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Realm of the 52 Remedies’ Saigon Dreamer: on the nose flavor

“There’s still a lot of flavor profile maps that people need to venture around”

SaigonDreamer
SaigonDreamer
Chris Lee

I’ve done it again: found my way inside another speakeasy. This time, it’s Realm of the 52 Remedies, where Chris Lee tells me how the Saigon Dreamer cocktail was inspired by an Asian coffee shop. “I went to Vietnam, and I went to visit this coffee shop, which was called ‘The Saigon Dream,’ and that’s exactly what I named our cocktail after,” says Lee. “Over there, they served clarified iced coffee, and that’s where I got my idea.”

He breaks down all the flavors in the almost-clear, milk-punch-style drink. “You’re probably going to get introduced with the heavy coffee notes because of the Mr. Black’s coffee liqueur. And then when you take a sip, you’ll get introduced to the citrus, tropical notes, but it definitely has that finish of chocolate.” He adds, “And then it has a really gentle undertone of spices. It’s a very easy to drink, user-friendly cocktail.”

Rye whiskey, he says, “becomes more of a supporting role. You don’t really taste the whiskey a lot, but you know it’s there.” The one used here is WhistlePig aged 6 years, a more versatile and cocktail-friendly option, according to Lee. “It’s upfront, a little more spicy, but it has more of a clean finish to it.” To complete the cocktail, “we use a crème de cocoa, a little touch of sugar, and fresh lemon juice and fresh pineapple juice, and a touch of milk.” Lee carefully cuts a lemon peel and expresses the citrus oil over the surface of the drink, to “bring a little bit of a brighter flavor, so you’re introduced not just to the flavor of the cocktail, but a little bit of a lighter touch on the nose as well.”

Place

Realm Of The 52 Remedies

4805 Convoy Street, San Diego

Lee explains that when the speakeasy, situated within Common Theory, first opened, “we were focusing more on the ingredients. Like, we did shitake mushroom cocktails, or a Chinese medical flavor cough syrup,” in keeping with their medicine-themed cocktail menu. “I just wanted to take the spin off a little bit and switch off to more of a culture scene.” For the spring and summer menu, each cocktail will be inspired by Asian films, but Saigon Dreamer will remain as a staple cocktail. “We do a lot of cocktails that kind of challenge some people, and I’m just happy that they actually give it a try. And then I’m more thrilled if they love it.”

Lee feels that while most people are at least familiar with the cuisine, they may still be new to Asian-style cocktails. “There’s still a lot of flavor profile maps that people need to venture around with the drinks. Hopefully people get to experience what we can present and just have a good time. That’s all I want.”

Realm of the 52 Remedies
  • Realm of the 52 Remedies’
  • Saigon Dreamer
  • (Two servings)
  • 1 tsp Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 1.5 oz Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur
  • 1.5 oz WhistlePig 6 years Piggyback Rye Whiskey
  • 1.25 oz whole milk
  • Lemon peel
  • Mix all ingredients together except milk. Then add the milk, stir to break and curdle. Let it rest for about 2 hours, then strain it using a coffee filter. Add ice to the filtered liquid and stir for 8-10 seconds. Express lemon oil using lemon peel. And enjoy!
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SaigonDreamer
SaigonDreamer
Chris Lee

I’ve done it again: found my way inside another speakeasy. This time, it’s Realm of the 52 Remedies, where Chris Lee tells me how the Saigon Dreamer cocktail was inspired by an Asian coffee shop. “I went to Vietnam, and I went to visit this coffee shop, which was called ‘The Saigon Dream,’ and that’s exactly what I named our cocktail after,” says Lee. “Over there, they served clarified iced coffee, and that’s where I got my idea.”

He breaks down all the flavors in the almost-clear, milk-punch-style drink. “You’re probably going to get introduced with the heavy coffee notes because of the Mr. Black’s coffee liqueur. And then when you take a sip, you’ll get introduced to the citrus, tropical notes, but it definitely has that finish of chocolate.” He adds, “And then it has a really gentle undertone of spices. It’s a very easy to drink, user-friendly cocktail.”

Rye whiskey, he says, “becomes more of a supporting role. You don’t really taste the whiskey a lot, but you know it’s there.” The one used here is WhistlePig aged 6 years, a more versatile and cocktail-friendly option, according to Lee. “It’s upfront, a little more spicy, but it has more of a clean finish to it.” To complete the cocktail, “we use a crème de cocoa, a little touch of sugar, and fresh lemon juice and fresh pineapple juice, and a touch of milk.” Lee carefully cuts a lemon peel and expresses the citrus oil over the surface of the drink, to “bring a little bit of a brighter flavor, so you’re introduced not just to the flavor of the cocktail, but a little bit of a lighter touch on the nose as well.”

Place

Realm Of The 52 Remedies

4805 Convoy Street, San Diego

Lee explains that when the speakeasy, situated within Common Theory, first opened, “we were focusing more on the ingredients. Like, we did shitake mushroom cocktails, or a Chinese medical flavor cough syrup,” in keeping with their medicine-themed cocktail menu. “I just wanted to take the spin off a little bit and switch off to more of a culture scene.” For the spring and summer menu, each cocktail will be inspired by Asian films, but Saigon Dreamer will remain as a staple cocktail. “We do a lot of cocktails that kind of challenge some people, and I’m just happy that they actually give it a try. And then I’m more thrilled if they love it.”

Lee feels that while most people are at least familiar with the cuisine, they may still be new to Asian-style cocktails. “There’s still a lot of flavor profile maps that people need to venture around with the drinks. Hopefully people get to experience what we can present and just have a good time. That’s all I want.”

Realm of the 52 Remedies
  • Realm of the 52 Remedies’
  • Saigon Dreamer
  • (Two servings)
  • 1 tsp Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 1.5 oz Mr. Black cold brew coffee liqueur
  • 1.5 oz WhistlePig 6 years Piggyback Rye Whiskey
  • 1.25 oz whole milk
  • Lemon peel
  • Mix all ingredients together except milk. Then add the milk, stir to break and curdle. Let it rest for about 2 hours, then strain it using a coffee filter. Add ice to the filtered liquid and stir for 8-10 seconds. Express lemon oil using lemon peel. And enjoy!
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