Playing with Fire

A sweet cocktail from Lao Laan-Xang

For culinary heat-seekers—those who consider the Scoville scale both a revered text and a test of mettle—deciding what to eat is easy. The more difficult question: what to drink for sweet relief?

Milk will cool the esophageal fire wrought by a habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper. But sipping a sweet cocktail can offer the same reprieve, says Sone Inthachitch, owner of Lao Laan-Xang on Atwood Avenue.

“Residual sugar helps clear the palate of spice,” he says. “It’s one of the best things you can drink with spicy food.”

He recommends a Laotini, a cocktail that treads the sweet path without veering into saccharine, like so many tropical drinks served at Asian restaurants. The secret, if you can call it that, is downplaying the cocktail’s syrupy component—in this case, lychee liqueur—to a mere quarter ounce, and filling out the rest of the drink with vodka and lime. 

RECIPE: Laotini

1/4 oz. Soho lychee liqueur
2 oz. Absolut vodka
Big dash (1/4 to 1/2 tsp.) fresh lime juice
Garnish: Fresh lychee

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake; strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh lychee. 

Recipe courtesy of Lao Laan-Xang,
2098 Atwood Ave., 819-0140.
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