the mixer

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2007, 12:00am

Spring cocktails demand ice and fruit in big measures. Frozen daiquiris are perfect for warm nights but to put a fresh spin on an old favourite, throw some herbs into the mix. At Bex in Central, bar manager Chris Au uses mint to enliven the ubiquitous strawberry daiquiri. The herb not only adds a crisp, perky flavour but, also, tiny flecks of green dot the blended red slush. 'I wanted to do something different to add a fresh flavour and look,' says Au.

Daiquiris are easy to make at home when entertaining because everything can be whizzed together quickly. You can use dark or light rum and many types of fruit, such as banana, lychee, avocado and grapefruit. Always use lime juice and sugar syrup to taste so the flavour is balanced. Besides mint, other suitable herbs and spices include cumin seeds with pineapple; ginger or cayenne pepper with grapefruit; and coriander with lychees.

Bex is a modern but cosy lounge offering hookah pipes and barbecued snacks along with drinks. Each member of staff has a cocktail named after them, including whisky-loving owner Kay Seto, for whom Au created the popular In The Name of Seto.

Try Au's cocktails (HK$58 to HK$78) at Bex, 4/F, SoHo Square, 21 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 3102 2066.

Mint and strawberry daiquiri (far right)

1 shot gold rum (Captain Morgan)

1/2 shot strawberry liqueur

Dash of fresh lemon juice

Dash of fresh lime juice

Dash of sugar syrup (sugar dissolved in an equal weight of water)

1 large strawberry

10 mint leaves

Place a scoop of ice with the rum, liqueur, strawberry and syrup in an electric blender. Squeeze in some lemon and lime juice. Add shredded mint leaves then blend well until the liquid is slushy with flecks of green. Pour into a wide-rimmed stemmed glass.

In The Name Of Seto (right)

1 shot whisky (Johnnie Walker Black Label)

1/2 shot peach schnapps

2 shots fresh apple juice

Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a brandy glass. Garnish with grapes dipped in lemon juice and rolled in sugar.