All shook up: Cambodia's cocktails

Many of Cambodia’s most tastebud-tingling tipples take inspiration from the country’s bounty of fresh local fruits

Discover editorial
June 25, 2015

Many of Cambodia’s most tastebud-tingling tipples take inspiration from the country’s bounty of fresh local fruits

From Discover magazine

Dragonfruit caipirinha, Jaan Bai, Battambang
Dragonfruit caipirinha at Jaan Bai, Battambang. They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but Jaan Bai, a social enterprise run by the Cambodian Children’s Trust and arguably Battambang’s top restaurant, manages to meld good looks with real substance – right down to its cocktails. The neon pink skin of a shimmering, fresh chunk of drangonfruit clashes perfectly with the fluorescent green of the bevvy’s cubby straw, and it tastes just as delectable as it looks. The fruit, introduced to bring a local twist to the Brazilian concoction, is subtle, but its sweetness is enhanced by the tangy lime and potent vodka. A friendly waitress explained that the purple version of the dragonfruit is normally used but was out of season at the time – and what’s found in the market goes. Photo: Sam Jam

mango mojito, the quay, phnom penh
Mango mojito at the rooftop bar, The Quay Hotel, Phnom Penh. The Quay’s fourth-floor rooftop, lording it over the exercise classes and street cavalcade below, is the place to be come sundown. Take a seat overlooking the tranquil Tonle Sap and the capital’s riverside strip and avail yourself of a freshly mixed mango mojito as you digest the iconic 180-degree view. Along with the usual suspects of muddled mint, lime, soda and lashings of ice are added some freshly beaten chunks of mango – one of Cambodia’s signature fruits. Combined with the river breezes, these ingredients conspire to offer the perfect reward for a day spent on Phnom Penh’s giddy streets. Photo: Bernado Salce

Pineapple chilli margarita, Marum, Siem Reap
Pineapple and chilli margarita at Marum, Siem Reap. Two key ingredients in Cambodian cooking combine in this zinging blockbuster from Marum restaurant in Siem Reap. Run by Kaliyan Mith, an NGO that works with street children and other marginalised young people in Siem Reap, Marum is a training restaurant that turns out creative Khmer-centric cuisine and also has a fine lineup of delectable cocktails. In true Cambodian style, the bar staff aren’t shy with the tequila in this concoction, but it is the punch of the pineapple, combined with the kick of fresh chilli, that are the stars of the show here. Frothy, fruity and fresh, this is a cocktail that leaves your lips tingling and your palate begging for more. Photo: Bernado Salce

Jaan Bai
The Quay Hotel
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