The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 91 of 128

three signature cocktail bases that Chris calls "elixirs" and makes from scratch: Lion, Dragon and Red Phoenix. Each requires six months to mature. Dragon is earthy, while Red Phoenix has citrus elements. Lion has obvious pepper, clove and star anise qualities. Chris also makes all of his own bitters, sour mix and every other syrup, flavor or spice combina- tion that goes into his cocktails. He even wears a white coat when he's developing his elixirs and uses beakers instead of typical mixology measur- ing tools for better accuracy. His mother, Pat Thretipthuangsin, has quite the green thumb and shares the spoils of the thriving herb garden she planted three feet from the front door. Thai basil, rosemary and many other herbs find their way into Chris's zodiac cocktails. Those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970 or 1982 are listed under the sign of the dog and often order The Dog cocktail, which Chris makes with rum, pomegranate, fresh mint and lime. "If you were born in the years 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971 or 1983, The Pig, with orange vodka, cranberry and lime, is your cocktail," says Chris, who has included the meaning of the various signs on the menu, making it fun for guests to learn about the calendar. The cocktail menu also lists other famous people born during those years. One of the most popular cocktails is the one that appears first on the L'Orient cocktail menu: The Ox is made with Beefeater gin, herbs, cucumber and lime. Possibly the most famous ox was Napoléon Bonaparte. Keeping the faith in flavor in all areas of the res- taurant is in harmony with the Thretipthuangsin family's regal standards—quite literally. Pat Thretipthuangsin is a veteran chef who was chosen as special guest chef for the Thai royal family to cook for the princess of Thailand and Chris uses flamed orange zest to finish one of the cocktails in his zodiac cocktail menu. her entourage. L'Orient Executive Chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin, a classically trained gradu ate of Le Cordon Bleu, was recognized last year by the James Beard Foundation. To the Thretipthuangsin family, creativity and quality are non-negotiable. But it is Chris—a veritable mad scientist of mixology—who concocts elixirs and dreams up the cocktails that have Naples locals and second- and third-vacation homeowners rushing from their private jets to L'Orient for happy hour. "You can trace back the layers of flavor in different alcoholic beverages," he says. "You think 'cocktail,' but you peel the flavors and aromas out of it. The Lion elixir, for example, adds an entirely new dimension to the beverage." Chris has increased his following in Naples by creating custom cocktails for customers based on their personal attributes. He often creates drinks that will never wind up on the menu. One customer returns frequently for the special cocktail Chris created for her, which is consists of champagne and the Red Phoenix elixir, garnished with basil. When developing his elixirs and cocktails, Thretipthuangsin uses beakers instead of typical mixology measuring tools for better accuracy. august 2012 / the tasting panel / 91

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - August 2012