Aiming to chip away at the gender bias in the drinks industry, Kino Soh opened the all-female-run Highball
in Singapore in 2016. Now Bangkok's welcomed the second branch of this highball cocktail-specializing bar, where six core members oversee all aspects of operations, led by Saimai Nantarat (previously of Bunker) and Thananya “Jib” Samoema (Diageo World Class Finalist 2017 and previously of Miky’s).
The decor: Taking over the ground floor of Sukumvit Soi 19's boutique hotel Sacha's Hotel Uno, Highball operates as a restaurant during the day. That spacious room comes with a high ceiling, casual dining tables and big windows letting lots of natural light. Come nightfall, the team takes over the great white marbled bar on a rotational basis, inviting guests to pull up a high chair and start a conversation.
The drinks: As in Singapore, the bar adds subtle twists to the highball, a family of cocktails traditionally made with just a spirit and a carbonated mixer over ice. The menu's broken down by base spirit (vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whisky, brandy, bitters)—try the Bangkok Mule (B250), a bright and aromatic mix of vodka, Falernum, clove and lime juice, topped with ginger ale. The only Jim Beam tap in town dispenses easy-to-drink concoctions like the Yuzu Highball (B220), which sees the bourbon-soda mix spiked with a zesty edge. Don't go without trying original creations like Jib’s Baby Bomb Highball (Jim Beam Highball on tap, popcorn syrup and cinnamon, B250), Kino’s Asoke Highball (Smirnoff vodka, lychee, sour plum water, lemon, kaffir lime and soda, B250) or Saimai’s #Highballsour (Jim Beam bourbon, red wine reduction, mixed berry, egg white and lemon juice, B300).
The food: Line your stomach with the kitchen's easygoing drinking snacks like home-fried cheese sticks (B120), calamari (B150) and laab moo tod (B150), or choose from a range of Thai and Western dishes (B120-250) for a proper meal.
The music: Fun Billboard top 40s hits and EDM hits till late.
Why we’d come back: Fuss-free, non-pretentious and well-priced, Highball makes a fine pre-game spot before heading over to Thonglor or Ekkamai. These back-to-basics drinks also make a refreshing change from all the spirit-forward craft cocktails doing the rounds. Lily Kittisrikangwan