May 26, 2024

Roll up to a hotel or cocktail bar in Thailand, and you may be greeted with a beverage called Sabai Sabai. What has become known as a welcome drink offers refreshing sips of Thai-made Mekhong liquor, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. Thai basil leaves typically garnish glasses of this refreshing sipper, and while the sweet basil provides peppery, spicy flavors to the drink, some bartenders may choose to add extra spices like cinnamon and cardamom or even garden herbs to color their drink recipes.

Also dubbed the Mekhong Collins, you may think you have been handed a John Collins, but the Sabai Sabai can be shaken with ice and poured on the rocks, served in a pretty cocktail glass, or presented tall like other Collins recipes. The Sabai Sabai is effervescently sweet and sour — everything you might want to sample while relaxing on a warm beach or walking into a lobby straight off a plane. Sabai is the Thai word for cozyand the phrase sabai sabai often references that easy-going approach you should embrace while on holiday.

Read more: 23 Cocktails To Try If You Like Drinking Gin

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A Welcome Taste Of Refreshment

cocktail next to candlecocktail next to candle

cocktail next to candle – Rubina A. Khan/Getty Images

Guests are greeted warmly in Thailand often by pressing palms together and bowing slightly. During warmer days, refreshing drinks are a cool comfort, and the Sabai Sabai is a welcomed greeting on a muggy afternoon. After a few sips, you are bound to forget any jet lag weighing you down and feel renewed enough to tackle a full sightseeing itinerary.

To acquaint yourself with the Sabai Sabai, however, you must familiarize yourself with Mekhong, a Thai spirit that falls into a category all of its own. The amber-hued booze can be closely compared to whiskey, but it is made from distilled sugar cane and molasses and parallels sake in that a portion of the drink is a rice spirit. Packing 35% ABV, this wallop has been bottled since the 1940s. The spirit is like a flavored rum, offering notes of toffee, vanilla, and spicy honey. To appreciate the full complexity of the drink, savor the Sabai Sabai. This is one meant to be sipped and unveiled slowly. You’re on vacation time.

Read the original article on Tasting Table

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