• South Africa’s summer season is in full swing.

    And for many, these warmer months usher in lazy days by the pool or trips to the beach to take full advantage of sand, surf, and sunshine. This, of course, comes with its fair share of much-needed indulgence in tasty cuisine and drinks that capture the frivolity of the holiday mood.

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    For the Tourism Authority of Thailand, nothing captures the summer spirit better than enjoying a taste of the tropics, whether that’s from the shores of The Land of Smiles or from the comfort of your own home.

    Now is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your mixology skills and have fun with flavour as you create the cocktails that will treat you to the magic of Thailand, wherever you find yourself this holiday season.

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    Sadudee Sangnil, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, says that in addition to the breathtaking scenery and delectable local cuisine that has earned Thailand its title as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, the country also has a reputation for decadent drinks.

    READ MORE: 6 Reasons to visit Bangkok, Thailand

    Whether it’s with or without alcohol, Thai drinks are well known for their exotic blend of colours and flavours, with recipes drawing inspiration from the dynamic blend of local and international cultural influences that have come to characterise the country’s unique flavour palate.

    South Africans don’t have to cross the seas to find the ingredients needed to recreate some of Thailand’s classic cocktails. These delicious drinks will get you into the spirit of the season (quite literally) and transport your taste buds to tropical shores.

    1. Mantra

    The Mantra is a cocktail drink with a story. The cocktail originates from Tep Bar in Bangkok’s Chinatown when a well-known bar tender visited the bar one night and ordered Negroni. However, at that time, the bar did not serve classic cocktails.

    In conforming to hospitality, the bar tender was served a combination of ginger and date infused Mekhong with Campari and sweet vermouth, which birthed the Mantra.

    2. Thai Basil Mojito

    This sweet, sparkling Thai cocktail is made with a blend of Thai basil, rum, lemongrass syrup, coconut milk, soda water, or lime juice, topped with a slice of lime for garnish.  If you find yourself in Thailand for the holidays, you can enjoy this amazing drink at Stone Bar.

    3. Tom Yum Siam

    Tom Yum Siam is a cocktail inspired by the popular Tom Yum Soup.

    This Thai cocktail is a delightful combination of vibrant colours and interesting flavours. Tom Yum Siam consists of vodka, lime juice, sugar syrup, red chillies and lemongrass. For the perfect finish, it is garnished with lemon wedges and chilli. To enjoy this exotic drink in the most authentic way, you can visit the Salathip Thai Restaurant.

    4. Siam Mary

    The Siam Mary cocktail originates from St. Regis Hotel in Bangkok. As a gastronomic celebration of the original Bloody Mary’s 80th anniversary, the cocktail puts a spin on the old classic by adding Thai chilli, wasabi paste, Thai basil, and lemongrass for an extra kick.

    Fit for any occasion, the Siam Mary is a wonderful cocktail to try out if you’re a fan of the original Bloody Mary and want to try something Thai-inspired during your trip to the Land of Smiles.

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    Feature image: PixelsEffect via Getty Images