Heering featured at the Star.com

Shauna Rempel Toronto Star

The film festival is almost over for another year. Late tonight, as part of Midnight Madness, the last TIFF movie will screen – the Muay Thai extravaganza Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, starring action superstar Tony Jaa.
Thailand is known for its Muay Thai, or Thai-style kickboxing, as well as for its cuisine and its incredible party scene, from the go-go bars of Patpong to the all-night Full Moon Parties of Ko Phangan.
But for those only familiar with buckets (yes, buckets) of red bull and vodka, rest assured that Thailand also has a celebrated cocktail culture. During my time teaching English on the banks of the Chaophaya river, I experienced my share of boozy beach parties, as well as nights spent drinking Singha beer (which is available here at the LCBO) and mornings spent suffering the dread “Changover” from too much potent Chang beer (which thankfully is not available here).
But the spirit of Thailand, at least according to the company’s own slogan, is Mekhong. Bought by the bottle at Thai nightclubs, the drink has a sugar cane base mixed with rice spirit and a secret blend of herbs and spices. Despite being described as a whisky, it tastes closer to a rum, and can be a bit of an acquired taste when quaffed straight up. Mixed in a cocktail, however, it’s quite tasty.
After some 60 years, the drink named after the mighty Mekhong River has finally flowed into the United States and recently became available in Vancouver. Until it comes to Ontario one can order it online at mekhongstore.com or use a substitute such as amber rum or Cachaça, a spirit from Brazil.
In honour of Ong Bak 2 we present the Muay Thai cocktail. The martial art is said to be the “art of the eight limbs” and so this drink, an adaptation of the Singapore Sling, contains eight ingredients. With more than 3 ounces of booze, it certainly packs a punch!
2 dash(es) Angostura Bitters
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz. Mekhong Thai Spirit
3/4 oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur
3/4 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Benedictine
1/2 oz. Cointreau
Combine Mekhong and the rest of the ingredients in a Hurricane Glass. Add Ice and cover with a shaker tin. Shake briefly and vigorously. Top off with dashes of Bitters. Serve long with a straw and garnish with an Orange half wheel. Based on the Singapore Sling.

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