pet pet

[by john]

thailand, perhaps realizing the current cocktail craze might pass them up uncrazed, has unveiled a new national cocktail (the guardian via drinkhacker):

At the very least the drink's ingredients are far from bland: a shot of vodka, coconut liqueur, a dash of chilli pepper and sugar, lime juice, a few slivers of lemongrass and ginger, with the whole mixture shaken then strained into a glass with ice and soda water.

by the looks of it, it's an alcoholic tom yum. personally, though, i'm turned off by the blank canvas vodka-and-soda combo.

having tried my hand with thai cookies, why not a thai drink? my endeavor was purely inspired by this post on homemade thai chili tincture, and the fact that i had lots of leftover thai chilies from the market.

so here it is, the pet pet (thai for 'really spicy'):
pet pet

1 1/2 oz old monk rum (no substitute for this kind of rum)
1/2 oz green chartreuse
2 barspoons thai basil syrup (homemade: equal parts raw sugar and water, steep with thai basil leaves)
7 drops thai chili tincture

stir and strain. garnish with basil leaf.

i like this drink. it has three parts: a fragrant smell which belies the spiciness, then a roiling combination of flavors, and finally a long, slow burn.

the only problem is that it's just half thai. the rum is indian, and the chartreuse is french. i'm willing to say 'oh well', but then that would be giving up on the idea of a truly thai cocktail. apparently, there are, uh, indigenous liquors distilled from rice. they have, however, have been likened to nail polish...which will make this challenge even more challenging.

well, until i get my hands on some genuine spirits, this will definitely be my go-to thai drink.


  1. hmmmm one comment. not spicy enough!

  2. there is, naturally, a variation which calls for n drops of the tincture (n > 7), such that the guest is satisfied in calling it a 'pet hia hia' ('really fucking spicy').

  3. You have easier access to the Thai mindset, but I wouldn't worry too much about it being 'half' Thai. I've always thought there's a certain cosmopolitan feel to the fact that Thailand was never colonized; if anything, it's a strength that the drink can incorporate other cultures and still be recognizably Thai.