Sometimes, when I want to remind myself of all that has happened over the last few years, I look through my early posts on Tokyo Terrace. There are days when doing this makes me feel sad, mostly because I don't know when we will go back to visit and because I don't think you can ever sufficiently say goodbye to Japan once you have lived there. Despite those feelings of sadness, I also have so much love and happiness in my heart for the things that we did, the places we saw, and the people we met while living in Japan. One of the earliest experiences we had during our first year in Tokyo, which has been popping into my mind a lot lately, was making the 4 hour flight to Bangkok, Thailand. From there, we traveled north to Buriram where we worked at an orphanage for a week. It has been a few years now, but in my mind, those children will always be the sweet, young, and vibrant people we met during our time there. However, they are surely more grown up and aware of the world. I hope they are all happy and safe and well cared for.
We worked for long hours in stifling heat, trying to clean every nook and cranny. At lunch time, we would gather in the kitchen at several tables that had been pushed together to seat the children and our visiting group. The table was set with large platters of homemade Pad Thai and clear plastic bags filled with pineapple that were purchased at the market down the street. Along with the pineapple came packets of sugar and red pepper flakes for sprinkling on the fruit. It was simple and perfectly refreshing on those hot afternoons.
This cocktail is inspired by the pineapple we enjoyed Buriram. The combination of subtle sweetness from pineapple juice, a little tartness from lime juice, and smokey heat mixed with sweet sugar creates a beautiful summer cocktail. We always have pineapple juice in the fridge to add to smoothies, so the recipe doesn't call for fresh pineapple. However, you can make this more of a blended cocktail by putting the ingredients in a blender with fresh pineapple rather than the juice.
However you decide to enjoy this cocktail, I know it will be a fast favorite.
If you'd rather go the mocktail route, you can simply omit the vodka and enjoy this as a lovely way to cool down on a hot day.
Sweet + Spicy Thai Pineapple Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 oz pineapple juice (all natural/organic, no sugar added)
- 1 1/2 oz vodka (you can also use silver tequila)
- 1 oz lime juice
- lime wedge for garnish
- club soda
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Combine the sugar and chili powder on a plate.
Using a lime wedge, line the edge of a cocktail glass with lime juice. Turn the glass upside down into the sugar/chili powder and gently turn a little to coat the rim of the glass.
Combine the pineapple juice, vodka, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, add a splash of club soda to the shaker and gently pour through the strainer into your prepared cocktail glass. (Adding the club soda after pouring the pineapple juice mixture into the glass resulted in lots and lots of foam. Adding it to the shaker then straining it into the cocktail glass worked much better- and less mess!) Garnish the glass with a lime wedge and a dried pepper (optional).