Mekhong, a long-established brand of Thai spirit with a unique Thai flavour for almost 80 years, has recently hosted the Mekhong Thai Spirit Cocktails campaign for the second consecutive year, after the success of its first edition in 2017. The aim is to select the best artisanal Thai cocktails made from local ingredients and the distinctive Thai rum to represent the pride of Thailand at the eagerly awaited MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2019 Star Revelation and Gala Dinner to be held on November 14, 2018.
Ms Sansiri Yodmeungcharoen, Assistant Marketing Director of Thai Beverage Marketing Company Limited, said: “Mekhong first introduced the Mekhong Thai Spirit Cocktails campaign in 2017 to find the best Thai cocktails to represent Thailand on a global stage. The campaign was extremely well received, and we proudly presented two cocktails – “Koon Suek” from Baan Suriyasai and “Thong” from TEP BAR – at the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018 Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner. With such success, Mekhong wanted to continue to support Thai cocktails and talented mixologist and has thus continued the campaign for the second consecutive year. What’s special about this year’s campaign is the sharper focus on using truly unique local ingredients alongside Mekhong rum to really celebrate the uniqueness of Thai flavours. In order to extend our support to Thai mixologist, this year we’ve expanded the search to cover the entire nation. We have shortlisted 11 cocktails from 11 bars and restaurants this year to compete for the prestigious winning titles. Each of the cocktails tells a charming and unique story about Thailand such as culture, tradition, and history. It also features a spectrum of uniquely Thai flavours.”
“Over the past month, we have invited the public to vote for their favourite cocktails out of the 11 shortlisted entries on Mekhong’s Facebook page. Those votes will account for 20% of the total score, while the remaining 80% will come from our panel of esteemed judges tonight: judges Master Blender of Mekhong ,Dechapongsa Kanchanalakshana, 1st place winner of Best Bar Asia and 3rd place winner of Best Bar Global awards Philip Bishoff, cocktail guru Ano Chuminchaj, celebrity chef Chumpol Jangprai, and Ariya SamattaiAssistant Brand manager of Thai Beverage Marketing Co., Ltd. The two winners are Rin Kam Lam Khong from Pullman Bangkok King Power and Nuan from TEP BAR. Both will be served at the MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2019 Star Revelation and Gala Dinner, which will be held on 14th November. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Thai cocktails and mixologist to proudly step on the world stage and wow food and drinks connoisseurs from around the world who will gather at the event.”
Mr Aekachai Khongsri, a mixologist from Pullman Bangkok King Power who created the Rin Kam Lam Khong cocktail, talked about his inspiration: “Rin Kam Lam Khong draws its inspiration from the name of the Spirit of Thailand which, in turn, was derived from the iconic Mekong River that’s been the source of life for many. To represent the origin of the river in Thailand, the mixologist uses herbal tea, a blend of galangal, lemongrass and pandan leaves, as a base before fusing it with sweet tamarinds from Loei province and crispy bananas from Ubon Ratchathani. All of these ingredients come together and give an astounding flavour to the cocktail, while also conveying the abundance and growth brought about by the Mekong River.
Mr Watchara Warodom, a mixologist from TEP BAR, which has won for two consecutive years, said: “The word ‘Nuan’ refers to the off-white colour of a milled rice grain, a food source that’s fed generations of Thai people for over 5,000 years. A ceremony is typically held before rice, widely regarded as a sacred plant, could be grown in the month of June every year. In Bangkok, the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony also marks the traditional beginning of
the rice growing season. Taking this inspiration to heart, the cocktail ‘Nuan’ delivers the subtle flavour of rice milk made from Thailand’s most celebrated hom mali 105 jasmine rice. The real highlight comes from Mekhong, the Spirit of Thailand made from broken milled glutinous rice, the natural sweetness of stevia, and the acidity from TEP kitchen’s rice vinegar. Served in a tall glass rimmed with rice crackers and puffed rice crackers, ‘Nuan’ celebrates rice in all of its glory.
“Mekhong, established since 1941, has continued to represent the uniqueness and charm of Thai culture to people around the world. The distinct flavours of the rum come from cane sugar and glutinous rice tips, distilled using traditional Thai methods, then mixed with a blend of Thai herbs and spices. The recipe has been passed down from one generation to the next and is well loved by Thais and people around the world. We realize the role that we play in helping to promote Thai culture far and wide. And this is why we initiated this campaign and will keep it going. We want Thais to be proud of their heritage and homegrown spirit such as Mekhong, which can be used to create truly unique Thai cocktails. The campaign also promotes local talents by helping them gain international acceptance,” concluded Ms Sansiri.