Just A Drink Maybe
Thonglor's gin bar is a hidden delight.
The buzz: Thonglor's new gin bar is a hidden delight. Taiwanese PR officer-turned-bar owner Herman Wu saw a gap in the market for another specialist bar and filled it with the kind of welcoming space anyone would want in their neighborhood. There's a huge selection of gin labels only rivaled by Soi Nana's Teens of Thailand, spanning big names and local artisanal distilleries, as well premium tonics.
The decor: Nestled down the largely residential Thonglor Soi 1, this narrow shop-house draws you in with its enormous gin collection all lit up behind the bar. A neon sign bearing the bar's name casts a blue light over the brick-dominated room and comes complete with a blinking "maybe" that captures the laidback vibe where you might come for just one drink and stay for a few too many. We recommend taking a high chair at the bar and letting the bartender pick a poison to your liking.
The drinks: Wu's fellow Taiwanese bartender friend Soso Cheng, of Taipei's Exlibris Bar, is the main guy behind the drinks, which are split into gin and tonic twists and original concoctions. Beauty and Hendrick (B350) is a take on the G&T that's a rather elegant mix of Hendrick's gin, the cherry-tasting Thomas Henry Blossom Tonic and Aperol, where the sweetness is balanced out by lemon juice. Heading into yet more creative territory, the AO Show (B300) is a mix of chamomile-infused Brooker's Gin, Carpano Bianco (sweet white vermouth made from wine using trebbiano, cortese, and chardonnay grapes), Creme de Cacao Blanc and simple syrup, shaken with lemon juice. While potent, the drink masks its strength in an amazing array of flavors.
The crowd: Young professionals loosening their ties with an after-work drink or three and more casually dressed residents of the neighborhood.
Why you should care: With its easy-going vibe, this is a gin specialist bar that's not just for the know-it-alls. A place for meeting friends new and old, Just a Drink Maybe will also start serving Taiwanese food made according to Wu's mother's recipes next month. Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj