Learn to make Khmer cocktails at Asana
Most visitors to Siem Reap
will sign up for a Cambodian cooking class but very few have discovered Asana bar and its fun Khmer cocktail making classes. Located in one of the last traditional timber houses in the old town of Siem Reap, laidback Asana bar is owned by Siem Reap-born jazz-loving Sophari ‘Pari’ Ung and her French expat architect spouse Guilhem Maitrepierre. Pari invented the Khmer cocktail and in these relaxed classes she or her sweet Cambodian staff teach participants about Khmer ingredients such as tamarind, turmeric, lemongrass, and wild ginger, before showing them how to make a couple of her cocktail specials, such as the Asana Sling, made with gin, triple sec, cointreau, grenadine, cherry brandy, bitters, lime, pineapple juice, and Sombai’s Galangal-Tamarind rice spirit. If you're feeling creative, you then get a chance to mix your own cocktail. If not, the staff will teach you another Asana specialty. Unlike a lot of cooking classes, which non-cooks can find a tad nerve-racking if they don't have knife skills, Asana's 90-minute cocktail class couldn't be easier. After, you can recline on the stuffed rice sacks that are Asana's sofas and keep on sipping or pop around the corner to Miss Wong for more. I recommend you have a restaurant pre-booked for dinner. Pari is very generous with her pourings! Classes are offered daily at 6pm ($15 per person) by appointment only, but it's essential to book ahead.