The Time I Tried a Whisky Samurai

Feeling a bit under the weather and needing a nice cold bottle of water, I left the comfort of my air conditioned hostel and emerged into the 95 degree and miserably humid heat of Siem Reap. Upon arrival at the nearest shop with the familiar red water bottle containing cooler, I asked for a big water and handed the women a crisp twenty dollar bill. Waiting for the correct change to be gathered, I turn as a man sitting on the red cooler perks up and asks, “Do you like whiskey?” As he speaks, a bright red liquid sloshes around inside a large plastic bottle he’s holding. “Yes,” I replied. Poking fun a little, I added, “American whiskey.” His sly smile reveals the acknowledgment of my joke, but unphased, he continues, “This is Cambodian whiskey and Samurai.” Holding out the bottle with an outstretched arm, he continues, “You can try some.” It’s two o’clock in the afternoon and I’ve been trying to get some rest, so I do what I any good traveler would. With a quick flash of the “why not?” shrug, I took the bottle from his hand and gave it a nice pull. The mixture is not what I would classify as tasty and I soon realize that “Samurai” is a strawberry flavored energy drink. He flashes a big smile and asks, “It’s good?”