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Correction to This Article
The recipe for a cocktail called Thai's the Limit gives an incorrect yield for the coconut mix. It is about five cups, not seven to eight cups.

Nojito: Thai's the Limit

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By Lavanya Ramanathan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 5, 2009

Were she not one of the city's hottest mixologists, Gina Chersevani might have made a fine chef.

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When she helped launch the South Asian-inspired cocktail menu at Rasika a few years ago, she began in the spice pantry, nibbling on the fenugreek, sniffing the cardamom. At Tallula, she crafted her cucumber cocktail through a trial-and-error process that led to a discovery only a chef could make: To get that mildly sweet flavor she sought, she'd have to ditch the peel.

And when Weekend approached Chersevani, now the mixologist at PS 7's, to top the mojito, she enlisted the chef, Peter Smith, for ideas, and they cooked up . . . Thai soup. Okay, not really, but the sweetened coconut cocktail is inspired by tom yum soup: It's seasoned with fresh lemon grass and lime, scented with cilantro and fresh ginger, and kicked up with Thai chili.

The drink is -- in a word -- stunning. Despite the strange inspiration and curious ingredients, it's sweet, refreshing and incredibly drinkable. The lime cuts the sweetness, the coconut milk is light (Chersevani says the cooking process reduces the fat), the ginger is subtle. Gin and of-the-moment Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur make this the ultimate nojito, but the virgin version could just as easily relegate lemonade to the back of the fridge.

Says Chersevani: "When you've achieved layers of flavor -- 'Oh, I taste the coconut. What's that, lemon grass?' -- then you know you've got it."

Recipe: Thai's the Limit

Thai's the Limit will be served through the summer.

PS 7's

777 I St. NW. 202-742-8550 or www.ps7srestaurant.com


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