK You will need a juicer for this recipe. At Saan, this drink is made us­ing The West Winds Broad­side Navy Strength Gin, a lightly salty gin made us­ing sea­wa­ter. You can repli­cate it by mix­ing some salt and wa­ter and adding a few drops. This drink also fea­tures aquafaba, the brine from canned chick­peas, which works in a sim­i­lar way to egg white (this was omit­ted for the photo so the gar­nish was vis­i­ble). Pickled water­melon rind is a classic pickle from the south­ern states of Amer­ica, and it’s de­li­cious. FOR THE WATER­MELON & CU­CUM­BER SHRUB (ENOUGH FOR 12-15 DRINKS) 3 wa­ter­mel­ons 1 cu­cum­ber, peeled 500ml-700ml bot­tle rice vine­gar equal amount su­gar (eg 500g or 700g) Juice the wa­ter­mel­ons and cu­cum­ber then strain the juice through a fine sieve. Mix the vine­gar with the su­gar then add the juice and mix un­til the su­gar has dis­solved. Re­frig­er­ate overnight be­fore us­ing. FOR THE COCK­TAIL 45ml water­melon & cu­cum­ber shrub 30ml navy-strength gin 30ml galangal-in­fused Man­cino Secco Ver­mouth* 15ml aquafaba (brine from a can of chick­peas) 5 drops saline wa­ter (made by mix­ing salt and wa­ter) soda wa­ter to serve Put the shrub, gin, ver­mouth, aquafaba and saline wa­ter in a cock­tail shaker, shake and pour into a tall glass. Top with a dash of soda wa­ter and gar­nish with pickled water­melon rind, if de­sired. *In­fuse 750ml ver­mouth with 100g peeled, sliced galangal (scale back quan­ti­ties to suit) for 1 hour. FOR THE PICKLED WATER­MELON RIND GAR­NISH (OP­TIONAL) 1 ta­ble­spoon flaky sea salt 2 cups water­melon rind cut in 3cm-5cm pieces, skin re­moved

¾ cup white su­gar ½ cup rice vine­gar ½ galangal root, peeled, sliced 2 cin­na­mon quills 1 star anise 1 ta­ble­spoon pick­ling spices 4 cloves Fill a large saucepan with 4 cups wa­ter, add the salt and bring to the boil. Add the water­melon rind pieces and boil for 5 min­utes or un­til ten­der.

Us­ing a slot­ted spoon, re­move the rind slices to a bowl.

Add the su­gar, rice vine­gar, galangal, cin­na­mon, star anise, pick­ling spices and cloves to the sim­mer­ing wa­ter, stir­ring un­til the su­gar is dis­solved. Sim­mer for 15 min­utes then re­move from the heat.

Pour the liq­uid over the rinds, re­frig­er­ate for 24 hours, then pour into a large jar or bot­tle.

Keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.


MAKES 1 DRINK This drink was in­spired by the pop­u­lar Saan dessert tub tim grob, a Thai classic. At the restau­rant, the smoked co­conut cream is made us­ing a spe­cial hand-held food smoker, but here a more doable at-home method is pro­vided. FOR THE CO­CONUT RUM ⅓ cup co­conut chips or flakes 700ml bot­tle white rum (I rec­om­mend Plan­ta­tion 3 Stars, Mount Gay Sil­ver and El Do­rado 3 Year Old) Pre­heat the oven to 100°C. Spread the co­conut chips on a bak­ing tray, put in the oven and toast un­til golden brown. Put the toasted co­conut chips and the rum into a lid­ded ves­sel and leave to sit overnight be­fore us­ing. FOR THE CARAMELISED PINEAP­PLE SHRUB 1 pineap­ple, peeled, cut into cubes su­gar co­conut cider vine­gar Heat a fry­ing pan over high heat, add the pineap­ple and fry un­til caramelised. Re­move from the heat and weigh, then mix with equal amounts su­gar and co­conut cider vine­gar (so if you have 500g pineap­ple, use 500g su­gar and 500ml vine­gar). Let sit overnight be­fore us­ing. FOR THE SMOKED CO­CONUT CREAM co­conut cream co­conut milk smok­ing in­gre­di­ent (such as cin­na­mon sticks or ap­ple­wood) Mix co­conut cream and co­conut milk to a ra­tio of 1:1.5 cream to milk – for ex­am­ple 1 x 400ml can co­conut cream to 1½ x 400ml cans co­conut milk (600ml). Choose a glass jar large enough to hold the co­conut cream-milk mix. In a safe en­vi­ron­ment, burn your choice of smok­ing in­gre­di­ent and put the jar over the top to cap­ture the smoke, seal­ing with the lid. Care­fully open the jar, pour in the co­conut cream-milk mix and seal. Gen­tly shake the jar so the smoke in­fuses the cream mix. Put in the fridge overnight be­fore us­ing. FOR THE COCK­TAIL 45ml co­conut rum 45ml caramelised pineap­ple shrub 20ml smoked co­conut cream wa­ter chest­nuts dyed with red food colour­ing, sliced (op­tional) Put the rum and shrub in a cock­tail shaker, shake and strain into a coupe. Float the smoked co­conut cream on top and gar­nish with wa­ter chest­nuts.



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