“Pho” Cocktail

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam’s iconic Pho is well-known around the world. It’s served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But in today’s Food Delight, we’re not talking about the traditional noodle soup, but a “Pho” Cocktail, which is becoming quite popular in Hanoi bars. There is no meat in this version of the national dish, but the flavors remain: cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and fresh coriander, plus a generous splash of gin and triple sec for good measure. 

A: Welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re so excited to share with you a range of cooking tips on today’s program.

B: The “Phở” cocktail, which was inspired by Phở, is one of the most well-known creations by mixologist Pham Tien Tiep. Tiep won the Diageo World Class Vietnam 2012 and took part in the World Finals in Brazil the same year with this cocktail. He took home the “Best Bartender in Vietnam” award for his efforts that year.

“Pho” Cocktail - ảnh 1Mixologist Pham Tien Tiep 

A: The “Pho” cocktail may sound odd, but trust me it is really great. It contains many of the herbs and spices found in pho, like cinnamon, star anise, cilantro, and cardamom. Without the broth or meat, the taste is refreshingly sweet. 

B: Curious about what inspired Tiep to come up with the idea for this unique beverage and the method that he uses in the cocktail? Here he is to enlighten us.  

“When I had Pho for breakfast 1 week before the competition, it occurred to me: ‘Why don’t I make a cocktail with the flavor of Pho?’ So I decided to create something that reflects the flavor this most traditional dish. I was satisfied with the result. I prepare the cocktail with a mix between Gin and Cointreau, which later on are set on fire and mixed with cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. In this way the alcohol takes the flavor of the traditional spices used in pho. After this I mix the spirits with a simple syrup, lime juice, and fresh coriander,” Tiep said.
A: The drink's uniqueness makes it a popular choice among patrons, as does the strange way it's prepared. The bartender pours gin and triple sec through the top of a tall metal apparatus that contains three saucers holding the spices. He then lights the saucers on fire with a hand torch as the liquid flows through, allowing the flavors to infuse with the alcohol as the drink is filtered into a pitcher below.
B: That’s the way the flavor of the traditional Vietnamese dish is transformed into a cocktail.  These spices, normally used to give the pho’s broth its aroma are now used to instill the characteristic fragrance into this sweet-scented cocktail. 

“Pho” Cocktail - ảnh 2Pho Cocktail’s uniqueness makes it a popular choice among patrons, as does the strange way it's prepared (Photo: hoteljob.vn) 

A: It is a drink that is well worth savouring. The coriander, chili and lime will be added to add to its alluring flavor. 

“Actually, if you make it at home but without knowing the right quantities, it’s very difficult for you to create the right taste for the drink. If you come to my bar, I can make you the drink. You can see the bartenders making the cocktail while listening to the story behind it. The cocktail can be enjoyed all year round. It’s fresh, and there’s a  hint of spices, so you can drink it very cold with lots of ice in summer, and less ice in the winter,” Tiep added. 
A: The drink could be served at many bars throughout Hanoi’s Old Quarter, but you should pay a visit to the NE Cocktail and Wine Bar at 3B Tống Duy Tân or Attic cocktail & wine lab at 46 Trang Tien, Hanoi, if you want to try the cocktail’s original version while meeting in person with its creator, Tiep.   
B:  If you try this cocktail, take a picture with some comments about the drink and tag us at VOV5 English Service. We would love to hear about your experience!

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