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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A bolt from the blue

A bolt from the blue

120511_15

I’m a tad sceptical of blue beverages. Try to name a blue-coloured foodstuff that occurs in nature (and before you get cheeky, blueberries are only called blueberries because indigoberries doesn’t have quite the same ring to it).

Having traipsed through a fair share of this city’s boutique cocktail joints, I’ve become accustomed to the idea that anything with an azure tint that’s served up under the shelter of miniature parasol is going to sit on my palate somewhere between laundry detergent and the feeling of instantaneous sugar-induced tooth decay.

Fortunately, the Blue Chilli has an unassuming delicacy that juxtaposes with the rambunctious drag shows that draw crowds to its bar on weekend nights. It’s the signature drink of the eponymous queer joint nestled in the strip between Dodo and the Latin Quarter. The saccharine flavour of the blue liqueur is countermanded with generous helpings of lemon juice and pineapple. The result is a tipple lacking in a lingering aftertaste but packing a decent punch on account of the overproof rum, just barely perceptible under the cosmic transportation to a poolside deckchair.

Saphan, a bartender at Blue Chilli for the past 18 months, relishes putting the cocktail together “because it’s easy to make. It’s not like others where you have to put so many different things together.” It might sound like a piker’s delight, but there’s an equal truth to Saphan’s words for the drinker on the other side of the bar. Just about every bar in town has a blue cocktail for aesthetic reasons, which then must be drowned in something else for the result to be even halfway drinkable. With the Blue Chilli, we get simplicity at its liquid finest.

Ingredients: Bacardi Gold rum, pineapple, Blue Curacao, lemon juice
Price: $3.50
Where: Blue Chilli
Address: #36E St 178.

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