From creative menus and mixology lessons to new tech that'll help you drink responsibly, here's what you need to know.
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1. Bar swaps bring a taste of the world's best bars to Bangkok

Many Bangkok bars have been inviting bartenders from overseas to take over their bars for the night. Backstage Bar recently did a take-over shift at Sathorn's Bunker, who have also done plenty of guest shifts themselves. But it's not just about swapping and rotating around within Bangkok. Rabbit Hole recently hosted Gn Chan of Angel’s Share bar in New York. Vice versa, Hyde & Seek Peek-a-Boo's beverage director, Nath Arj-Han, recently took over Potato Head rooftop bar in Singapore. The idea is that regular customers at the host bar get to try something new, while the visiting bartenders can show off their skills to a new audience. Win-win!

2. Bold new concepts and rotating menus

Finally, it's not just restaurants shaking up their menus with the season.  Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hotel has also recently launched the spring cocktail menu where all drinks are meant to be refreshing. Expect to see a jazz singer-inspired cocktail menu by the end of April. Meanwhile, Soi Convent’s Vesper is leading the way for concept menus with its new Art Book, a ring-bound tome styled after Phaidon’s cult publication of the same name. Each cocktail is inspired by a famous painting, resulting in stuff like The Treachery of Images, in which Rene Magritte’s painting of a pipe is translated into Moonshine unaged whiskey, Alipus San Baltazar mezcal, Carpano Bianco and tonic bitters (B390).

3. Locavore produce brings a fresh taste of Thailand to your drink

“Thai” cocktails used to be dominated by Tourism Authority-designed stuff fixed with cheap local booze, lime, basil and some chilies. - Not any more. Eat Me recently released a Thai-inspired cocktail menu using mieng kham (betel leaf wrap) along with roasted coconut shavings and tamarind paste (B320), as well as a laab moo-inspired drink (B320) that replicates the spicy, herbal Isaan dish. Sri Trat, the newly opened eastern Thai restaurant also has a pretty impressive drinks menu using Thai fruits. We're not talking about the usual coconut or mango but rather salak (snake fruit), as in The Salacca Fizz (B360).

4. Bartenders get creative with the techniques of modern gastronomy

Sous-vide machines are an essential of every kitchen nowadays, but over at Quince, head barman Carson Quinn is putting that same machine to use in order to create better infused wines. The idea is that ziplocking the liquid into an air-free bag prevents any chance of it oxydizing, while also allowing whatever ingredients its locked in there with to impart their fullest flavor. The result: some of the punchiest sangria you've ever tasted, imbued with a powerful kick of rosemary and lemon. 

5. Know your DrinkIQ is a website that teaches you everything you need to know about alcohol. Whether it's information about how Scotch Whiskey (or any other type of spirit) is made or how to mix the perfect mojito, they have it all covered. Not only that, it also promotes and raises awareness about drinking responsibly thanks to the Drink Calculator. Use this handy function to calculate how long alcohol will take to leave your system, or the danger it brings to your body based on how many glasses you've had.

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