Behind the Bar

Making & Tasting Thai Style Cocktails at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

Do your clients want to try mixing cocktails or drinking cocktails? Why not choose both! Get hands-on at Chalong Bay Rum Distillery and learn the art behind mixology before sipping on your tasty creations.

Destination Asia Thailand can organize cocktail making workshops at Chalong Bay Rum distillery that includes meeting a local rum expert and partaking in a private tour of Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. Learn how the award-winning natural rum is sustainably produced from Thai sugarcane and explore the bottling plant in action. Sample the distillery’s signature ingredient, Chalong Bay Rum, then learn how to create the most delicious rum based drinks in a cocktail workshop that uses colourful tropical Thai ingredients. Guests can set taste buds tingling with creations such as the Siam Twist, Southern Cooler and the Thai Fling. Learn how to incorporate exotic additions such as chili, lemongrass and ginger to give that cocktail a special kick.

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Japan Whisky and Gin Tasting Flight

Explore and experience the world of Japanese spirits with our in-house specialist, Kyuma, a Brooklyn born and raised bartender! Kyuma will take you to a local speakeasy, home to a world-class bartender and master of spirits. Upon arrival, you’ll be presented with a tasting flight of carefully selected Japanese spirits. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the likes of top Japanese Gin and Whisky brands, varying by availability. Some bottlings that may be available include the likes of top Suntory bottles such as aged Yamazaki expressions and Kyoto Distillery bottles.

As guests indulge in the experience, Kyuma, alongside the bartender, will explain the minute details and help compare differences in spirits and drinking culture. As Japanese spirits are amassing world accolades yearly, these bottlings are becoming harder to come by. Afterwards, if you would like more drinks, they will be payable on the spot. At the end of the tour, Kyuma will take you back to your hotel, or can give you further ideas if you would like to continue exploring on your own.

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Khmer Cocktail Class at Asana Wooden House

The Ingredients for a good cocktail class are not just fresh and exciting produce, but also ample tasting opportunities which are not in short supply at this class.

Following in the well-established footsteps of Cambodian cooking classes, of which there are many options, Asana adopts the same concept for Siem Reap’s first mixology master class. It’s held at the bar, a traditional Khmer wooden house rennovated to add style to the ambiance; this is a special venue to go for a drink even if you don’t take the class.

The lesson is very much Khmer themed and begins with sampling rice wine — thankfully not the hard liquor you get in the countryside, but flavored spirit by Sombai rice wine (still 29% proof). It then moves on to an overview of Khmer herbs and spices like you would in a regular cooking class. Fresh galangal, green pepper, rice paddy herbs, kaffir lime and turmeric are among the basket of flavors we have a quick nibble on before converting anything into liquid form. A concise leaflet outlines spices and their names in Khmer and has a notes section for jotting down the recipes.

The exact number of drinks you make might vary on group size, but as a party of two we make three in total – the first two are picked by our instructor, the last we choose from their list of Cambodian-inspired drinks. We begin with a ginger mojito and have fun scooping in the ginger juice, palm sugar, light and dark rum. Then we move on to a long drink, ‘Tamarind Sauce’. We are given ample time after making each to enjoy our cocktail creations as we go.

In order to sample a greater number of concoctions, for the third and final drink we choose different recipes from each other. Though you’re instructed what measures to use, there’s certainly flexibility to adapt and whack in a little extra if you’re looking for a more lively night out.

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Tasting Tour of Samui Island

Koh Samui’s beautiful beaches and reefs amaze everyone who has visited this idyllic island in the Gulf of Thailand. But there is a lot more to discover on this wonderful island – especially if you enjoy savoring different kinds of refreshing tropical drinks. Our ‘Tasting Tour of Samui’ fits the bill perfectly. Starting in the afternoon guests are picked up from their accommodation and head to Magic Alambic. Here they learn all about rum distilling before tasting two different flavours of Magic Alambic’s selfmade piratical beverage.

Next stop is a Thai Wine Shop where three fruity wines await, and a rundown on the history of wine in Thailand. The tour continues with culinary treats and cocktails, using ingredients inspired by local tradition. Then to finish the day we visit Jim’s Pub. Meet Jim and his proper-brewed craft beer, savor four tasty ales and select your favorite one in order to enjoy a full glass. Then simply let the evening fade away and enjoy the locally brewed ales with the beach just steps away.

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