It’s the end of a languid, sticky day in sultry Shanghai; the barest of breezes lures you to the balcony of an art deco bar. There, leaning on the railing to watch the sunset, is a gorgeous woman in a skin-tight, hot pink cheong sam, her hair set in gentle waves that frame her face as she brings a cocktail to her lips…
At least, that’s how I imagine the real Suzy Wong, if there ever was one*. And that’s certainly how the drink makes you feel: as if you’ve been transported back in time to the heady heydays of the 1920s, when you’d luxuriate in the sensual elegance of a sophisticated cocktail and the equally sophisticated company of an incredibly tempting woman.
This is a drink that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to taste; full-flavoured yet delicate, with just the right balance of sweet and tart, it’s a refreshing, fruit-forward classic that you just can’t get enough of.
Prepare to be seduced by Suzy Wong.
45ml citrus vodka (I used Absolut Mandarin)
5ml lime juice
5ml sugar syrup
45ml watermelon juice, strained
Half-fill a mixing glass with ice. Pour all ingredients in and stir until both the drink and you are feeling nicely chilled. Strain into the glass and let the night begin.
This one’s in Shaken: 250 very sexy cocktails (Murdoch Books, 2004).
*In The World of Suzie Wong, the 1957 novel by Richard Mason that I assume inspired this drink, our heroine is actually a hooker. Ah well. Close enough.