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The Spirit of Saint Tran

Photo: Thomas J. Story
Total time 20 mins
Yield Makes 2
Thanks to bar manager Jon Christiansen, the cocktails at both Monsoon and Ba Bar, in Seattle, tend to have an evocative bent. This drink is named for 13th-century Vietnamese military commander Tran Hung Ðao, and uses lime, fresh herbs, pineapple, and fragrant tea--all as popular in Vietnam as the hero himself.


  • 1 teaspoon loose-leaf oolong tea
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 10 to 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 to 5 fresh red shiso leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons litchi purée such as Funkin, or 4 canned litchis, whirled well in a blender to yield 2 tbsp.
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup aged rum
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (preferably fresh)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 201
  • caloriesfromfat 0.3 %
  • protein 0.2 g
  • fat 0.1 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 0.4 g
  • sodium 2.2 mg
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. Make the oolong tea syrup: Bring 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan and add tea. Cover and steep 5 minutes. Strain into a cup and then pour in sugar. Stir until it dissolves. Let cool.

  2. Fill two cocktail glasses with ice. Fill a cocktail shaker one-third full of ice, then add 6 to 8 leaves mint and, if available, 3 to 4 shiso leaves. Pour in 2 tbsp. cooled oolong syrup, litchi purée, lime juice, rum, and pineapple juice. Shake vigorously.

  3. Strain into the glasses, tuck a few herb leaves into ice, and serve.

  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per cocktail.

Monsoon and Ba Bar, Seattle