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Cocktail Bar in Phnom Penh
The Mad Monkey, Street 302, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
It has been a funny few months; we have been racing around getting the restaurant right and trying to get the service levels up to western standard.  One thing I have learnt is that it pays to document processes and have them hanging around in books everywhere so if any of the staff forget something they can pick up a book and get back on track quickly.  It has proved invaluable for handling everything so far, and it’s a must if you are opening any type of bar business in Phnom Penh.
Last week I spent two days pulling together our cocktail cheat sheet for our bar staff allowing them to learn the 40 plus cocktails we are now offering on our rooftop bar.
The bar has started to get busy, every Thursday we are now running a residents party for the people staying at the hostel, this normally consists of everyone quaffing a load of cocktails at the bar and following on with free shots.  Last night closed at around 1.30 in the morning and we had our first noise complaint, not from customers I should add but from the neighbors who were less than pleased with our 40 residents doing a conga around the bar.  Such is life, it was good fun and the reviews on our trip adviser pages, hostel bookers and Hostel World site are all positive.  We are now the number one rated hostel in Phnom Penh and certainly one of the few professional cocktail bars in the city.  This isn’t something you would normally expect in a hostel, however you wouldn’t normally expect to be able to get a New Zealand steak either, more on that later.
So if you are into the odd cocktail or two and you are in Phnom Penh consider dropping by, I am going to start to post cocktail recipes that you can use at home.
This post we will cover a surprise awesome cocktail that we didn’t expect to be a winner but it has proven to be one of our best sellers.  Here is the recipe for our Vanilla Margarita so you can make it at home, it really is awesome.  We love sitting up at the bar and making up new cocktails for people, so its always a real pleasure when a new cocktail we make ends up being a cracker. Enjoy
The Phnom Penh Vanilla Margarita
You will need a jigger and a margarita glass before you start, and a cocktail shaker.  If you don’t know what a jigger is, it is one of those little silver thingies used by bar tenders to measure out booze.  You can buy them at Russian Market – you can also buy Margarita glasses for $8.00 for six of them.  The jigger small cup end is 1 fluid ounze, and the big and is 1.5 fluid ounces.  Get your measures right or your cocktail wont be as awesome as it could be.
Firstly – It is hot in Phnom Penh – Put the ice in after the alcohol otherwise it will melt and water down your cocktail.
You need Silver Tequila – You can buy this all over Phnom Penh, use Camino its not expensive and the quality is to standard for cocktail Tequilas.  Pour out two ounces, that’s 2 small Jigger cups into your mixer, add 1 ounce of triple sec, a dash of lime juice and a dash of sugar water.  This is normally called sweet and sour mix when it is pre made but we prefer to use the raw ingredients and mix the ingredients to each cocktail mix.  Add 2 ounces of a vanilla liqueur available from most supermarkets, fill the shaker full of ice and shake for 80 seconds so some but not all of the ice melts into the drink.
Take your glass, wipe the rim quickly with lime and then dip the glass into a plate of pre-prepared brown sugar so the sugar lightly coats the rim of the cocktail glass.
Place a glacier cherry in the glass and pour in the mixture, swirling it in the glass as you pour to ensure an even mixture.  Serve and start to drink.
This is just one of the 40 plus cocktails you can get your luscious lips around at The Mad Monkey – Find us on Street 302, between cross streets of 51 and 57 in Phnom Penh.  The cocktail bar is on the top bar, it’s a perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun set over the Phnom Penh skyline!

About the Author

Mad Monkey is Southeast Asia’s leading hostel operator — born in Cambodia with more properties in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Laos, and the Philippines. We pride ourselves in creating meaningful and sustainable travel experiences for our guests, whilst promoting socially responsible tourism.