How to Make Pad Thai Lemonade

It's not as wacky as it sounds.

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.

Serves 1

  • 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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.