The Tao cocktail menu has remained largely intact since the pan-Asian restaurant opened more than seven years ago. And for much of that time, there has been a Phuket cocktail on the menu. Part Asian inspiration, part tongue-in-cheek giggle over a name that, if pronounced incorrectly, could earn you at the very least an eyebrow raise from your bartender. But that tequila, cucumber, lime and sambal chili concoction has stepped aside to welcome a new lady to the head of the table.
April 1, Tao Group beverage manager Kyle Cardin debuted the new Phuket. “We love the idea of a margarita with a little kick,” Cardin says. The new menu adds a few classics, but with a creative Tao twist, in this case a sneaky-strong pomegranate-prickly pear margarita with a little habanero heat. Cardin also notes that the Phuket can be batched up at home for parties, backyard barbecues or picnics in pitchers, punch bowls or drinks dispensers. Dare we suggest, a Phuket bucket?
As served at Tao Restaurant & Lounge, $14
In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ounce pineapple juice, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, ¾ ounce Perfect Puree of Napa Valley prickly pear puree, ½ ounce Monin habanero-lime syrup, ½ ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur and 1½ ounce Milagro Silver tequila. Add ice, cover, shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into a teardrop-shape stemless wine glass. Garnish with a shiso leaf.