I’m in Wichita, Kansas for a few Rurally Screwed book events and having a great time! Last night I was the guest of honor at some friends’ book club held at a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Hot.
When you think of Wichita, you don’t automatically think “fabulous Vietnamese restaurant” but come to find out there are a bunch of them here. Apparently, Wichita is in the midst of a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant moment.
We found out that Pho Hot is BYOB, so I decided to make a cocktail to bring to the restaurant….BYOC: Bring Your Own Cocktail.
I wanted something that would complement southeast Asian flavors — something gingery and minty and citrusy — and taste ultra refreshing on a crazy hot day; the temperature has been well over 100 degrees everyday. Here is what we came up with:
The Wichi Ta-Dah is a group drink. This recipe makes enough for 6 to 8 people.
To make, peel three pieces of fresh ginger, about two inches each in length. Place it and a bunch of mint in a small saucepan. Add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to the saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the syrup and stash it in the refrigerator.
Once the syrup is completely cool, pour all of it — you should have 1 1/2 cups — into a pitcher. Add 3 cups vodka and the juice of 3 limes. Stir. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice until it’s half way full. Top with club soda. Garnish with more lime and more mint.
The Wichi Ta-Dah was a hit among the book club ladies. Though they could have also been raving about the food. Chef Danny Nguyen’s nine course meal — yes, nine courses — was incredible. It’s a day later and I’m still full…
If you’re ever in Wichita, you must come to Pho Bot! It is so good! And check out this crazy photo.