Most “Asian” cocktails such as the Singapore sling or the mai tai were created for vacationing American and European tourists, since the cocktail is a Western tradition.
By CINDY HOEDEL
The Kansas City Star
But given the burgeoning craft cocktail movement in Kansas City, Richard Ng, the Hong-Kong-born co-owner of Bo Ling’s, wasn’t content to serve only touristy concoctions at his new Plaza restaurant, which has one of the most alluring bars in the city with its red leather seats, hypnotic blue-backlit liquor shelves and piped-in Chinese music.
Ng worked with bar manager Danielle Bales to develop signature cocktails based on traditional Chinese ingredients. The first step in their collaboration was creating infusions of vodka and Chinese herbs such as ginseng, chrysanthemum blossoms, hawthorn berries and goji berries.
Ng drank sweetened chrysanthemum iced tea as a child in China, so the first cocktail he and Bales created was a refreshing combination of chrysanthemum-infused vodka, simple syrup, soda water and fresh mint, shaken with ice.
“This is a very fragrant drink and not too heavy. You can drink this all night,” Ng says.
Bales expects to have four or five of the craft cocktails on the menu this month.