Friday, February 24, 2012

Cocktail hour ...

Most people keep recipe books in their kitchen.

Perhaps it's because he has a live-in maid, perhaps it's because a world of cheap and delicious food is available on his door step, so cooking is often unnecessary.

Regardless, my Bangkok friend, Ian, has no need for traditional recipes in his kitchen. Instead, taking pride of place, is a well-thumbed copy of a cocktail book.

Ian's partner Lee travels regularly for work, so their bar is well stocked with every alcoholic beverage from every country imaginable.

And when friends and family come to visit, Ian loves to ply his guests with liquor be the ultimate host by declaring cocktail hour*, and taking requests.

Why cocktails?

Well, mixers like tonic water are scarce in Bangkok. So much so, that when a supply is found, an alert goes up on twitter and Facebook, and that particular venue is bombarded by expats who pillage the supply in minutes.

A Good Friend is one who will carry home a few extra cans or even a case of coke zero, sprite or tonic water for a mate. A Bad Friend will hog his or her stash to themselves or worse, offer just two cans from their supply. (Gasp! Apparently, that's almost insulting!).

Wine and champagne are expensive by Thai standards, and while the local beer is often cheaper than water, there is only so much a lady can drink without, erm, bloatage. But spirits, particularly the white and local variety, and juices are cheap.

So cocktails and mocktails are the drinks of choice. And apparently, the ruder the name, the better.

A typical evening at Chez Ian (at least during the holidays) begins after a busy day of sightseeing, followed by perhaps a massage, a rest, and maybe a swim. Then it's time for a shower and cocktails.

Often, Ian's chef Pun would cook us a delicious dinner, before we headed out on the town or for more sightseeing, shopping, or even a real (ie, non-Ian) bar.

Whilst in Bangkok, we managed to work our way through a few of Ian's favourites, including:

I think these were called Absynthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder. Containing Abynthe obviously, and various other vile drinks. Tasted like Waterbury's Compound, a tonic Mum used to give me when I was a kid. Shudder.

Sunset from Ian's balcony ... always a good excuse for cocktail/mocktail hour

A Purple Penis. Ian first made these for us to help celebrate Valentine's Day, the romantic! (Let's face it, they were the only penises Carolyn and I were likely to see, having ruled out any 'boom boom' shows while we were in Bangkok). These were a firm favourite (hee hee), and contained vodka, blue curacao, and cranberry juice. Good for the Lady Parts too.

An apple martini, which contained real apples, just to be good for us.

Throughout the week we also worked our way through Smurf's Piss, Leg Spreaders, Comfortable Screws, Mojitos, and Margaritas.

And to prove we just didn't drink alcohol, we also tried a variety of Thai drinks, including iced lemongrass and ginger tea, iced rosella, butterfly pea drink, and a ginger and cinnamon calming drink.

I liked most of them except the butterfly pea, which like the penis drink was a pretty purple, but the similarities ended there. In fact, this one contained a slimy, jelly-like substance which made me gag.

Readers, what's the weirdest named cocktail/mocktail you've ever tried?

* At Ian's house cocktail hour could be at any hour of the day. After all, he says, it's 5 pm somewhere in the world ...


Lisa H said...

Vodka and cranberry juice is my favourite... not sure I like the thought of a purple penis tho.

Unknown said...

What a consummate host! You guys WERE spoiled with in an inch of your life!
I've never had anything more strange than the old Cock-sucking Cowboy, but I'm always on the lookout for a dirty cocktail...

Caro68 said...

We certainly enjoyed trying as many as we dared, and once we got past that we just became daring!! You forgot the Cosmos, my favourite.

Caro68 said...

And the Penis Go Harders (pina coladas)!!

Unknown said...

Oh how could I forget those. The Cosmos were another favourite. The Penis Go Harders were a bit of a taste to become accustomed too, because the pineapple juice tasted different. And I forget about the time I asked Ian to give me an orgasm and you, Ian and Keri (not sure of spelling) had a Screaming Banana Banshee while I had a little Nana Nap in anticipation of our Big Night Out at DJ Station.

London Van said...

Now I know who's responsible for my thirst... I'd love to indulge myself in one of those cocktails. Wouldn't want no Smurf's Piss, though hahah

Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid said...

Penis Go Harders! Bahaha! Sounds like a very merry time was had by all!