Editor’s note: Camels Fire is constantly on the move, exploring Abu Dhabi and beyond to discover the best spices and cheap, local eats. The following is a special report from Pokhara, Nepal.
In a country where hot peppers are a frequent ingredient in the cuisine, it’s only a matter of time before the beverages start becoming fiery too. And if you like a little kick in liquid form, there’s a bar in central Nepal that serves up a unique whiskey drink with fresh watermelon juice blended with spicy green chilis.
Darshan Lama, a 24-year-old Nepalese bartender, invented the fruit juice and pepper concoction a couple of years ago with his brother while sitting around waiting for customers.
“We were bored and just messed around with it,” said Lama, who serves drinks in a hotel bar in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city best known for its mountain lake and hordes of trekking tourists.
The drink is refreshing while adding a little bit of burn that a spice-lover will thoroughly enjoy. Plus it’s good ice-breaker for your next party – and a way to impress guests with your mixing creativity and fearlessness in the face of this spicy concoction.
Here’s a step-by-step illustrated recipe so you too can make the drink:
Step 1: Make some fresh watermelon juice. All you need is a medium to large watermelon and a blender. Even without a blender, scooping out the insides and mashing the pulp will work just as well. Don’t forget to remove the seeds. You’ll need about 1 to 1.5 cups of juice per person, or enough to fill a large margarita or other similarly-sized glass.
Step 2: Slice between 1 and 4 green chili peppers in half, then take out the seeds and membrane (the hottest part of the pepper). You’ll only need to use the outer skin for this drink, unless you’re absolutely insane and want it almost undrinkably hot (not recommended).
Step 6: Add some lime juice to the mixture. The citrus from the lime will counteract some of the hottest spice from the chili peppers, adding to the complexity of the flavors – and making it go down easier.
Step 10: Drink and enjoy.
This cocktail could be made from any variety of fresh juices (the Temple Tree hotel, which owns the bar where Darshan works, currently serves the drink with guava juice).
They don’t even have a name for that drink yet. Currently, Temple Tree calls it the relatively unoriginal ‘Guava and Chili Peppers’. Darshan says he will continue coming up with new chili-infused cocktails in the future – and decide on a better name for them, eventually.
Our money is on Pokhara Punch.
Address: Temple Tree Resort & Spa, Gaurighat, Lakeside 6, Pokhara, Nepal
Telephone: +977 61 465 819