This nojito is inspired by the flavors in tom yum (lemon grass) soup.
For a nonalcoholic version of this drink, combine 4 ounces of the coconut mix and 3 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then divide among individual Collins glasses filled with ice.
Make Ahead: The coconut mix needs to be prepared at least 40 minutes in advance. It can be refrigerated for 1 week.
Servings: 7 - 8 cups
- For the coconut mix
- 27 ounces (2 cans) coconut milk, preferably Chaokoh brand
- 1 stalk lemon grass, pulverized
- 1 ounce ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1 small Thai (bird) chili pepper, stemmed and minced (not seeded)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- For the drink
- 6 ounces gin, preferably Plymouth
- 4 ounces Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur)
- 8 ounces coconut mix (see above)
- Juice of 4 to 5 limes (4 ounces)
- Cilantro leaves cut into thin strips (julienne), for garnish
For the coconut mix: Combine the coconut milk, pulverized lemon grass, ginger, Thai chili pepper and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and puree until as smooth as possible. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. The yield should be 5 cups.
For the drink: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the gin, Domaine de Canton, coconut mix and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into Collins glasses filled with ice. Garnish with the julienne cilantro.
Adapted from Gina Chersevani at PS7's in Chinatown.
Tested by Gina Chersevani.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.