Oh, your kid’s sidewalk stand is just selling regular lemonade? Time for an upgrade. At Sense of Thai St. (20413 Exchange St., Ashburn), beverage director Jeremy Ross has created a Southeast Asian twist on the summer quencher he calls pad Thai lemonade. Don’t get too hung up on the name—this drink doesn’t taste like a bowl of noodles. Rather, the mocktail brings together the spicy, nutty, herbaceous flavors of Thai cuisine, thanks to peanut syrup, zippy ginger, and a fistful of cilantro. For a more adult treat, spike it with some barrel-aged gin.
- 4 ounces water
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ounces peanut orgeat*
- ½ ounce raw ginger juice (available in local Asian markets, or use a juicer)
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Handful of cilantro
- Crushed peanuts, for garnish
- Optional: 1½ ounces gin (Ross likes Bluecoat Barrel Reserve)
Combine all ingredients except cilantro and peanuts in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour, unstrained, into a Collins glass. Garnish with a big handful of cilantro and crushed peanuts.
*For the peanut orgeat: Place 1 cup unsalted peanuts in an airtight container and cover with water. Let soak at least 6 hours or overnight. Strain soaked peanuts and put in a blender with 1 cup water. Blend on high until mixture is smooth. Strain through double-layer cheesecloth. Add 1 cup sugar to the strained peanut milk and stir until fully dissolved. Makes enough for 4 drinks.
This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Washingtonian.