Tom Yum Cocktail
Entering to the world of drink again, The Semi-Naked Chef is knocking out a cocktail that at a recent party just kept on giving. In fact 6 batches of giving, and moving from vodka to gin, adding in cranberry juice as a sugar supplement etc. But it started as my Tom Yum Cocktail. Taking a Singaporean favourite stable food item and turning it to an alcoholic drink, inspired by an inflight magazine – but now my version. You are really, really going to like this one. If you want clarification of that, ask about 20 people at a recent BBQ that polished off about 6 litres of it. Nuff said!!!
Relatively simple as you would expect from me. But very complex in flavour, and with a few hidden surprises that when you sip you get that moment of; “Is that chili in there….?” type thing. This is great, it truly is. Much was quaffed. Litres in fact. But to the main recipe for this, I shall start at the beginning. I needed guinea pigs. My mates birthday BBQ was a perfect stage for that. A load of boozy people and a complete mix from all walks of like, and cultures – literally a United Colours of Bennetton mixture. But let’s take this iconic Singaporean dish and turn it to a drink. How the hell do you do that I assume you are asking – well here we jolly well go.
Take a big serving jar and throw in;
- 3 limes cut in to quarters – skins on and all;
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar;
- 1″ knob of ginger or galangal, peel it and slice thinly;
- 1 finely chopped chili padi;
- 2 lemon grass stalks – top and tail and peel a couple of outer layers, and bash with the side of a knife;
- 1 lemon grass stalk – again top and tail and peel a couple of outer layers, they finely slice;
- 5 Kaffir lime leaves – roll these up together and then finely slice; and
- 1 cup or fresh lime juice.
With a rolling pin give that a good bash, or muddle. You are mixing all the flavours together. Make sure the sugar is nicely dissolved, and all the ‘fruit’ is bashed. You want all that goodness in the mix.
In now with two good handfuls of ice. About 1/2 a bottle of vodka. About 2/3 a litre of Sprite or similar mixer, later we used bitter lemon. Give that a good stir round again so all is nicely mixed and dissolved. Stick it in the fridge for at least an hour to really get muddled up nicely.
Ready to serve? Not quite. Hold on, hold on. Throw in 2 Jalapeno peppers, simply slice these lenghtways to the stalk, but do not slice fully in half. Add in 3-4 more whole Kaffir lime leaves. Stir again. And now you are ready my friends. Here to serve you will need a strainer as you don’t want all the bits in your Tom Yum Cocktail, nothing worse than a chewy cocktail. So I strained each serving, but then returned the bits back in to the jar for further reuse. And man did it get reused. Now you are done indeed. Have some fun with this one. Now you could go artsy as per the pic with slices of limes and chilis in a fluted Champagne glass – or as we did, simply served in plastic cups.