This post was originally published on September 24, 2015.
Man, it’s been a while…. Hi guys!!! Less than two weeks ago I was in the beautiful country of Malaysia, a land full of variety in terms of nature, culture, and cuisine. I visited a few towns in peninsular Malaysia, as well as in Malaysian Borneo. And you’ll never guess how many Bloody Marys I had while in Malaysia… You would be surprised.
Because that number is ONE. I only had ONE Bloody Mary for two and a half weeks. Call me crazy, but a lot of the Malaysian population consists of Malay Muslims that do not drink alcohol at all (they aren’t allowed to use any forms of intoxicants!) and the weather is so hot that sometimes all you want is a sweet alcoholic beverage to cool you down. I enjoy Bloody Marys at most points and at most times, but in Malaysia, it was apparent that I would not be able to find one unless I was in an upscale restaurant or hotel. There were some nice hotels and some swanky restaurants along the way, but I don’t really do Bloody Marys at night time in the hot, humid weather.
Malaysian breakfast places (including most hotels) don’t serve booze. Therefore, I did drink my fair share of fruity cocktails– my favorite being the signature “vodka and watermelon juice on the rocks” that I told a bartender to whip up on the island of Borneo. If you can find watermelon juice (or you could try to juice one yourself), I recommend this cocktail. It’s super freakin’ good and you’re bound to feel a little more hydrated. Anyways, the one Bloody Mary I had was on the island of Borneo– a beautiful island abounding with friendly people, wildlife (from pygmy elephants to orangutans), delicious food, the lively jungle, and even the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu.
The Bloody Mary was made seaside in Kota Kinabalu at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu for which I will call it…. the Kinabalu Bloody Mary. It was a perfect for both a refresher and a heat-inducer (hot spices in the hot weather, man) for me, while I sipped it near the South China Sea under a shady pavilion. If you’re ever in Kota Kinabalu and want a Bloody Mary like I did, be sure to make your way over to the Hyatt! On a side note, there will be more tales of my travels when I craft my own recipe for a Malaysian Bloody Mary. Stay tuned.
AT A GLANCE 18/20
The Kinabalu Bloody Mary looked sleek and tasty when it was served to me on the edge of the South China Sea. It was the perfect size for a hot Malaysian day and was your classic red with healthy serving of salt on the rim. Nothing spilled over the sides and it really just looked perfect, with a sole celery stalk as a garnish. There were not too many spices dispersed throughout, but there I was, in another country.. They do things a bit different in Malaysia!
The only garnish ingredient was a stalk of celery, which it took the bartender a long time to acquire. I am thinking the Bloody Mary is not a drink widely ordered in Malaysia, due to the large Muslim population and hot heat (I think some only like their drinks fruity in exceedingly hot and humid weather). The sole celery stalk was attractive. The Malaysians seem to keep things simple, so I would say the garnish choice was reflective of such simplicity (if this Bloody Mary was crafted in the U.S., I am sorry to say it would not receive such a rating for the “Garnish” category).
When I sipped the Hyatt’s Bloody Mary seaside, I noted distinct spices that are not present in American Bloodys. The Bloody truthfully had that “Malaysian taste”– distinct and powerful, yet pleasing to the tastebuds. There are hints of a special sort of chili pepper and other Asian spices. The addition of Malaysian Tabasco also added to the spicy and complex flavor; the heat of the spices lingered in my mouth.
TEXTURE & ACIDITY 19/20
The texture of the Kinabalu Bloody Mary was on point and went down quite smoothly. The drink was spicy, but not acidic. Not many places can pull this off.. so kudos to the Hyatt! Maybe it’s something in the Bornean waters.. 😉
In terms of uniqueness, the Kinabalu Bloody Mary was pretty unique because of the special spices used (the bartender told me it was only the Tabasco.. I didn’t believe him). My mouth has never tasted such flavors in a beverage before… Also, the fact that this Bloody tasted sooo good when many Malaysian people do not drink.. Well that is a great feat in and of itself and deserves praise.
FINAL SCORE 89/100
Does the sound of a Bornean Bloody Mary tickle your fancy? If so, check out the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu here. The Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is located at:
Jalan Dato Salleh Sulong, 88991 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia