Mekhong The Spirit of Thailand brought forth another year of innovative interpretation of Thai heritage with Mekhong the Spirit Competition 2020 under the theme ‘Thai Spirit REBORN.’ The theme focused on bringing ancient traditions back to life in a modern context through cocktails created by the seven finalists of the Mekhong the Spirit Competition 2020. Created with the aim to elevate Thai mixologists to an international level, the competition provided an opportunity for Thai mixologists to share and gain practical knowledge so that they can be on par with their international counterparts. In its third consecutive year, the competition was held to select the best Thai cocktail pairing for the MICHELIN Guide Star Revelation 2020 Gala Dinner.
The event was presided by Ms. Sansiri Yodmeungcharoen, Assistant Marketing Director of ThaiBev Marketing Company Limited and an esteemed panel of local and international judges in the F&B industry. The panel comprised internationally recognised figures including mixologist Mr. Aki Wang, of INDULGE Experimental Bistro; head bartender Mr. Jamie Rhind of The Bamboo Bar,MICHELIN Star recipient chef Andy Yang; and Mekhong Master Blender Mr. Dehapongsa Kanchanalakshana, the mastermind behind the Mekhong recipe we know today.
With over 80 years of history, Mekhong The Spirit of Thailand was used as one of the key ingredients, where the unique charms from the spirit’s fine herbal ingredients bring depth to each, evoking the rich history of Thailand to each contestant’s creation. Bringing to life Thailand’s rich history through Thai-inspired cocktails, the creations crafted by the seven mixologists tell the story of Thailand through ornate interpretations of literature, traditions, and history in one sip.
From over 100 applicants, only seven finalists were selected to create a cocktail that would be served at the MICHELIN Star Revelation Thailand 2020 Gala Dinner. The seven finalists each created a signature cocktail including Udomkiree from The Carpenter Bar & Restaurant; Fade Away from Cielo Sky Bar & Restaurant; Naree Sohn Glin from Burapa Western Thai Cuisine & Bar By Sri Trat; Bu-Lhan-Dhan-Mek from Mai Bar, Rosewood Phuket; Nai-Naam-Mee-Pla-Nai-Na-Mee-Khao from Mizulim; and last but not least, the winner of Mekhong the Spirit Competition 2020, Kang from #FindTheLockerRoom, with a clever interpretation of a classic Thai dish, Ghang Kati Sai Bua.
Deriving from the idea of how Ghang Kati Sai Bua uses only the meat of Thai Mackerel while the bone is always discarded, Saharat makes use of the discarded fishbone to create the unique flavour of Kang (fishbone in Thai). Using the technique of distilling fishbone into a liquid concentrate, Saharat created a sweet and sour cocktail with a subtle touch of umami—a surprising harmony of sweet and savoury that makes the cocktail a perfect pairing to accompany the culinary creations served at the MICHELIN Guide Star Revelation 2020 Gala Dinner.