You’ve purchased some basic bartending tools to kick-start your homemade cocktail journey. You’ve also been experimenting with different types of tonic waters to add a whole different dimension to your gin and tonics. Now, it’s time to add even more pizzazz to your homemade cocktails with some Malaysian herbs that you can find easily from your local markets.
Why Malaysian herbs? Simply put: everyone knows how to use ‘western’ herbs like rosemary, thyme, and basil leaves. But if you want to really do a local take on certain herb-infused cocktails, it’s worth considering local herbs. After all, plenty of bars in KL regularly give classic cocktails a Malaysian variation by using local ingredients and infusions.
Not sure where to begin? Allow some of the local bars to point you in the right direction. Omakase + Appreciate currently has four cocktails with Southeast Asian influences — the Dub Kantan cocktail has torch ginger flower and assam boi, while the Irish in Malaysia cocktail heroes the kedondong juice. Over at PS150, their own version of the Bee’s Knees cocktail has a lemongrass sous-vide London Dry Gin, while the Rumble in the Jungle cocktail mixes a coconut and pandan-infused rum.
Garnish your cocktails with the herbs, muddle them, or even try your hand at infusing your spirits with them. The possibilities are endless. So the next time you’re over at the supermarket, head towards the section that stocks local herbs — you won’t be sorry. Read on for a list of Malaysian herbs to add to your cocktails the next time you’re making them at home.