The Prosperous Life ($25)
Buffalo Trace bourbon, muddled blackberries and crushed black and Szechuan peppercorns, poured over crushed ice and topped with a float of Maotai. The ice is manually crushed in a canvas bag in front of the diner. "A great way for the bartender to relieve stress," according to Lee. There's another version of the drink, preferred by owner Tony Hu, which is served up with a chili-sugar rim.
Melody of The Yangtze ($12)
This drink, a take on a mojito, combines a locally-made Jasmine liqueur from Koval Distillery with rum, mint and passion fruit juice.
The dining room at Lao 18
The interior of the dining room is filled with little nooks and crannies, set apart by carved wall screens.
The Royal Spice ($14)
This cocktail, a mango-chili martini, is made with Grey Goose, Stirrings peach liqueur, mango, and lime, plus sriracha simple syrup. "I add 1/4 ounce of sriracha to one quart of simple syrup," explained Lee. "It's very dilute, but that's the reason we can use it. Not everyone is used to the spice, and we don't want to ruin anyone's palate." The chili pepper floating on top warns guests that it might be a bit spicy.
The bar at Lao 18
The back bar is hidden behind those panels.