Cocktails & Spirits


Thai Martinis?


Cocktails & Spirits 13

Thai Martinis?

Dennis | Sep 7, 2002 02:36 PM


Please accept my apologies if this topic is somewhat "off topic", as it pertains to an alcoholic beverage instead of food. However, it is a topic that has been driving me a bit crazy.

Last month, I went to a restaurant. While perusing the martini menu, one of the speciality martinis caught my eye. It was the Thai Martini. I love just about anything that is Thai, so I ordered one.

A little bit of background before I go on. I am fairly new to martinis. For years, my cocktail of choice has been a Double Tanqueray & Tonic. However, I am finding that a lot of bartenders don't know how to make a decent one. All too often, what I get tastes like gin flavored ice water.

It was only recently that I started experimenting with martinis. My reason for being such a "late bloomer" with martinis is that I have always associated them with olives. For some reason, I have always disliked olives. In fact, I can hardly stand to look at them.
So, when I saw somebody order a martini with a twist instead of an olive, I decided to try one myself.

The Thai martini that I ordered was wonderful. Instead of an olive or a twist, however, there was a chunk of shredded pickled ginger at the bottom. I love pickled ginger, so this was a nice climax to my martini. I liked it so much that I ordered two more.

I went back to this restaurant two weeks later, for only one reason. I had an urge for one of those Thai martinis. To my disappointment, however, I was informed that they no longer make them. When I asked why not, the reason given was that "hardly anybody was ordering them."

I asked if maybe they can make me one anyway. The waitress went back to the bartender to ask. She came back and said: "We do have a little bit of sake and lemongrass left, but we're almost out of the ginger. We have enough to make maybe one or two more."

So........I ordered two Thai martinis and loved them.

Now then. Based upon what the waitress said, some of the prime ingredients used in making their Thai martinis are sake, lemongrass, and ginger.

I know how the ginger is used, as a substitute for the olive or the lemon at the bottom of the glass. But I have been trying to figure out how the lemongrass is used. Any ideas?

Also, would I be correct in presuming that the sake is being used as a substitute for the vermouth?

I'm pretty sure that gin was used for the main alcoholic content. But I've never heard of gin and sake being used together before.

I did a Google search on "Thai martinis" and came across a few hits, but none of them sounded like the Thai martinis that I enjoyed. Most of them were sweet and fruity, and I dislike sweet and fruity drinks. Mine was anything but sweet and fruity. Also, none of them used pickled ginger.

I'm just curious if anybody here knows anything about Thai martinis. Have you ever tried or made one?


Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound