You might not think of pairing spicy Thai food with cocktails, but you definitely should. Sway in Austin, Texas wants patrons to think beyond wine and beer when it comes to their menu—but not just any mixed drink will do. “Developing each cocktail was an exercise in flavor balance and celebrating the distinct flavors of Thailand,” says Mandi Nelson, beverage director of New Waterloo hospitality group. “They can hold up to the heat of Sway’s cuisine without getting lost or being overpowering.” Nelson created a housemade galangal simple syrup for this take on a Gin & Tonic—which takes some time and effort, but is totally worth the tasty, exotic outcome. After mastering this drink, use the syrup to spice up other classic libations like a Tom Collins or even a Moscow Mule.
Same Same Tonic
1.5 oz Gin
1 oz galangal syrup
2 oz Tonic water
Fresh Mint, for garnish
Lemon Wheel, for garnish
- Add the gin and galangal syrup to a mixing tin with ice.
- Shake and strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice.
- Top with tonic and stir.
- Garnish with fresh mint and a lemon wheel.
.25 Cup water
.25 Cup sugar
- Make simple syrup from water and sugar.
- Wash galangal root and cut into half-inch pieces, skin on.
- Place galangal pieces into blender and cover with simple syrup.
- Blend on high for 30 seconds, then strain with a fine mesh strainer.