The Spirit of Saint Tran

Photo: Thomas J. Story

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.

Yield: Makes 2
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 20 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 201
  • Calories from fat: 0.3%
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.0g
  • Carbohydrate: 33g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 2.2mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg


  • 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)


  1. 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. 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. 3. Strain into the glasses, tuck a few herb leaves into ice, and serve.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per cocktail.
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