As an English woman in Cambodia at this time of year, I sometimes find myself pining for the green and drizzly summers back home: Wimbledon, cricket, rainy picnics and, of course, a bowl of strawberries and cream.
And then I had a flashback on the Riverside: when I spotted a cocktail made with fresh strawberries at La Croisette, the Tonle Sap became the Thames.
The strawberry cocktail is the restaurant bar’s eponymous drink. Similar to a daiquiri, two generous shots of cachaça are blitzed up with several whole strawberries, a glug of strawberry syrup, a sharp squeeze of lime and scoop after scoop of crushed ice. This thick icy slush is poured into a glass and garnished with another carefully carved red berry.
The cocktail is a feast for the eyes; this mountain of alcoholic ice is as red as London buses, the bold scarlet cross on a St George’s flag or the ruddy face of an Englishman left out in the sun for too long.
A sip of La Croisette tastes as good as it looks, too: the hot and heavy hit of the cachaça is checked by the chill of the ice and the freshness of the fruit; it’s not too sweet and the effect demands another slurp.
Tassilo, the often charming owner of La Croisette, says he encouraged his staff to come up with a special cocktail that was deserving of the name of the bar. What better ingredient to choose for a unique concoction than the strawberry, as rare in Phnom Penh as a street where the houses are numbered logically.
Ingredients: cachaça, strawberry syrup, lime, fresh strawberry
Happy hour: 9 – 11, cocktails $3
Where: La Croisette
Address: #241 Sisowath Quay