I love so much about travelling in Southeast Asia, the people, the culture, the landscape and obviously because I’m a glutton, the flavours. Fragrant and sweet and sour and fresh and creamy and spicy and all perfectly harmonious. But it’s not all massaman curries and jasmine rice. I’m just as happy to drink in the flavours with a gin and tonic. On a sunny evening, if I sit on my deck, block out the noise of the road and close my eyes I can almost pretend that I’m back in Krabi whilst I sip one of these.
I’ve used Bombay Sapphire East for this because it’s infused with lemongrass and Tanqueray Rangpur would also be nice but it’s not essential, just choose a gin that you really like.
To make the simple syrup cut a 6″ lemongrass stalk into three and give it a quick bash with a rolling pin. Stab a red chili several times (or slit it open if you want it really spicy) and put this and the lemongrass in a small pan with 70ml of water and 3 teaspoons of sugar. Gently simmer this for about 5 minutes and then leave it to cool. The longer you leave the chili and lemongrass in the syrup the more flavour and heat you’ll get out of them. I actually put it all in a jam jar and leave it over night and then strain it just before I use it.
70ml of Bombay Saphirre East
2 tbsp chili-lemongrass simple syrup
squeeze of lime juice
Stir together the gin, lime juice and chili-lemongrass syrup. Fill a couple of tumblers with ice and then divide the mix between them. Top each glass up with tonic water and garnish with a slice of lime and lemongrass stalk.