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Cocktails for Pii Mai Khon Khao 2017

It’s almost New Year’s Eve and that means it’s a good time to stock up on a variety of refreshments for your guests. As we get ready for the Year of the Dog, later in April, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll see some funny dog-themed cocktails in the future; but for now, we’re sharing a few that are relatively easy to make. Unless, of course, you’re going with plain, old usuals of Hennessy, Heineken, and BeerLao.

Photo courtesy of

Of course, there’s our classic Som Num Na cocktail from 2015.

Our next door neighbors in Cambodia marked the 50th anniversary of Jacqueline Kennedy’s visit with their own invention. Back in the day, according to the Guardian, the Hotel Le Royal commemorated the occasion by creating a cocktail in her name: the Femme Fatale. It’s a mix of “crème de fraise des bois, cognac and champagne, topped with a tropical flower.” No proportions were given, so you’ll have to experiment until you find one that works for you. Our advice is 3:1 alcohol to flavor. Hey, it’s how we’ll create the next generation of livers!

Photograph courtesy of Mark Peddle

Ten years back in 2008, Little Laos on the Prairie editor Bryan Thao Worra put together the Bloody Mai, while trying to write a poem. The poem got lost for years, but was recently rediscovered. In the meantime, here are his original notes:

“The basics are: Rice whiskey (for an extra dare, go for the cobra infused rice whiskey, if you can find it), tomato juice/puree from the tomatoes used in a papaya salad, sriracha sauce, celery, salt, a bit of jaew, a dash of sugar and some lemon juice. Drink a few shots and soon, you’ll be able to add the rest of the ingredients to this elixir: The memories of old wars, good friends and family, the dream of stars where loves meet and nations are born. A few more sips in and you’ll start customizing it to your taste. As a heads up, a Bloody Mai will have a bit more of a bite to it than its root inspiration, the Bloody Mary. Drink with caution.”

Of course, Lao being Lao, we expect to see some pretty elaborate garnishes for the Bloody Mai. We’d be disappointed otherwise.

What are you mixing up for yourselves this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

–Bryan Thao Worra,

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