Last year we went to Thailand on holidays and stayed with our friend Raymond’s uncle Jep on the island of Koh Samet. Just a few hours drive south of Bangkok, Koh Samet is the island weekender for Bangkokians. It is super chilled out and, with a large part of the island designated national park, hasn’t been over developed. It doesn’t have the white sandy beaches of Phuket but nor does it have the loud and obnoxious tourists.
We stayed at Jep’s Bungalows, simple cabins right on the beach. When I say they are simple, I mean simple but they suited us perfectly, cheap and cheerful and right on the beach. The highlight though was the food. If you ever go to Koh Samet you have to eat at Jep’s, we had some of the best food we have ever eaten in Thailand there, which is saying something since most of the best food we have ever eaten has been in Thailand.
Jep’s has a huge selection of vegetarian dishes and they are superb. We had a beautiful tofu larb, delicious massamun and a fiery red curry tofu – just don’t ask for spicy Thai style unless you mean it! I love my chilli but I seriously went through two boxes of tissues consuming that one. And yet, I did order it twice (masochist?), so if you are game give it a go!
On our return home Simon devised this cocktail in honour of our time spent on the beach at Jep’s and I think he’s captured it perfectly. This cocktail is so refreshing, perfect for drinking in the sun or on a deck while watching the sunset. The combination of the kaffir lime, mint and pineapple reminiscent of the fresh fruit drinks of Thailand and the ginger ale adds the right level of sweetness and fizz.
We, sorry I should say Simon (aka cocktail master), makes this cocktail with gin but all white spirits works well, particularly white rum or vodka. This cocktail also works fabulously as a mocktail – leave out the alcohol for a glamourous and stylish option for the non drinkers.
And thank you to Raymond for not only introducing us to Koh Samet and Jep but for taking the stylish photos for this post!
Place the mints and torn kaffir lime in the glass. Add the gin, ginger ale, soda water and pineapple juice. Squeeze in the juice from the lime and add the lime to the glass. Add a dash of bitters and stir.
Multiply the recipe to make a big pitcher over ice on a hot day. Relax and enjoy in the sun.