Branch out from the bubbly and whip up some of Saan’s sensational Southeast Asian-inspired cocktails this New Year’s Eve.
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.
TOM YUM MARTINI
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.
BY ANY OTHER NAME
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.
TOM YUM MARTINI BY ANY OTHER NAME BLUSHING EMPRESS