The worldwide explosion in craft cocktails has truly touched down in Cambodia in recent years. We raise a glass to our favourite drinks with a local flavour
Battambang Signature, Elephant Bar
The iconic bar at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh serves up a variety of Cambodia-centric cocktails in the kind of refined surrounds one would expect from the Raffles brand. Based around gin infused with cinnamon from the northwestern province of Battambang, which is played off perfectly against the orange flavour of Cointreau, this is a strong, aromatic drink that is shaken together with orange bitters and cranberry juice.
Get it if you like: cosmopolitan
Sinn Sisamouth in the Second City, Le Boutier
All of the cocktails at this creative, modern cocktail bar in Phnom Penh are crafted around unique Cambodian flavours and imbibed with the spirit of 1960s Khmer rock’n’roll. Sinn Sisamouth could accurately be described as the Frank Sinatra of Cambodia, and this combination of wild Mondulkiri honey, Cambodian robusta coffee, local cinnamon, averna and bourbon comes up strong and smoky – just how Sinatra himself would have wanted it.
Get it if you like: old fashioned, manhattan
Monsoon Perfume, Menaka
A welcome addition to the Siem Reap drinking scene, Menaka is the town’s first speakeasy, replete with a ‘hidden’ door. Presented on an ornate scroll, the menu utilises numerous local ingredients. The Monsoon Perfume puts a Cambodian twist on the classic gin and tonic by adding local mint, lime and the iconic Kampot pepper. Expect the refreshing profile of a G&T followed by a pleasant burn as the Kampot pepper tincture eases its way into the picture.
Get it if you like: a herbal gin and tonic
Ang Pau, Miss Wong
Created to mark Chinese New Year – a huge celebration in Cambodia, where many have Chinese ancestry – the Ang Pau was crafted for Miss Wong in Siem Reap by visiting US bartender Jen Queen. With a pinot noir floating on top of a mixture of gin, mandarin orange and mint shaken with marmalade, the Ang Pau provides a truly unique double act of red wine mixed with an intense orange sweetness. The first sip is a bit of a nose-scruncher; by the second you’ll be addicted.
Get it if you like: red wine and mojitos